How do we make it through days like this? How do we fully live into these unprecedented times as believers and hopeful carriers of the gospel?
In conversations with strangers and friends, the same refrains seem to echo again and again: “It’s crazy!” “I just can’t believe it!” or “I’ve never seen anything like this before!”
The impact of the coronavirus has had an undeniable and profound impact on the daily rhythms of life. Many of you are grieving the loss of changed plans. Ministry events you helped plan or were anticipating are postponed. Graduations, weddings, and vacations are now canceled or in limbo. And this is to say nothing of the heart-felt concern for our personal wellness and the wellness of loved ones. The hardship of these times is worth acknowledging and reason to lean into the comforting companionship of the ever-present One. Please know our Navigator family is faithfully and earnestly praying for you as we navigate these tender days.
There is little precedent for what is happening in our world, but I am struck by the everlasting hope and resurrection life we have in Jesus.
In Matthew 14, as Peter stepped out onto the sea in the midst of buffeting waves, he let his attention drop to the physical realities. He “saw the wind” rather than keeping his eyes on Jesus. Jesus bids us to come to Him, not in frantic fear, but in dependent faith. During these days, may we keep our eyes on Him and rise up in the destiny He has for us. Christ’s power sustains us, equips us, and keeps us afloat.
“But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” (Matthew 14:27 NIV)
I’m reminded of my wife Pam’s and my experience eight years ago when the Waldo Canyon fire took 15 of the 19 houses on our street. Our neighborhood was devastated, but our shared brokenness forged relationships that created new opportunities for the gospel. As Pam and I kept our eyes fixed on Jesus, we discovered that there was a redemptive work sprouting from the ashes of loss. Every catastrophe, broken place, and hardship is a site where beauty can be born of ashes.
Sometime this week, Pam and I will begin to walk our neighborhood, ringing doorbells and asking our friends “born of adversity” if they need anything or have anything we can be praying for. We’ll pray right there if the door opens (while adhering to social distancing!).
My prayer is that we will cast our eyes to the face of Jesus and walk into the opportunities God gives us to see beauty rise from the ashes.