Months have passed since the pandemic began; the loss of life, of dreams and of fellowship has taken a toll on all of us. In addition to the threat of a virus, tensions have mounted between people ensnared by a willingness to hate.
- How ARE we, as servants of Christ, to respond to the uncertainties of our time?
- What would He have us learn along the way?
I believe the first thing we need to recognize is that uncertainty in this world is nothing new, Jesus was born into a dark time such as our own, with truth-seekers and truth-haters in need of a Savior. As we approach the celebration of the birth of God’s Son, at the end of this most challenging year, I invite you to join me in savoring the wisdom and encouragement of the Apostle Paul:
“Now we have this treasure in jars of clay
to show that this surpassingly great power is from God and not from us.
We are hard pressed on all sides, but not crushed;
perplexed, but not in despair,
persecuted, but not forsaken;
struck down, but not destroyed”
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away,
yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
For our light and momentary affliction is producing for us
an eternal glory that is far beyond comparison.
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.
For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
II Corinthians 4:7-8, 16-18
How are we to respond to adversity in uncertain times? Paul reminds his friends (and us) of our human vulnerability in a fallen world: fragile . . .earthen . . . clay pots. Because of this, we are to rely on God’s Spirit and the Scriptures to provide the wisdom and strength we need each and every day. In such times, when we feel crushed and broken beyond repair, I have found it helpful to distance myself to from whatever has happened and then ask God to give me His eyes to see two things:
- The blessing of His protection and provision–that He is with me always.
- To learn (and remember!) whatever lesson He wants to teach me..
The blessing is that Paul doesn’t leave is in our vulnerable uncertainty, but encourages us to embrace the certainty of our hope in spending eternity with Christ Jesus! I especially love that Paul calls us to fix our (spiritual) eyes, not on what is seen, but on what is unseen–God Himself
I invite you to join me in asking God to help us look at the past year through His eyes– to see how He watched over and/or provided for you and I. (For me it was this past August when I was hospitalized. It was a place I greatly feared, and yet through it I received the greatest blessing when He removed my fear and drew me to Himself.)* Also, is there a particular lesson you learned, or insight gained about God, that you want to hold onto as we prepare to enter the coming year? (For me, I will never take hugs for granted again!!!) If so, then please share how God watched over you to encourage others in the comments below!
All to His Glory!
*To read about my journey you’ll find it HERE. . . . ❤️