You can read blogs, articles, posts and opinions about the Coronavirus and its impact on our country and cities in multitudes of places. I have no desire to try and communicate what others are doing a marvelous job doing. I just got to thinking about the implications for our context here in South Jersey, especially for those who are Jesus-followers.
For the next 4-8 weeks life is going to look very different. Contact with others is going to be limited. We are going to get large doses of alone time or family time. Fears of heath and financial issues are going to sit in the forefront of many people's thinking. Boredom will be an issue for many as theaters, gyms, restaurants and other stores are shutting down. This is going to be the new "normal."
What keeps going through my mind is that this situation is temporary. At some point later this year, we will be back to living closer to how we are used to and we will tell stories about this short period. It strikes me that we get to decide now how we are going to tell those stories.
- Will they be stories of fear or trust?
- Will they be stories of how we endured or how we actually flourished in it?
- Will they be stories of how we missed everything and it was terrible or how we grew in our relationships with God and others?
- Will they be horror stories or will they be hope filled stories?
- Will they be stories of how we isolated or how we boldly lived as God's ambassadors in a difficult time?
We actually get to choose what that story will be like. So as you embrace this new normal and take all the appropriate precautions, ask God to show you how this can be a time of joy, hope and maybe even a time of refreshment and replenishment. I, for one, am looking forward to sitting around the table during Thanksgiving this year and sharing stories of how God worked in and through this time.
Weldon Lemke has been leading Hope Chapel since 2009 with a passion to see people come to know God and grow to maturity in Him.