Author: Mikayla McClain, Youth Pastor
Quarantine is tough. There has been a habit ingrained over the years in me to get out of bed each day and get ready so that I can embark on what the day has to bring. Screeching halt. I now have at my hands the curse and blessing of rolling over in bed, grabbing my laptop and begging my work day. Thoughts that have crossed my mind during this time — “What’s the point?” “I’ll just pick this all up when things are ‘back to normal’.” “Why would this happen to our world God?” and even just “Why God?”
But the truth of the matter is this — the God of the world doesn’t owe us anything; not our normalcy, not our jobs, not our sense of rhythm, not even our health. The once-whiny “but this isn’t fair” from a toddler has now become the norm coming from all of us, to which I say — this is so incredibly true, our circumstances are certainly not fair. As humans, we harm one another, harm ourselves, and go against God’s nature all our life long to find out God-incarnate died on a cross for us. His perfect life, death and resurrection redeemed us from all the aforementioned junk we did and the earthly and eternal consequence we should receive. But yet we get to live here on earth and continue eternally. I can’t think of something any more unfair than this. If this world truly operated based on what was fair, we would all get exactly what we deserve. I don’t know about you, but I’m certainly thankful I have not been given what is fair in this life. It is all to Him I owe. And with this in mind, I can look at all obstacles around me as a part of this journey, not something horrible put in my path to pay me back nor trying to spin it as a blessing, but with the idea that we can remove our eyes from the challenge itself and be reminded of why we get to live in the first place.
This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24
For me, I will choose to remain the course in loving all those around me and keeping love for those I do not yet know. I will choose to pursue living like Jesus did, reaching with love especially to those outcast, out of reach, and rejected. As we join together with more time on our hands than ever to focus on what matters most, here’s a few things we can do to reach those around us with a fervor to see all find the love of God.
Pray. Jesus shows us examples of retreating to prayer and solitude all throughout the gospels. When was the last time we sat down with a list of names in front of us? Names of those who need healing of their physical bodies and healing in their hearts and minds. If we want to see revival in our communities, we must first lean into what God is already speaking and move with God toward those in need and those ready and seeking to come to Him. How arrogant for me to believe I can reach anyone around me without seeking the guidance of God daily. I choose to commune with God even more in these times and humbly ask for guidance toward those in need.
Recognize your influence. We don’t have to be an instagram influencer to reach people, in fact we will reach more people by the genuine passion for following Jesus we express each and every day through how we live. Some of us have found ourselves not posting online about our faith because we “just need to live it out” and people will see. Limiting our expression of faith to any one area of our lives was a luxury just like our non-essential travel and gatherings. It’s time to allow our faith to truly express itself, to our families, those we may be taking care of, and especially to our online presence. Make bringing love to all people your ultimate goal and let it be seen clearly.
You will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere — in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8
Innovate. Wherever you’re at reading this — whether a student, churchgoer, community member, leader or influencer — know that you have always held the power to innovate and move the world forward. We now just have the time to see this has always been true. When we can resume our large gatherings and embrace one another, that joyous day will be incredible and I can’t wait, trust me. But until then, what can we create to interact with one another? Serve one another? Reach the lost, broken, and in pain? What’s the idea you’ve been sitting on? Song you’ve been meaning to write? New strategy you’ve been waiting to present until just the right time? The time is now to reach out, step forward, and begin to use the brilliance given us to bring light to the world. To the students who have been wondering when “their time” is. Your time is now. People all around you need what you have to offer.
Let’s set our eyes not on our evaluation of what’s fair, but on the great privilege we have to live. Let us pray, influence, and innovate to see great change for good during this time. I’m certain we will.