Life is short, it’s true. But boy, it can be hard sometimes. We are living in strange and confusing times. Universities are closing, borders are locking down, and everyone seems to have the answer to all questions regarding the pandemic. The confusing part is that everyone’s answers are different and while we all think we’re experts, the truth is that none of us are. We haven’t ever dealt with something like this, and can’t pretend that we have. What we can do is the same thing we ought to be doing in any uncertainty or trial: praise God and make Him known among the nations.
Many of us have more on our minds and plates than the coronavirus. The world and all its trials do not pause for pandemics, and so while this is a big deal right now, so are relational struggles, financial strain, wayward children, church conflict, etc. It can feel like a lot. Personally, all of the chaos of this virus came at an already challenging time. My heart was already weary and battling fear. I was already clinging to Christ for the strength to make it through some tough trials. I was already finding myself longing more and more for the restoration and tearlessness of heaven.
Then a pandemic hit and was the icing on the cake. I imagine many of you are in the same boat. Life is hard, with or without a global health crisis.
In the midst of this crazy and chaotic world it is really easy to look at Facebook or Instagram and forget that behind each post, comment, or share, there is a human being who is walking through the same hard life that you and I are. Not one person who has seen our posts, shared that link, or liked that comment is without sorrow and suffering today. Most of them will never tell the world what is breaking their heart right now. Most of them will carry on quietly with tears hidden from the internet. But they all have them. They are all desperate for hope.
Everything we share hits a soul, one that is weary from walking this war torn land. How often do we consider that before we press the button unleashing our opinions onto them?
I don’t do it nearly enough. I am obsessed with my own opinions and rarely think of the souls behind the screens of posts I am so quick to share and send. Now is not the time for that though. Now is the time to offer hope to a world that is torn. Now is the time to share living water with a parched soul. Now is the time to pray earnestly for those we love (and those we find hard to love) who are hurting and scared. We are children of the living God and have more than statistics and opinions to share, we have hope. Real, living hope.
If you’re like me, it’s easy to comfort yourself in times of fear and uncertainty by trying desperately to feel like you have some measure of control over what is going on. The more uncertain and fearful I really am, the more defensive I become. So I think just as we ought to consider the souls behind the people reading what we share, we also ought to consider the souls behind the stuff we are reading.
They have real lives too, and they are living in the same broken world. Sometimes those who are hurting and afraid do not respond in silence, but in speaking (or sharing) more than ever before. In a frantic search for answers, security, and clarity, we can go nuts trying to find the answers and get them out to the public. I know for certain I have done this many times. Almost every time it wasn’t because I was convinced I had the answers, but the very opposite. I was terrified and adopting a “fake it ’til you make it” method of dealing with the anxiety.
We all need hope and grace and prayers. Those of us who are scared to open an article for fear of what the current death rates are and those of us who are sharing our fifth medical analysis for the day. Because we are all in the same place, we are all living in a broken world and in earnest need of a hope stronger than the fear threatening to knock us down.
We all have opinions regarding how everything ought to be handled. From childbirth to education to church matters to the stock market to caring for family to job situations to eating habits to auto maintenance to the coronavirus. I have opinions, and in the last few days I have been so tempted to share them. But I really don’t know if I should. Because the world may not need my opinions, but it most definitely needs Jesus and His life giving truth of the gospel. The world needs to see His name praised and His wonderful works made known. This weary world needs hope, and we, the church, have it to share.
My heart is broken right now, and yours probably is too. Personal struggles and trials are heavy. There are questions that bog down and sadness that feels overwhelming at times. On top of that, the world around us is swirling and the foundations of society are shifting, whether we like it or not. I need hope. You need hope. We all need hope.
I believe the only way to find the hope we so desperately need is to be reminded that Jesus is still King, He was enough to save us from our sins and He is enough to carry us home. His right hand upholds us in heartbreak, confusion, coronavirus fears, and all.
Dear believers, let us all think twice before we pull out our screens and shout loud and clear from our media accounts as to whether or not what we have to say is what the souls of those who will see it need to hear. Let us all think twice before we misinterpret what he or she said and first consider the state of the soul who shared it. Those reading and those sharing both are walking a hard road, and both need the same hope. Remembering that changes what we say and how we hear. It also changes how we pray.
There is one message I can guarantee this world will always need, and that is the message of Jesus Christ coming to set sinners free and the promise that He is returning to end tears forevermore. If that doesn’t offer hope for broken hearts and pandemics, I don’t know what does.
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw a holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.’ And He who was seated on the throne says, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ Also He said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.'”
-Revelation 21:1-5 ESV
These words are trustworthy and true. Here it hurts. Here it is scary. Here it is broken. Here it is weeping. But behold, He will make all things new with the wiping of our tears, the ceasing of our pain.
Fear not, He is sure, and He has promised to come again and take us Home. Regardless of statistics, press conferences, unforeseen heartache, or the articles being shared at rapid fire speed, we have hope in a seemingly hopeless world, and we cannot keep it hidden, for all the world needs to hear it.
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.