A shadow has crept across our landscape with Covid-19 spreading through communities. There’s a tendency to let that shade mute our typical effervescent selves, make our life smaller, less engaged—even quiet our voices. However, God created night, not to bring fear, but to offer rest, rejuvenation and shared moments; to pour back into us what the day has depleted. Night is a provision, not an occasion for fear. We can let it dim our eyes, or trust what could be a new dawn—a reset for his body, and a chance to put fuel back in the tank.
But it requires faith, the kind King George reminded his people of during his famous Christmas day speech of 1939. The people of Great Britain faced a world on the brink of war, and what they heard from their king that morning must have lifted their eyes.
“I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year, give me a light, so I may tread safely into the unknown, but he said to me, go out into the darkness, and put your hand into the hand of God, and it will be to you better than the light, and safer than the known.”
Faith takes on heroic scale when it faces contingency. It’s the only answer in our playbook right now. Will you do as the Psalmist suggests; “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say….”my god in whom I trust.” (Ps 91)
How do we walk by faith under the shadow of disruption, ambiguous loss, and restlessness?
Wait for the dawn. Take a moment and scroll up to the picture. It reminds us of God’s faithfulness. But right now, it is still night. We are overwhelmed by the climbing numbers, constricted by mandates and concerned for loved ones. Our son, and daughter in law work in a hospital, making provision for when, not if they get the virus. Yet, all of this will pass. Life is not meant to be a lived in an unbroken bird-soaring-in-a-cloudless-sun-filled sky kind of fancy. Darkness has its place if we keep the long view in mind. Whether it’s the threat of job loss, the worry over loved ones getting sick, or the general anxiety being felt in the air, God is using it all right now to do a unique work in his body. He can use this night to bring rest if we wait on him. When we do, we will find that a new strength, the kind Isaiah mentions in chapter 40, will be the residual affect when dawn appears.
Watch the eastern sky. Faith sees what unbelief cannot, because hope opens the eyes of our heart in the darkest of times. Even though we do not see the end, we have a God who knows the end, and therefore can be trusted. We don’t have to know much, but we can count on him revealing to our hearts what we need in order to walk by faith. Before this crisis is over, God will begin to give Christians a vision of that first light. They will see it before others, because they will have wed their hearts to hope, which means belief in the goodness of the One who holds all things together. They will see because they had watched for the signs of his leading.
Let your voice be heard. The best part of my morning run is the sound of birds all around me. They have waited until the first light to begin their chatter. In a similar manner, what God has revealed to you during this time, you will make known at first light. Neighbors, loved ones, everyone in fact will have a story about how things were during the deepest night of this pandemic. What is God writing on your heart? Remember it, cherish it, count it as fuel for the days ahead. Others are watching for signs of hope. Your voice could be their answer. Nothing is ever wasted in God’s economy.
Go ahead, stretch out your hand…