COVID-19 is certainly affecting the way we do life these days. Do I think this is the new norm? No, only for awhile. But, yes, there has been an impact on our lives. We don’t do church the same way. This is our second week of having our sermon and worship online. I’m going to put a link right here to our sermon in case you want to watch it before you finish reading my blog post.
It’s easy to get depressed when we are supposed to be practicing social distancing. We are made to have relationships. We need each other. Have we forgotten this in the digital age we live in. We can follow each other on Facebook or Instagram, talk on the phone, or even have a video conference. But, it’s not the same as being able to reach out and touch someone. Or shake a hand or give a hug. How I miss that kind of interaction! And talking face to face with my friends and family.
Do you feel like God’s forgotten you in this pandemic and left you all alone? In today’s sermon, Jon Porter talks to us about a time in the past when the Israelites, God’s chosen people, had disobeyed him again. They chose to hide themselves in the caves. They lived there for a time and tried to sustain their lives in isolation. They planted crops in the fields around them, but the Midianites always came when the crops were ready and took all there was leaving nothing for them.
Gideon, hid in his cave using a wine press to try and thresh the wheat. It would have been near impossible to accomplish this without the wind to blow away the chaff. He was feeling like God had forgotten about him just like we find also in Psalm 28:1-2 To you, O Lord, I call; my rock, be not deaf to me, lest, if you be silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit. Hear the voice of my pleas for mercy, when I cry to you for help, when I lift up my hands toward your most holy sanctuary.
But , the Lord sent a prophet to the people of Israel. And he said to them, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I led you up from Egypt and brought you out of the house of slavery. And I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all who oppressed you, and drove them out before you and gave you their land. And I said to you, ‘I am the Lord your God; you shall not fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell.’ But you have not obeyed my voice.” Judges 6:7-10
The angel of the Lord, appeared to Gideon and said, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.” Judges 6:12 Gideon was counting himself as nothing and replied, “Please, my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us int the hand of Midian.” Judges 6:1
When we think of ourselves as nothing, we forget that God has another perception of us. A mighty man of valor is what the angel called him! “And the Lord turned to him and said, ‘Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?” Judges 6:14
We are God’s “Plan A”. We, the Church, need to be who He’s called us to be. I know it’s not always easy to fight the battles we face by ourselves, but here is some advice from our pastor.
To effectively fight external battles, we have to daily win the internal ones. 1 Take time to ask God hard questions 2 Get in God’s word 3 Discipline yourself. Make a routine. Put God at the top of that routine 4 Choose to stay positive 5 Be productive. Claim a win every day 6 Ask God to use you and stay positioned for possibilities
So how has God chosen to use you in this pandemic? Have you asked him how you can help? I love the women in our church that have rallied to make masks for the nurses who are in the hospitals on the front line, working to help those who are suffering from this awful disease that is sweeping our nation and our world. What can you do? Is there a neighbor that you can get groceries for? Check especially on the elderly. Reach out to those around you with whatever gifts you have to offer.
God didn’t bring us this far and forget our names. – Bob Goff
What is the name you hear God calling you, mighty child of God? He hasn’t forgotten us. He’s here with us through the tough times. Listen to him calling your name. Spring is coming and with it a renewal.