The Coming Flood
“I just want things to get back to NORMAL!” While I haven’t uttered these words aloud, other than in jest, I have definitely felt them a lot lately. I feel them every time I have to remind myself not to hug someone on Sunday morning, or even when I quietly hum the words to a favorite hymn. I feel them when I can’t pray with someone (in person) before surgery, and as I try to figure out what we can “do” without gathering. It is frustrating having to distance and learning all of the new, ever changing rules. It is easy to get discouraged and feel hopeless, but then I am reminded of the disciples.
In August, we will be looking at the miracles of Jesus in worship. As I prepare even now for those worship services, I think about how the disciples must have felt. These were men who left their everyday normal lives and followed Jesus on a mission, stranger than they could have ever conceived. He showed up out of nowhere, called them to walk away from their jobs and families, spoke in riddles they rarely understood, and performed miracles beyond their wildest imaginations, usually in answer to their frustration.
The thing is, I really want things to get back to normal. I want that because I know what to do with normal. I know what to expect, how to react, and even what needs to be done. In the middle of this season I am tired of the unknowns, but I also know that progress requires change. When I was in college a pastor helped us understand change this way: Rivers have set paths. In order for a river to change course it requires a flood. Only when everything is destroyed and the flood waters recede can we see the new direction.
Friends, right now we are in the midst of the flood. We are up to our eyeballs in Covid “rain,” and it seems like it may never stop. Here’s the thing though; even when it stops we will still have the flood to deal with. There will be businesses that won’t return, there will be families who have lost loved ones, there will be new school practices, and yes, the way the church functions will probably not be the same. This doesn’t have to be all bad.
Already we can see ways that this has changed our course here in the church. We have become more technologically savvy, both from a church and an individual perspective. People who would have balked at the idea of worship online are finding the blessing in having it available. We have doubled our efforts in communicating with those who have been shut-in, and I know that has been a blessing for both the callers and the callees. In the future there will be many more things that we are forced to do differently and so we will do them better, or will do something new. Just like when Jesus called the disciples into something new, the good news is that God is on this journey with us. Even though we long for what was, even though our limited vision is frustrating, the good news is that God has something incredible for our future. We just need to hold on a bit longer and put our trust in him.