Often, we don’t realize where our security lies until something disrupts it. As believers of the Bible, when we read the Scriptures we are reminded of where our true refuge lies. The psalmist David writes, “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.”(Ps. 18:2a). David also refers to God as “an ever-present help in trouble” (Ps 46:1). The apostle Paul writes in Romans chapter eight that nothing will ever separate us from the love of God that we have through Christ Jesus our Lord.
If we believe the Scriptures to be the truth, then we can rest in the promises found within them. But, life is unpredictable—conflicts can distract our focus and upset our mood, circumstances can force us to pause or even bring our lives to a halt. Even the most devout Christians, the ones that have grown up in church and studied the Bible and have a strong theological stance can be caught unaware by an event or a circumstance that threatens to disrupt and bring all those firmly rooted beliefs into question. We are all human and have all fallen short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23)—broken vessels in need of God’s grace. But, when the snow globe of our lives is unexpectedly shaken, we become abruptly aware of where we have placed our hope. We might even be surprised and maybe even a little embarrassed to admit how much our faith was tested. No matter where you find yourself in the journey, whether you classify yourself as flexible to change or not, the harsh reality brings with it a bittersweet awakening. The process is painful, but also necessary for transition and growth.
It is my guess, that many of us currently find ourselves in such a place. Most of the day to day things that we clung so tightly to have been halted and rearranged. I’m sure it has invoked a plethora of colorful emotions within you as it has for me—frustration, exhaustion, and fear, just to name a few. These last six months (yes, it has been that long) have certainly stirred the pot. When we look at our homes, schools, churches, workplaces, restaurants, and grocery stores, all we see is something different—the “new normal”. It’s almost like we are experiencing culture shock and we never needed to board a plane or even leave home. In a lot of ways, we should all band together having shared many of these experiences with those in our local community; but, strangely, we are more divided than ever.
I’m sure many of you have heard this familiar, missional phrase, “some are called to go and some are called to send.” While I believe this remains true, I see a unique opportunity for you and me. Yes someday soon, my family and I will leave our home to serve alongside those in the Dominican Republic, and maybe God might be calling you to serve globally too, but for the rest of those whom God has called to be senders, this may be a chance for you to see your community through new eyes. Maybe it’s time to look at this “new normal” as a “new mission”?
Right now, God is redirecting this country and bringing the mission field to us. When you walk out your doorstep each day imagine you are stepping into new, unfamiliar territory—new customs, new processes to follow. And with all this newness comes the opportunity to reestablish our trust and hope in Jesus Christ, the author, and perfector of our faith. A chance to align or maybe even realign our thinking once more into God’s global mission. His heart is for all people no matter where they call home. Once you catch that picturesque mountain-top view, it will leave you speechless—in awe of the scope of God’s boundless love and compassion for his beloved creation. There is power when we dare to change our perspective and broaden our scope. We begin to notice people God places in our path—they aren’t just human obstacles to avoid, but rather an opportunity God has placed before us. The young person taking our order at the drive-thru, the one waiting in line behind us at the pharmacy—they are the very people God has placed in our path at this specific time and place. We forget how providential this truly is. We are honestly just too consumed in our busyness to see his mission.
The prophet of Isaiah reminds the people of Israel that the same God that parted the Red Sea to free them from Egyptian captivity would be the same God to rescue them from their Babylonian captors. He delivers the Lord’s powerful message to them saying, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Is 43:19). This same message is the one we must be reminded of amid our own present lives. God is faithful and unchanging. Those same promises exist for us during this pandemic. Even though we don’t see with our physical eyes, God is doing a mighty work within all of us. He is preparing the soil of many hearts to receive the good news. There are many lost and searching, many who have no hope left to stand. The least of these may be your very neighbors in your community.
If you are ready to join alongside other fellow believers who are committed to spreading the love of Christ in this new mission, join me in offering up this prayer of commitment today…
Father, show me what you have for me this day. Break my heart for what breaks yours. Slow my pace, broaden my scope, and give me new eyes to see those you have placed in my path this day. Let me be an instrument of your glory. Give me a purpose in my day to day that is unknown to even me. I long to serve you and be an active participant in your global mission right where you have me. As my feet hit the pavement, may you remind me that I am united with all believers both near and far. Guide my footsteps and make my heart one with yours. May your message be proclaimed to all people and let it start with me. Use this willing vessel and fill me with your love and grace so that I may pour out over all who I meet this day. In the precious name of your Son Jesus, I pray, Amen.