I think we all agree that these times of pandemic have changed all of our plans and our routines. The physical distancing has made it difficult for us to do some tasks, to be able to share quality time with those we love and we see how the churches have also been affected.
Meditating on the Lord about these times, it came to my mind the times when the apostle Paul was locked up, in jail, and isolated from the plans he had about his missionary trips. But did Paul put his ministry on pause because he was isolated? Definitely not.
From prison, he influenced people, continued to cultivate his relationship with God, and wrote letters that are part of the Bible as we know it today. The power of God and his work does not stop at four walls. It only took a man called by God, who in complete humility and disposition placed himself in the hands of God.
We read verses like the ones I shared in the beginning and we often raise praise to God telling him to use us, to do his will, but do I make myself available? I am willing? When they call for volunteers for an assignment, do I volunteer?
The world is full of people who go with the flow. The world needs people who remember that they are the church of God and that the church is not made up of a building or a meeting place. Can those who see me say that they understand what the church is? Do you see the character of God in us? How have the lives around me been impacted on a daily basis?
These times call for creative, special measures. All we can accomplish is by the grace of God. What prevents me from serving? What prevents me from saying “here I am”?
Our ministries don’t stop. If I have stopped my ministry and am not doing anything, I must present myself in complete humility and transparency before God and ask him to help me and direct me to act according to his will. What we lack is probably direction, because training is always from God. All the good we can do comes from Him.
In times of greater darkness, the stronger the church must shine, reflecting the light of Christ. It is at night that the moon shines the brightest. The moon has no light of its own, it reflects sunlight. Although we can see it during the day, in the presence of the sun it doesn’t make much difference. It is in difficult times that the church must consecrate itself and be a reflection of God and not the world. If my drawback from serving is my job, my entertainment, my economic situation, that I hope others will do it or that I do not feel qualified, the root of everything is the status of my relationship with God.
Let us pray to the Lord to help us to be the church that the world needs and not people who get confused with the current of this world. May we make ourselves available before waiting for others to come and we can understand the privilege of being used by the Lord to carry his message. May we recognize that there is nothing in us that enables us to produce spiritual fruit except the Holy Spirit who indwells us and convicts and directs us according to God’s Word and his will. May we finally surrender to the Lord and say: “Here I am.”