COVID-19 Blog

One of the odd things I have discovered that I enjoy about exercise is the feeling of soreness the next day. It hurts, but it hurts in a good way. To me, muscle soreness is an indicator that I am accomplishing something. The goal of any workout is to make yourself better and stronger by exposing your body to stress and trials.

Stress and trials can also be valuable to us outside the gym. When we walk through trials and endure stress, we have a natural opportunity to become better and stronger (Romans 5:3-4; James 1:2-3). While we may not run to trials, we don’t have to completely avoid them because we understand that God can use them to mold us into the image of His Son and make us better disciples. In this period of transition in our current trial, I wanted to share a couple of ways that I believe God is using this time to make us better.

First, I believe we have been forced to look for opportunities instead of programs.  We are incredibly drawn to look for programs to solve our ministry problems. Programs can be good, but the most effective programs are not born from a program search, they are arising when community opportunity collides with church members’ passions that are powered by Divine will. With our regular programs stripped away, we have been forced to serve God by looking for the opportunities around us that we can meet. Neighborhood ministries have begun as members of this body have seen needs that God has equipped them to meet. This is truly beautiful. PRBC will be a healthier church in the future if we continue this focus.

Second, we have realized that corporate worship is a gift not a chore. How many Saturday nights or Sunday mornings have we lamented going to church by saying, “We have to get up and go to church”? This is a stark contrast to this past weekend when many of us said, “We get to go to church!” Our excitement over coming back to church truly echoes Psalm 122. It is not so much the service that we have missed. Instead, our spirits long for the communion of the gathered body of Christ. Our absence from worship has caused us to realize how great a gift corporate worship truly is. I hope that we do not soon forget this lesson and that we will nurture our anticipation and expectations of every Sunday.

Finally, we have been forced to adopt lives of simplicity over busyness. This has been one of the most relaxing springs that my family has had since our children started playing ball. We have spent quality time together that would have been filled with schedules and running. The time that normally would have been dedicated to meetings and appointments has been liberated and reassigned to game nights, movie nights, and conversation. One of the greatest gifts that we can give to the next generation is ourselves—to be present with them and for them. This doesn’t mean that we should abandon all the things that previously kept us busy, but it should make us determined to not become a slave to them again. I hope that we won’t quickly run back to the old taskmasters, habits, and routines that God has delivered us from through this pandemic.

How has your life changed through all of this? What has God taught you? I would love to hear your thoughts. This week, we will be setting up a blog page on our website for our church members. I think it would be helpful for all of us to write down what we have learned and how we have grown. This page will be a place where we can document how God worked in us and His church through COVID-19. I hope you will be willing to share.

I look forward to seeing you again soon.

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