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Facing Our Friday

Today, as this terrible pestilence called Covid19 rages all over the world, churches all over the country have had to cancel services, due to the quarantine restrictions. Even the sacred Easter services we hold so dear have been cancelled. And we find ourselves isolated, fearful, and wondering what is in store for us, wondering when life will ever get back to normal. Some have already suffered terrible losses, and this thing has not even peaked yet. The news is bleak, and things may seem hopeless. The future is unknown.

At this time in our lives, we find we have much in common with the disciples of Jesus on that terrible Friday, when their Lord was crucified. They too were isolated from their community and alone. They too were in fear for their lives. They too were wondering what was going to happen next. Their news was bleak, and things seemed to be hopeless.They had suffered a tremendous loss, and their future was yet unknown.

We have such a hard time with the unknown, don't we? It's a control issue: we want to be in charge of our own future, our own destiny. That's our human nature. And that is why this pandemic that is sweeping across not just our own country, but the while world, is so frightening to us: because we have no control. We did nothing to cause it, that was beyond our control. We don't know who will be affected next, or how bad it will be. It's beyond our control. We are facing shortages of everyday necessities, everything from bread and milk and toilet paper, to sanitizing items and medical needs, like masks and gloves. These shortages are beyong our control, too.

We can do a little to fight it, but it requires tremendous sacrifices that just aren't that easy to make: socially isolating ourselves, giving up the things we enjoy, doing without things we have always taken for granted. Not going to work - which brings up a whole plethora of other worries. How can I make the mortgage payment, the car note, pay the gas and electric bills? What will we live on? The stock market has tanked, and who knows when it will recover? What will I do if I lose my 401K and my retirement savings?

And what if we do get this virus, or a loved one does? What happens to us then? There may not be enough hospital beds, or enough ventilators, or protective equipment, all of which are lacking all over the world. There may not be enough medical personel to take care of us. And because of the quarantine orders, if we wind up in the hospital we will be there alone; no loved ones can visit us, or if our loved one winds up hospitalized, we cannot visit them. We'll be alone, isolated, with no control over the circumstances.

See what I mean about having so much in common with the disciples? The situation they were in on that dark Friday was a lot like the situation we are in today. Circumstances look bleak, like all hope is gone. Things are out of our control, and there's precious little we can do. We feel alone, lonely, helpless, and scared, just like they did on that terrible Friday.

But my friends, that terrible dark Friday was NOT the end of the story. God was in control, and all that pain and suffering Jesus went through was by God's Divine plan. There was a purpose for it all. Sunday was coming, when Jesus Christ would rise up from the grave, bringing the promise of eternal life.

As we face our own Friday, we can remember that while WE have no control over these difficult circumstances, GOD does. He is Sovereign over all, and everything that touches our lives is either brought by Him or allowed by Him for His good purpose. We have to learn to surrender all control to Him, trusting that Sunday will certainly come. These troubles we are facing now may seem overwhelming to us, but I assure you, based on God's own word, they are not overwhelming to Him. His is the power over all, even over death. We can safely and confidently trust an unknown future to a known, loving, Sovereign God.

If you have never before accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, there is no better time than right now. Who knows - this might be the last chance you'll have. Tomorrow is not guaranteed to any of us. And it is only through Jesus that we are made children of God. It is only through Him that we can have hope for the future in the midst of any and all difficult circumstances. It is only through Jesus that we have the promise of eternal life. It is only through Him that we have the all promises of God in our lives, for as the Bible says,

For all the promises of God
in Him are yes, and in Him
Amen, unto the glory of God
by us. (2 Corinthians 1:20)

Yes, we are living in very trying times, in a very frightening situation, just as the disciples did back then. But we must learn to trust in God, and learn the lessons He is trying to teach us through this time. We must keep our eyes not on these difficult circumstances, but on Jesus, our hope and our deliverer. Then, beloved children of God, we can have the faith to patiently wait for our Sunday to arrive!



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