Don’t Fear: Live Out Your Mission!
There is hope amongst the living. There is power in fellowship. Sometimes a hug is the difference between peace and despair.
Who knew sentences like those would become controversial?
Who could have predicted that being amongst the living; gathering with friends; and hugging a coworker could be harshly judged and seen as irresponsible?
What a crazy era we are living through.
It’s been awhile since I’ve written a blog post, and much has happened in my life.
While much of the country has been living a life in sequestered seclusion since March, for me, 2020 has been a marathon endurance event that I’ve had to run like a sprint. There has been very little breathing room or time for deep reflection. The staccato has been: Go. Go. Go. Go. Do. Do. Do. Do. Keep on going. Keep on going.
It’s been the same for everyone at the ministry where I work. People suffer, and still need food. Even with eviction moratoriums, rent still accumulates; landlords want to be paid. The daily ministry business must get done.
This year we received a record number of donations, and helped an unprecedented number of people (thank you God!) Until recently, I booked every single donation; deposited and cut every single check. The human resources challenges have been overwhelming and often difficult to navigate as we stewarded our staff through the COVID crisis. My job required my presence, and even on the days when I worked remotely, the need to work, and work hard, stayed consistent.
My year has been defined by a strong sense of determination and purpose; a stark contrast to many other people, who have been forced to float in a seemingly perpetual holding pattern while we watch the pandemic unfold.
Most of the jobs in our ministry require our physical presence. And, while my family was able to stay home and quarantine, isolating was not something I could do…at least not much.
I’ve been going out into the world, pushing fear and angst aside, because there was a greater mission.
There is still a greater mission.
The truth is that, though a good portion of the workforce works remotely, there are many who cannot.
As this COVID epidemic wears on, I’ve become increasingly aware of how different the effects of this pandemic each person’s life. So much depends on your age, your work situation, and where you live in the nation.
There are people who are able to work at home, rarely leave the house and even wear a mask while driving alone in their cars.
There are people who are high-risk and still work full time with the general public because they feel their calling usurps any inherent risk that may come from the virus.
Some people have kept their kids at home, isolated from all other children. Others go to the park and let their kids mix with the general public.
Some states have closed their churches, not allowing public gathering or even singing; other churches are meeting indoors, implementing precautions to limit the risk of exposure to COVID.
The presence of fear permeates our country; fear of being close to each other; fear of sickness; fear of dying…and the news channels, as always, perpetuate that fear. As we surf the thin line between prudence and fear, fear continues to win.
I’ve been living this season with several truths resonating in my heart, and perhaps they will encourage you today:
- Every day ordained for us was decided before we were even born (Psalm 139:16). I might get sick. I may die from COVID. I may get in an accident going to the grocery store…the fact is that nothing I can do will change God’s timing for my life, and the number of days that were ordained for me. So, I will be prudent and wise…and I will also trust that even if I get sick, God’s greater plan is at work.
- God may call us to serve in dangerous situations, but the safest place we can be is exactly where He intends us to be. That is where His divine protection resides. The world needs love, hope and encouragement now more than ever. A friendly smile is hard to come by in a masked and isolated world…
- As Christians, we believe in eternal life. When we die, our lives don’t end. So, even if we die pursuing our purposes, we win in the end, because we are with Christ. There truly is no sickness; no peril, no conflict; no enemy to fear. We know the conclusion, and it is beyond good. There is so much freedom in that truth.
This is the drumbeat of hope that has kept me going during 2020. This is the staccato that has kept my pace moving forward, forward, forward, to help, serve and encourage the people God brings into my path.
God’s purpose for my life in 2020 was not to isolate, but to immerse myself even more fully in the lives of the community around me. Following that purpose with my coworkers meant bills were paid; hundreds of rent and utility checks were cut; and thousands of people were fed.
God’s purpose for your life in 2020 likely looks different than mine, but it is just as important. I encourage you today to live out your purpose with diligent wisdom, and without fear.
As Psalm 91 says, we do not need to fear sickness or war or strife when we draw close to God. He will protect and guide us as we accomplish the purposes He has for us in our generation.