The following is my contribution to the Oak Grove Baptist Church Newsletter for September 2020:“For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul.” – Jeremiah 31:25 (NKJV)
Two-thirds of the year has passed by, and a phenomena has been largely reported about how the events of this year have distorted the perception of the passage of time. Call it whatever you like, but I would tend to agree. Especially before we physically met in church again with social distancing, I sometimes had difficulties recalling what day it was in the week. I have read that this has been an even bigger issue for states that are/were severely locked down, and I believe it. In a weird way, I find that time feels both faster and slower. It’s like, “Where did this year go?”, but it is also like, “When will this year end?”
That factor has, frankly, contributed to a sense of weariness for me. I find myself torn between my impulses to try to get everything I can affect back to normal to also being concerned about others who are medically more vulnerable than I who aren’t quite ready to return to whatever normal used to be. It’s exhausting trying to chart a correct course for my responsibilities, both within the church and outside of it. My heart breaks for my Christian brothers and sisters in other states that I may not know personally, but I know they are just like me. They want to freely worship together with others in their church houses, yet state mandates restrict assembling entirely. Fines are being assessed to churches who only want to exercise their freedom to worship Jesus. My sorrow is felt deeply for them, and sadness is real that we aren’t fully back to where I know I want things to be personally.
This verse speaks to the hope we must cultivate daily. It’s God-given, so we can’t expect to get it from anything else. He is our Fountain, our Provider, our Healer, and our Preserver. I’m thankful for all we can do in our church (even if it isn’t everything I want to be able to do just yet) and for how we have helped other churches look to what they can do too. Keeping things in perspective is difficult, but my God is bigger than all this trouble. Navigating life is just harder right now, but God is who we must look to for relief. Prayerfully, He will show each of us what is best.