How are you doing?
I was looking back and our family has been directly impacted by this thing in some way or another for about a month. It’s hard to remember what the first change was, but it might have been the cancelling of our weekly life group. Shortly after that it was our church services and schools and then the runs on food, cleaners and toilet paper and the closings of restaurants and work locations. I think the realization that brings it all home for me is that our personal experience isn’t much different than other people’s experiences anywhere in the civilized world right now. This thing is truly affecting nearly everyone on the planet. It’s sure has been a month to forget, that we never will.
I don’t know about you, but it all makes me feel very disoriented. I am a creature of habit – I like to do the things I do when and where and how I always do them. Sure, changes occur from time to time, but I am the most comfortable when I exist in a scheduled structure of my own supposed normalcy. I don’t know about you, but this thing we are living through right now ain’t any of that.
So back to my question – How are you doing?
- Are you fearful, worried or terrified about what will happen next?
- Are you angry and frustrated that others are being reckless and not taking this seriously? Or that others are taking this too seriously?
- Are you tired and weary from overwork in combating or managing the very real impacts of this thing?
- Are you bored and on edge because you miss interactions and busyness?
- Or are you just existing, waiting, hoping, praying that this thing will be over soon and things can get back to “normal”?
Whatever you are feeling right now, I understand. I get it.
But maybe we can all take a deep breath and refocus. A few days from now is Palm Sunday the annual celebration of the day that Jesus triumphantly rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, fulfilling the prophecy in Zechariah 9 and starting the greatest week that there ever has been.
9 Rejoice, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet He is humble, riding on a donkey
– Zechariah 9:9
Shortly after that, Jesus was beaten, crucified and killed. He was killed by the thief whose purpose, even today, is to steal (our joy), kill (our faith) and destroy (all hope). But, Jesus is the Good Shepherd and the gate through which we sheep may enter in order that we might find peace. He died, but then rose again on the third day so that we might be saved and so that He may live in us and restore our faith, hope and joy.
9 Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. 10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. 11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. – John 10:9-11
20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. – Galatians 2:20
Maybe this is God’s perfect timing. Maybe His plan is for us to experience this coming week in a different way than we would have normally. Regardless of whether you believe that or not, it is the reality. I propose we embrace where we are and refocus our shifting emotions to Jesus and what happened this next week almost 2,000 years ago.