Resources of Faith, Carriers of Peace
“I have sought fulfillment from [Costco/Walmart/Fred Meyer/Amazon], but from where do my resources really come? My help comes from the One who created all that is good.” Psalm 121:1,2 (recent paraphrase)
Our vision for 2020 has been irreparably altered. Plans have been canceled. Homes have become fortresses. Snide asides about toilet paper being worth its weight in gold are increasingly less funny.
The complacent cocoon we have nurtured, that implies life goes on as always, has been exposed. Individual crises do that all the time — a sudden cancer diagnosis, an unexpected job termination, a cheating spouse unmasked.
But a global challenge that threatens the infrastructure upon which we have blithely depended? That’s something most of us, apart from our vanishing World War II generation, have never experienced.
A microscopic intruder has silently interrupted our naiveté. We are not as invulnerable as we thought.
Perhaps our relative affluence has insulated us from the life-and-death struggle others have historically endured. Your 401k may be groveling in the dust, but it’s beyond comprehension for the refugee woman who daily stands in line for a cup of rice. A home quarantine is frustrating, but it pales in light of the Dachau death camp. My livestream and Zoom church connections are a luxury never afforded to the Waldensian believers.
Lest we imagine these are unprecedented times, we are confronted with the same choice as other generations facing war, financial depression, famine or disease. Simply: When our jobs, our finances and our very lives are at stake, how do we escape the paralysis of fear and instead choose active steps of faith?
Fear is often our automatic reaction to circumstances spiraling out of our control. Empty store shelves are stark testimony that fear prompts us toward acts of self-preservation, in an effort to answer all the “what ifs.” But when, like Peter sinking under the waves, we acknowledge our fear and cry out, “Lord, save us or we perish,” we allow God to build our faith on resources far bigger than our fears. It’s why the apostle Paul could confidently exclaim, “We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Cor. 4:8,9).
Will this present crisis teach us anything of eternal value? The foundation of God’s kingdom, the DNA we must have as His followers, is loving God with all our hearts and our neighbors as ourselves in the best and the worst of times. A relentless commitment to these fundamentals will help bolster local communities physically, financially and mentally shaken to the core. Resolve to become a leader in helpful habits and safe practices. Remain digitally connected with others. Stay informed through credible sources, but refuse to let a sensational media diet turn your eyes from faith to fear. “Peace I leave with you,” Jesus says. “My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).
Our Savior has not left us to navigate these waters alone. As we feed on His words, we will become carriers, not of a viral scourge, but of His peace, a healing balm for those seeking something safe and secure.