As we wake up today many of us will be wondering, ‘What is going on?’, ‘God where are you in this?’ The authors of the New Testament constantly looked back at Israel’s history to understand the patterns for what God was doing in their confusing times. Through God’s revelation they understood that Jesus was the Son and King that David had been promised, they understood that they were living in the new age that Isaiah prophesied and they knew that the God of the Exodus would bring them safely through. Praise God that we can also know these truths today.
Since the Corona-virus situation has gripped our nation many Christians in the health services and frontline workers have recalled Esther 4:14, ‘For such a time as this’, as well as Daniel’s and his friends trusting God for strength and deliverance in the fire of adversity. I want to encourage all of us today that each of us who follows Jesus has been shaped by God for times like this. Every adversity we have faced in the past, be it grief, loss, disappointment, or whatever, has prepared us to stand in this time. Every act of worship, praise, reading of scripture, time of prayer and fellowship has prepared you to love and trust God right now.
Like Barnabas, inspired by the Spirit in Acts 11, God’s Holy Spirit would say again ‘remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose’. God says again, ‘hold fast to what you have, so that no-one may seize your crown. The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God.’ (Rev 3:11-12) How do we conquer? Keep trusting in Jesus alone. Look to him.
In the fantastic film, ‘Sully: Miracle on the Hudson (2013)’ Captain Sully faces the greatest challenge of his life (spoiler alert!!). In an unprecedented event, both engines on the plane he flying blow and there is no-where to land. Despite incredible stress and difficulty he manages to skilfully land the plane full of passengers on the Hudson River, and no-one is harmed. How did he do this? Thousands of hours of training, flying, checking and small challenges. It all prepared him for this challenge.
In trailer above Sully says, ‘no-one had ever trained us for anything like that’. You may think the same about the Corona virus. But you’d be wrong.
Whether today you are attempting to parent your kids in whole new ways and pulling your hair out, whether you are anxious about food supplies or being alone, whether you yourself are ill and scared or whether you are one of the NHS workers and others, working on the front line- you, like Captain Sully, have been trained by God for this moment! He has shaped you to do what you need to do in this next few days and weeks. He has prepared you. Maybe your calling is to just ‘hold on’, maybe it’s to disciple your kids, maybe it’s to reach out to others who are vulnerable. Do not fear: God knew this was coming and your training was perfect for what he requires from you. Jesus wins, and because you’re in him, so do you. Your eternal resurrection is sure! This is not just ‘positive thinking’ it’s truth rooted in the history of God’s people and our God is the same, yesterday today and forever. Nothing can separate you from the love of God, and he has prepared you perfectly for such a time as this.