by Pastor Bob Myers
All things being equal, our family has fond memories of being snowed in during big snowstorms. This whole thing started out feeling mostly like that for us, minus the threat to health. But now, I haven’t preached to a live worshipping congregation since I did it over seven weeks and seven thousand miles away in Zimbabwe. I just watched some of the videos of worship to feed my longing and it gives me the sense of being a child looking through a candy store window longingly.
So, we’re not in a weekend blizzard, and the repercussions are more than even a season. That’s been a lot for any of us to take in. Globally, things have at least temporarily changed in drastic ways. If you had told me I would see people in masks at a Home Depot, I would have assumed I was witnessing a robbery. But now if I see someone without a mask, I think of them as someone I better keep a safe distance from. I don’t know about you, but the first time I experienced being in a store with everyone in masks I felt a measurable level of anxiety and loss. When something is sub-normal and not what God intends, we are right to continue to label it as abnormal. Even in the Garden, God said it was not good for us to be alone. I’ll be preaching on some of these dynamics and how to steer through them this Sunday from Philippians 1:3-8.
So, we’re in this together. As someone said, “We’re all in the same storm, but we’re not all in the same boats”. And no boat feels quite right in this storm, it’s not meant to.
But what are the things that do not change?
1. In every season, we have choices.
In the classic book “Search for Meaning” by Victor Frankl, one liberating truth was discovered while suffering in a concentration camp facing the holocaust. That truth was that while we can’t choose our circumstances, we can choose to embrace our purpose. Our purpose is to glorify, call attention to, strengthen and serve the reputation and centrality and glory of Jesus Christ. This can grow in us even in the hardest winter circumstance.
2. Every season is an opportunity for sowing.
May I suggest this as an anchor scripture for us in this season:
Galatians 6:7-10 "Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. 8 Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. 9 So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. 10 Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith."
I’m not a huge fan of March or April. They tease us with warmer weather and then betray us. Someone called April the cruelest of months. But these months are seasons ideal for sowing many seeds. I’m always very grateful in the better months of May and June for the good things I sowed in March and April. Let’s make this a season of sowing in the Spirit of Christ.
3. There will be a day of harvest.
That harvest will bring forth more fruit than we deserved just like the disproportionate blessing between sowing a kernel of corn and reaping ears of corn. I pray and believe that there will be many that we discover were converted, or grew in grace, or stopping dividing and arguing over secondary matters, or who humbled themselves, or who got serious about what they were taking lightly, or who tore down idols that were false identities, and came out of this looking and smelling more like Jesus.
Those three things help me. I have choices in this season. This season is a time of sowing. There will be a season of harvest with disproportionate grace.