This week I have found myself reflecting on the last year. It was this time last year that the pandemic was starting to ramp up and we were seeing horror stories of virus spread and death. We were seeing a future for everyone that was potentially going to be drastically different, unlike anything humans have witnessed in around 100 years. As the days turned to weeks, and the weeks to months, and the months to a year, I find myself lamenting the situation we have found ourselves in. I’ve been lamenting the loss of loved ones by many we know and are close to. I find myself lamenting for those who ended up so sick it has drastically altered their lives. I find myself lamenting the change in how we have gathered over the last year.
While it is perfectly acceptable for us to lament, we also need to remember where our hope is found. Just today, I was reading Romans 8:18-25:
18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
God used this passage to remind me today that our hope is found in him alone! We can be hopeful, because God’s Kingdom is still being built even through times that have caused such great loss and despair. God has continued to work in and through his people even if it wasn’t possible to meet together in the way that we were use to and found comfortable. God has moved through online technology in ways that many (myself included) never dreamed would be possible. We serve a God who is still in control and is bigger than even a global pandemic!
One of the lessons I believe God has been teaching me over the last year, is that we need to dream God sized dreams. He has big plans that he wants to use us to fulfill, but often we are not able to conceive just how that would be possible, and we limit try to limit God, sometimes without even realizing we are doing so. God has been challenging me to think bigger and allow him to shape my response to his dreams, not to my own. Now I’ll be the first to admit that this is scary. God is starting to give me some dreams that I do not know how they are actually possible, however, I have told God that I will continue to pray and have resolved to ask him to continue to give me his eyes and his vision, even though it is blowing my mind.
Friends, I believe God has great things in store for his kingdom in the days to come. I believe God wants to do big things that are beyond our capability, which will keep us from being able to take any credit. I believe that God wants to do those things through us, right here in our context. I do not yet know what that all looks like, but I ask you all to be on your knees in prayer with me yielding ourselves to God and allowing him to change our hearts and our eyes to see his vision and his dreams for our village, our city, and our world while waiting expectantly for God to do just that!
Journeying together with you,
~ Pastor Todd