Beloved, we are God’s children now; but it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. I John 3:2
These words came to me the other day as I was thinking about what our “new normal” might be after this COVID-19 pandemic. As restrictions are lifted and we are able to resume some activity and gathering, it will be different. Experiences like this change us – much like the world changed after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the assassination of President Kennedy, or 9/11. It is hard to come out of these ex-periences unscathed or not be affected by what we have experienced.
I find a lot of consolation in the words of John’s epistle, because as we move forward we really don’t know what things will be like in the future, how we will fully function again, and how this crisis will change us, the church, and our com-munity. But one thing we do know, God will “redeem” this time and use it for his purposes. Good will emerge from this experience though it is hard for us to see or claim that truth right now.. In other words, we will be what God intends for us to be…..
The hope I find in this time is that God will create something new in each of us. Maybe he will create in us a longing for a deeper relationship with him, and a greater desire in us to “put first things first,” to weed out some of the non-essentials in our lives that promote undue stress and needless anxiety. I developed some new patterns in my own life, patterns that have been helpful, patterns that have drawn me closer to God. I think many of us have. I treasure the simple things more, and I find that so much of what I worried about previously, really didn’t matter so much in the long haul. Crisis has a way of reminding us of what’s really important.
No, we don’t know yet what all of this will mean but God is working in each of us, to create what he intends, and to use our experiences during this time to remind us of how deeply we are loved. If we can reclaim that truth, then perhaps that will be the greatest learning we can have.
With Easter hope,