Is this a blizzard, winter, or an ice age? This question was posed by a group of leaders in terms of what every person and organization is facing during this global pandemic. The metaphor is clear and poignant: are we preparing for something passing through, a season, or something longer term. The question is a good one, and the answer is somewhat unsatisfactory: we do not know. But the reality of our life in Christ is that we are always in a state of waiting, of longing, of anticipating something better to come. We know that we are living in THIS world, and we want to redeem the time here, to live to the fullest, and to glorify God in all things. But we also know we do this imperfectly because we are still bound in a broken system, a broken and groaning world, and broken fleshly bodies still battling sin. So we prepare and plan, we are proactive in thinking ahead, and we can freely adjust to a new set of circumstances since our mission HAS NOT CHANGED. God is directing all of this. He knows the length and breadth. We are seeking to be faithful in the storm.
Jesus was NOT a victim, but willingly laid His life down for His sheep (John 10:18) – Jesus was in control of all the events leading to His death, was not surprised by anyone, and laid His life down out of love
Jesus does NOT cater to our expectations, but has His own – Jesus opened His arms up wide to any and all who would believe and follow Him, but did not live up to the expectations of those who thought He was going to be a political leader.
Jesus DOES understand us as a sympathetic High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-16) – Because He was fully God and fully man, Jesus lived a real life as a human, experiencing the same things we do: pain, temptation, sorrow, etc. This means that He is uniquely understanding to our plight, so that we can “with confidence draw near to the throne of grace.”
Looking forward to all that God has planned.