The Gift of Disruption
by Jason Caywood
What strange circumstances have been thrust upon us these recent days. Much has been said about the impact of the spread of the covid-19 virus, from concerns about economic impact, people losing their jobs, concerns for public health and the impeding of civil and constitutional rights by officials in government. Many more words, both useful and useless, will pour forth in the coming months and years.
I have been pondering these questions: What is God doing in and among people during this time characterized by fear, sometimes panic and greed (hoarding items only to sell them online for inflated prices)? How might we begin to see beyond the immediate concerns of our own and pick up on the clues to the Spirit’s activity among us?
Consider how you have responded to having your routines upended, your income diminished, your family members at risk of getting ill, your job ending through no fault of your own. What have you felt emotionally? How has your sleep patterns been affected? Has your perception of other people (especially their needs) increased or diminished? How has your perception of God changed (if it has)? How we have answered these questions is telling about the inner disposition of our hearts toward God and a demonstration of the idols we hold to.
Can we perceive in this time that God has designs for bringing great spiritual blessings to ourselves and to our neighbors? Are we willing to allow God to squeeze us with external pressures so as to highlight our sinful patterns and make it clear to us what needs to be healed within? Will we thank God for all things and perceive the opportunities laid before us to bear witness to our Lord Jesus Christ and his Gospel? How has your perception of God changed (if it has)? How you have answered these questions is telling about the inner disposition of your heart toward God and a demonstration of the idols we hold to.
I am at a loss to speak of what God is working into and out of me, my family members, my friends and my neighbors. This seems to be a time when the Lord is simply telling his people: Wait upon me. For those of us are accustomed to full and active routines of person to person service in churches and ministries like this one, this is even stranger territory to navigate and we are asking what is coming next and what we are to do now. To us, and indeed to all of his sons and daughters around the globe, the Lord simply says, “I will speak clearly when it is time, but you must be able to hear me.”
The capacity to hear the Lord’s voice within, and to discern the different ways he will communicate with his people in these days, requires that we ready ourselves during this time of testing. That is why I posted these many questions. These are the kind of questions I am asking, with a willingness to receive light from the Holy Spirit in regard to myself and actual loyalties and preoccupations.
I leave you with these questions for reflection and urge you to not waste this precious time to seek the Lord’s face. What we do now will determine how ready we are to take action when the blessed Spirit of Christ begins to unveil the Father’s guidance and directives for ministry to our neighbors and friends. The Lord keep and guide us.