I dropped out of “uni” (university) last the weekend. It wasn’t my plan, and I’ll pick it back up when I can but I didn’t have a choice. It all started with an email.
I’d asked for a definition of an ‘impacted student’ the uni was using relating to COVID-19. I have 4 children, 3 of whom are at school, and I needed to know if I fell into the category in the event schools closed.
I was floored by the reply. I was not an impacted student but the uni was making courses available online.
I had thousands of dollars at stake. How was I supposed to look after 4 children full-time, trying to teach 3 of them, and study full-time as well?
The following morning the Premier of my state announced children should be kept home from school wherever possible. Our house, with the support of the children’s teachers, has become a home school.
Life in Uncertain Times
My 10-year-old daughter hates COVID-19. It’s stopped her dance school, canceled parties, youth group, and playdates. She says, ‘It’s ruining my life.’
Coronavirus is affecting everyone. There have been 4,093 cases in Australia (1,918 in my state alone) as I write. But its impact stretches further.
Uncertainty abounds. The Federal Government says one thing, the State Government says another. What may be true one day is no longer the case the next.
People don’t know if they’ll be working from week to week. Finances may be ripped away in a moment. It puts stress on budgets and relationships. Social distancing can quickly lead to social isolation and loneliness.
Panic buying and hoarding speak volumes. At best, it speaks of our selfishness, our ‘me-first’ attitude; at worst, the breakdown of community where I believe there’s no one who will help if I need it.
Religious gatherings are banned in Australia at the moment, so churches live-streamed services over the weekend. So there’s been a rush to get online.
I’ve seen so many ‘How to Live-Stream your Church’ and ‘Crises-Proof your Church‘ articles recently. I struggle with this because technology is good, but I’m being overwhelmed by the ‘how to’s’ rather than the gospel. It makes me feel like the ‘church’ is pinning its hope on technology instead of Jesus.
To be totally honest, we don’t need more live-streamed churches. We don’t need more blogs, or books, or podcasts. Christians, and not-yet-Christians, need to know is that God is with them.
My 10-year-old understands this. She made this picture reminding herself that God was with her.
The hope of our world isn’t found in live-streaming church services, our hope is in Jesus. God’s not forgotten you, he’s not ignoring you. He knows what happening and he’s in control. It may not be working the way you want, but you’re allowed to tell him what you’re thinking and feeling and talk to him about it.
Jesus stepped down into pandemics before. He steps into the world’s great pandemic – sin and is not only present but through his death and resurrection is victorious. This hasn’t changed, even in the midst of our uncertainties.
So, here’s my plan. I’m opening my eyes and ears and asking God to help me see where his grace is present in this strange world.
Maybe his voice whispers from the words of a book or caught in a ray of sunlight. Or maybe it’s hearing birdsong, and remembering the One who feeds the sparrows cares infinitely more for me.
I want to help others realize God is here. I’m going to share where to I see God working and ask others how they have seen him at work.
I’m going to embrace the technology that’s available to all of us. It isn’t a savior, that’s Jesus’ job, but it can point to him. I can use my Facebook posts, Zoom conversations, etc. To show my hope is in Jesus.
Yes, a virus has thrown the world into chaos. Economies are spiraling. Uncertainties abound. Into this world, I will help others see God with them. He has not lost control.
Will you join me?
I am a pastor, blogger and speaker. I help ordinary people connect with an extraordinary God, so they can follow Jesus in their everyday life.