Five months into this quarantine period, it is safe to say that most have already come to terms with the fact that we are living in a new now. We have surpassed wondering why what’s happening is happening and we have (hopefully) successfully transitioned from reacting to receiving and now, responding as we move forward each day.
Did this come as a surprise? Yes – to us all for sure; and no- not at all to the sovereign One who remains on the throne, holding all things together.
In my attempt to understand and appreciate what the Lord was doing, I was led back to Isaiah 43:18-19 – a Word He gave me on the first day this year – as if in order for me to see life this 2020 with the eyes of clarity – as clear as 20/20 vision.
“Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.”
Do not remember the past, nor dwell on it. Don’t stay stuck. Watch me, He says. Hold your gaze. I will do something NEW – Who knew that this ”new” is in the form of a pandemic, huh? As unpredictable as our God are His ways!
But this “something new” is in fact only to make way for The Way to reach many who have been wandering – giving them direction; and to bring healing and hope to hearts that have been hardened by hurts. Corona has undeniably paved for a grand entrance for Christ to be welcomed to every nation, every household, and in every heart, as God continuously carries out His plan to reconcile and redeem His people to Himself.
So where is the Gospel in all this? Right at the very center, at the forefront! Christ – His death and resurrection and His offer of new life is the only Good News to anchor on as we battle daily the uncertainty and brevity of life. The only lens through which we could view and count everyday still as a blessing despite the rising positive cases and deaths. The Gospel provides an upward, heavenward direction and eternal purpose for our actions – where sharing the saving knowledge of who Jesus is and winning them to the cause of Christ have become our greatest treasure more than any material gain here on earth. (What from this life can you carry to the next anyway?)
What then is a picture of a life driven by the Gospel? It is one that:
⁃ responds to the great commission in our own personal mission field – our home, workplace and circle of influence;
⁃ does not limit what a limitless God can do and how He is almighty to take over our schedules for the day. It is about being open to interruptions to accommodate divine appointments to minister. It is simply being available to be used by the Master, whenever, however;
⁃ listens to and obeys daily the Shepherd’s still voice on where to go and what to do in the pastures us sheep are brought to;
⁃ chooses to act like Christ in every circumstance – choosing to overcome evil with good, choosing compassion and love more than correcting, about having joy and giving thanks always at all times
⁃ is faithful to manage and multiply what is given for the Master’s glory
⁃ labors for the Lord in all things, in all ways, at all times – knowing our labor is not in vain and that the reward is certain, in heaven someday; and finally being
⁃ aware of Christ’s unchanging goodness and ability to go as viral as the Corona virus He caused as He continues His redemptive work in history.
Personally, a gospel-driven life is one that actively, continuously and purposefully serves the Master in response to His specific callings in every role given, in every area taken at every moment given. For me, it is simply being faithful in the small things – being faithful in my daily obedient response to my calling as a parent to Gummy, business overseer of C Ki+chenry and social media influencer/minister via @abettinnacarlos on Instagram – and honoring those priorities in their respective order.
Ultimately, it is to mindfully choose to be like Christ in all circumstances, to do what Jesus did or would in response to our current challenges and conflicts; and to share the saving knowledge of who Jesus Christ is through my relationships and God-given responsibilities.
A life driven by the gospel is one that chooses to respond to the great commission daily and faithfully in my own personal mission fields, laboring using the talents I’d been given knowing that though today is uncertain, tomorrow in Christ is. And our reward is with Him.
The same God who says He makes all things new (Rev 21), who is the cause of both well-being and calamity (Is 45:6-7) , is the same God who causes all to work together for our good and His glory – yes, including Corona.