For a time such as this…
Dr. Gary Munson
The Lord is at hand so do not be anxious about anything (Philippians 4:5-6). Yet the world around us seems to be in a panic. Who can speak peace in the midst of turmoil? Jesus can, and we are His body. Speaking of Christ, Ephesians reads, “He came and preached peace to you who were far off and to you who were near” (2:17). In Ephesus, those who were far were the Gentiles and those who were near, the Jews. Today we might think of those who are far as those who are far from God and those who are near as those who have come near in Christ. Jesus has a message of peace to both, and we are His messengers.
In the Gospel of Mark chapter 4, Jesus tells His disciples, “Let us go across to the other side” (v. 35). He was referring to the Sea of Galilee and it was on that journey that their boat began to sink, and the disciples panicked. After rebuking the disciples for their lack of faith, Jesus calmed the sea. Evidently, it was easier to calm the sea than to calm the disciples. I think it is worth considering why Jesus rebuked them for lack of faith, in light of the fact that their situation was in fact serious. In this case, the disciples were not only some of those who were “near” but they were companions of Christ who had walked with him closely. Jesus expected them to believe that when He said they would go over to the other side He did not mean they would go halfway and drown.
Sometimes our destiny is on the other side and we are called to trust that God is going to get us there. The people of God are called to preach and demonstrate the kingdom, how much more in this hour of global panic. Mordecai said to Queen Esther, “Perhaps you have been called to the kingdom for such an hour as this” (Esther 4:14). Perhaps we have been called to this place to bring peace in chaos, healing to the sick, deliverance to the bound, and to preach the good news of Jesus at a time when at least some may have renewed interest to hear.
It is time to be about the Father’s work. Let us demonstrate the love of Christ in actions of serving, caring, and compassion, and use words as well. People are hurting and afraid, it is an hour in which God’s people can show confidence in their God, compassion for the hurting, and sow seeds of faith into fearful hearts.