Hope is on the Horizon
Dear Partner in Christ,
I’m writing to you today with an urgent message. I’m sure in the past several weeks you’ve been inundated with urgent messages, most of them related to the worldwide pandemic of COVID-19.
This message isn’t so much about what LLEM International is doing to keep our staff and community healthy and safe. I wrote about that in a prior communication. Instead, I’m using this platform to try to boost spirits and provide a tiny bit of wisdom and encouragement.
In the midst of adversities and difficulties like this, how do we maintain our position and remain positive and encouraged?
Right now, many LLEM partners and subscribers probably feel tested in many new and overpowering ways. Perhaps you feel tested in your relationships with your family because you can’t really get away from them by going to work or by going out on a date night with your significant other. Perhaps you feel sad because you miss being around friends and important family members, including elderly parents and grandparents. Some of you may feel tested because you fear getting sick yourselves, or you worry about family members getting sick. All of these are normal reactions to very unique circumstances. Whatever you are feeling, others are feeling the same troubled way.
Furthermore, you might be asking yourself, “How and why does a merciful God allow this to happen? Why is God inflicting this kind of pain and suffering on his flock?” Asking these questions is also a natural reaction to what is happening.
Of course, I don’t have any easy answers. Nevertheless, I encourage everyone to look at the scriptures to try to make sense of this world-wide challenge.
There is a place in the Scriptures were God gave instances and said to pay attention whenever the things that are happening now begin to happen, such as locusts destroying the crops and causing economic hardship, as is happening now in many East African countries. Many people don’t know that East Africa is in the midst of a crisis that sounds like something out of the book of Exodus: A plague of locusts is spreading across the region, threatening the food supply of tens of millions. City-sized swarms of the dreaded pests are wreaking havoc as they descend on crops and pasturelands, devouring everything in a matter of hours. The scale of the locust outbreak, which now affects seven East African countries, is like nothing in recent memory.
COVID-19 is now an issue of concern to everybody around the world. God said in 2 Chronicles 7:13–14:
“If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people;
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
In this time of great medical and economic uncertainty, we need three things to thrive: 1) We NEED one another, and we need to demonstrate examples of daily kindness to one another. 2) We need to be kind to ourselves, so we have “reserves” to support our friends, co-workers, and family members. 3) We must pray! Prayer is indispensable.
I know we have some non-believers in our midst and even a few supporters of LLEM who are not Christians, but my message is the same. I strongly believe that the power of prayer can lift our spirits, can deepen our connection to one another, and can heal and mend. No matter what faith community you belong to, please take a few minutes each day to pray that human suffering of this magnitude will quickly end. Even if you don’t think anyone is around to hear your prayers, your prayers will mentally help you because you’ll be doing something outside of yourself. It’s a personal, self-sacrificing act with profound results.
Stay safe. Stay kind. Drop me a note if you want to talk about how to strengthen your relationship with Christ during this challenging time.