Amelia Baptist Church

Don’t Waste Your Quarantine, Beloved.

I’ll cut right to the chase… I hate that we can’t meet. I know two things can be true at the same time and our current situation is a fine example. 1) God will bring us heaven. That is our future. Whatever happens from here on out, if we have been redeemed by the blood of Christ Jesus our Lord, we will be ushered into heaven by the ONE interceding for us on our behalf. Hallelujah! 2) God does some of His greatest work in the already, not yet. Some seasons can feel more like life on a fallen rock than others and folks, this is one of those seasons. Every morning I wake up and grab what has now replaced the morning paper, type in my password and scroll down a sheet of information, analysis, reports and opinions to determine no one knows when normal returns.

Personally, I have no idea HOW I am handling it even though I remain confident I know WHO is in control. I wouldn’t say I have been fearful, but definitely apprehensive and downright grieved at times. I have these moments of clarity where I want to return to the past just to punch my former self for complaining about our church schedule. What I wouldn’t give to see my baby girls run to embrace their friends on a Wednesday night or watch our Sunday school classes gather to open up the Word before worship and if we are honest, mainly indulge in some much needed chit chat among family and friends. Depending on your season, kids at home or kids grown up and moved out, this is not break or a time to get organized. For many, this may be a time of new chaos and first-time feelings.

Regardless, what questions should we be aiming inward and what staple of truth can help us navigate waves the size of those that took out Elsa’s parents?

Church, here we are. Many of you have your own problems related to the COVID-19 quarantine and although the content of your prayer requests may differ, the source of strength is what unites the body of believers now and forever. As we wait for the world to turn in the right direction, may you seek to THRIVE not just survive. As I mentioned a couple weeks ago during my sermon, do not waste your quarantine.

I am not writing this naive or unaware of the stock market, I am in no way attempting to lessen anyone’s burdens or pretend I know all the secrets to life’s major conundrums. All I have to offer is the Jesus who offered everything to me when He gave us Himself. Two questions we need to ask during this time: What does this say about our Lord? What does this say about me?

God is a redeemer. It is what He does. A friend of mine offered some wise words: we may not even be alive to witness all that our Lord will redeem through such a dark and abrupt situation as this. Trust in the Lord like never before. The culture does not dictate His faithfulness, He is steadfast and immutable in nature regardless of what is happening or not happening around us. But often times the trials shine a brighter light on His victories. They sober us up, they kill off the distractions of our block scheduling, they remind us of the frailty of life and how no one will know their last day, and by His redeeming power all eyes are once again on the only One who can truly save and sustain His people: our savior and Lord Jesus Christ. What does this say about our Lord? No preacher is preaching to an empty room because Jesus never leaves, He never stops growing the Kingdom of God. Praise God for the overwhelming power of the Holy Spirit!

Finally, what does this pandemic say about you? Was our grip too tight on the temporal while we profess to be a people living with eternal perspective? Remember, two things can be true at the same time: we can grieve and mourn our normal, sure. But we do not have to bow a knee to an idol. We have been given sight in salvation. Let us move forward with great expectation that we will grow more intimately in Christ Jesus like never before, that we will have some much needed time with our families, much needed trials to test our faith, much needed opportunities to place our trust in Him as well as ask for wisdom in all things, and at the end of the day know good and well all things are working together for our good but most importantly HIS GLORY. Don’t waste your quarantine. God redeems. We run the race with Word, Prayer, (wise) Fellowship and Fasting.

Hebrews 12:1b-2a: “…let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Looking to Jesus the founder and perfecter of our faith…”

Till we meet again, beloved, what a potluck that will be,

Pastor Adam