Making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:16
Many people are lamenting this season of the pandemic because of the heartache and suffering it contains. As the number of fatalities continues to increase, some people feel overwhelmed and emotionally drained. For others, it is as if their circadian rhythm has been disturbed as they are forced to change their pattern of socialization. Thus, we see an increase in depression, desperation, substance addiction, and physical abuse.
Some Christians see this season as a time to retreat into their cocoon and not be engaged in the work of ministry as they shelter-in-place. However, I think this is an opportune time for authentic disciples of Jesus Christ to let their light so shine for others to see the benefits of a relationship with Christ. In short, there is purpose in the pandemic.
It would be a shame not to learn any life-transforming lesson from this season of the pandemic. God may not have caused the disaster that has engulfed the world since the onset of COVID-19, but he is undoubtedly calling on his followers to rise up and demonstrate to the world what it means to have a relationship of loving union with God through Jesus Christ. We must each ask ourselves what contribution is God calling on us to make during this catastrophic time?
Throughout the Bible, many individuals found their purpose during difficult times. Moses found his purpose at the height of Jewish oppression in Egypt. David found his purpose while he was hiding from King Saul, who wanted to kill him. Let us, therefore, not forfeit the opportunity to discern our purpose during these difficult times.
Purpose is discovered between the intersection of gifts and talents, and the boulevard of opportunity. We were born with our talents. Our spiritual gifts come from the Holy Spirit, who has been preparing and perfecting us for the work of ministry. Our purpose is to use our gifts and talents to the glory of God during this opportune time of calamity.
For some people, that means leading an effort to feed those that are food insecure. God has gifted others as financial advisors who can help small businesses and individuals during this season of financial uncertainty. This season is an opportunity for some to teach a Sunday school class in Zoom or mentor a young person who has been doing virtual school.
I want to reiterate that social distancing does not mean idleness. Disciples of Jesus Christ are purpose-driven and mission-focused. Not even COVID-19 can prevent an authentic disciple from bearing spiritual fruits for the Lord. Whereas many people see despair during this season, believers should delight in the fact they now more than ever, have an opportunity to be the hands, feet, eyes, and mouths of God at a time when people need God the most.
And yes, we may be affected by this pandemic personally. Some of us may lose loved ones, while others may lose their employment. Yet we have to remember, “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). We must also remember that it is for such a time that God has placed us where we are.
Let us, therefore, make the best of the opportunities given to us to be instruments of God’s love during this pandemic season. Countless individuals are waiting for you and me to stop hiding and start serving as kingdom workers so they can be encouraged to make it through these difficult times. We should not forget that we are God’s “workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). Now is the time for us to do those good works to show the world how much God loves them.
Prayer- Blessed Lord, please help us all to discern our purpose during this season of the pandemic. Renew the right spirit within us so we can become fully engaged in the work of ministry to the glory of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ.