I received a nasty email last week. Don’t feel sorry for me. I get disagreeable emails occasionally. It comes with the privilege of being a pastor. I only bring this one up because of the circumstances going on in our world.
The person who sent the email knows me from a distance, and what I mean by that is, they only know me as a person who gives a public speech each week. What irritated them is not important and their words are not worth sharing, but the timing in which it came…that is what I find interesting.
We are facing more systemic uncertainty right now than at any other time in my life. No one alive today has been through a pandemic. It is a new challenge, not just for our local communities, but for the entire world. During this time of social distancing, financial fallout, and personal anxiety; a person has expressed their wish to distance themselves even farther. It causes me to scratch my head and feel genuine sorrow.
As I was reading God’s Word, I came across this verse and thought of the person who sent me that email.
The Lord says, “I made myself known to those who were not asking for me. I was found by those who were not trying to find me. I spoke to a nation that did not pray to me. ‘Here I am,’ I said. ‘Here I am.’ (Isaiah 65:1)
God has made it his priority to reveal Himself to people who are not looking for Him. Once that happens, the person is thrown into the crucible of decision. Will they receive the God they were not seeking? Or, will they reject the God they now know is pursuing them? I think this is happening with more frequency during the COVID-19 crisis.
Unfortunately, people are being pushed into isolation, finding the end of their entertainment sources, facing the fears uncertainty creates, and discovering God is right there. He is the uninvited guest. What a wonderful encounter! Unless, it’s not.
As we move through this challenge scores of people will find the God of Heaven; the One who has always been chasing them. Some will embrace Him with all of their fears, doubts, and reservations. Others will push Him away.
Now is the time to pray for your neighbor who stands across the street and waves. Now is the time lift up the co-worker you only see on Zoom. Today is the day bring the name of that family member you can only call on the phone to your Father. God is busy making Himself known to people who are not looking for Him. Pray they will receive Him.
Here is song I’ve found encouraging. May it encourage you.