The world feels shaky for some of us right now.
We have encountered something in the sphere of our earthly residence that is unprecedented. And knowing how to approach it feels confusing and frightening. In March, questions emerged: How long will this last? How do I protect myself and others? What does the future look like if I am unemployed? Who do I listen to?
Uncertainty remains. Despite the dip in COVID19 cases in some parts of the world, proceeding from a collective quarantine raises more questions: What does “normal” look like now? How do I adapt to this new territory? This place feels new for many of us. But the truth is that historically and globally, collective hardships (even pandemics) are nothing new. Some parts of the world experience them on a daily basis. In the midst of the uncertainty, how do we respond?
Paul’s prophetic words speak through hard times: Not that I have already obtained this (Philippians 3:10-11) or have already reached the goal;[g] but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Beloved,[h] I do not consider that I have made it my own;[i] but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly[j] call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14.
It’s not easy to let go of securities. They shape our earthly narratives without realizing it. There is a reason why Paul uses the word “straining.” Recognizing that obedience to God’s redemptive plans supercede anything else we thought brought identity and safety: career, financial status, church infrastructure, educational setting..doesn’t come naturally. .Without a doubt, life as we knew it will change for a while….or longer.
None of this is easy to embrace from a human perspective. But recognizing that facing hardships is nothing new and embracing the blessing (whatever that looks like) as we “strain ahead” reminds us that God is still at work in his world. We just must expand our view.
This post is written for the Five Minute Friday Writing Community. Come join us! https://fiveminutefriday.com/