How could we have known just a few days ago that toilet paper would turn into gold and that every one of us would face drastic changes in our everyday lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic? Until this week, it was impossible to imagine a nation with schools and church buildings shut down. Our calendars were full of plans, we had tickets to sporting events, daily routines, family birthday parties, work meetings, standardized tests to prepare for, and plenty of supplies in our hospitals. We didn’t know what “social distancing” was or that just going about our daily lives could spread a virus that could be anything from slightly annoying to deadly. But over the last 2 weeks, we’ve seen our leaders make excruciatingly difficult decisions to save lives at the expense of our freedom and undoubtedly, our economy, for awhile. I think we all realize now that this is no joke.
So the other day, as I spent a few moments quieting my heart with God, He dropped these words from scripture into my heart.
“Look, I am making all things new” (Revelation 21:5 NLT).
Or another translation says,
“Consider this! I am making everything to be new and fresh” (Revelation 21:5 TPT).
Jesus is saying here that when he returns, everything will be restored completely and there will be no more death, pain, or tears. But we aren’t meant to sit here talking about end times and wishing and wanting and waiting and sheltering in place until Jesus comes. God has always been in the business of making things new and restoring things that have gone wrong. We are called a “new creation” and we get to join with God in bringing His Kingdom—His restoration—to Earth.
Jesus taught His disciples to pray:
“Let your kingdom come, let your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
He is working in us and through us to bring His Kingdom to Earth. Here are some of the “new” things I have seen God doing among us the last 2 weeks:
– In a culture that has worshipped youth and disregarded the elderly, we are protecting the vulnerable by altering our daily lives to limit exposure to those who are most at risk.
– In neighborhoods where we have tended to isolate, we are reaching out to serve our neighbors, realizing that at times like these, we need each other.
– In a society that has been mistrusting and dishonoring of our leaders, we are submitting to those in authority and following their recommendations.
– In an entitled generation, we are recognizing that our food and supplies are not to be taken for granted; they are provision from God.
– In our fast paced, exhausted way of life, we are finally being made to slow down, stay home and spend time with our families and children.
– We are uniting as Americans in a way that seemed impossible 3 weeks ago.
– We are seeing creative acts of kindness all over the place. I’ve heard of people picking up meals from local restaurants and delivering them to medical personnel who are on the front lines. They are supporting both our local business owners and our healthcare workers. Numerous people are sewing masks in their homes to help with the shortage.
– And my favorite one is this: the gathering restrictions have forced the “church” outside its four walls and into our homes. Instead of the church being shut down, there is a new unity and zeal that the American church hasn’t seen in decades. This is bringing Christ and worship back into our homes, while also boosting exposure of His kingdom by utilizing social media to reach those who don’t know Him. As in the early church, we are being dispersed into the world where we can actually be the light!
Jesus is making all things new.
“And the one sitting on the throne said, ‘Look, I am making everything new!’ And then he said to me, ‘Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.’ And he also said, ‘It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children’” (Revelation 21:5-7).
There are moments when I feel anxiety creeping in, but I choose to believe God’s word and hold to these promises. I hope you will too, but if anxiety becomes a way of life, or if you are in need of any help or support, please reach out to our pastoral staff. We are here for each other and are ready to help in whatever ways we can. We will get through this together!
Let’s encourage each other with this—what new things do you see God doing through this crisis? Please share your ideas in the comments below.
We would like to thank Jill Moudy for writing this post!