BY REV. CORY L. KEMP |
More than unprecedented times, we are occupying an extraordinary place in history that demands so much of us. The wisdom of the saying, “The only way around it is through it,” is simply a fact of this life right now.
Through the toilet paper shortages, through the taped-off grocery store aisles, through the muffled, face-masked communication, through the technology challenges, through the mass-cancellation of our lives, we are moving along together because there is no way around this other than through it. There is no clear path forward in sight except by faith.
Living the COVID-19 pandemic lifestyle, watching other people do the same, is not an act of faith, but an engagement of faith.
Faith is all about living with uncertainty, right? This is the perfect time to take advantage of the opportunity to live, learn, and grow something so uniquely attuned to, supported by, our environment, isn’t it?
Yes, it is.
And I believe it is also exactly the right time to remember, to rely on, just how good God is for us, particularly in the most difficult and challenging times of our lives.
Have you ever thought about God as being good for you?
Your parents may have talked about someone being a good (or not so good) influence on you when you were growing up. Maybe you’ve noticed someone in your own child’s life that you would call a good influence on them. I’ve often heard people refer to couples in strong, loving relationships as being good for each other.
Can you name someone who has been good for you, a good influence in your life? Take a moment and think about what that person has meant to you over the years, what it is you have received from them. How have you been able to live your life differently, what have you been able to accomplish because of their presence in your life? What is the good influence that they were for you?
And yet, we don’t think about, or talk about, God being good for us. Why is that?
I suspect that things that are good for us also challenge us, and that is uncomfortable. If God is good for us, God is challenging us to be more. If God is good for us, God is challenging us to be better at being kind, loving, patient, and creative in uncertain times. If God is good for us, and we can remember and rely on God’s ever-present, enduring love, especially in uncertain times, God is challenging you and me to grow our faith.
Our constant public conversation is centered on legitimate fear and the desperate need to feel safe. This is human. This is normal. And there is absolutely no shame in feeling afraid. None. Jesus never shamed anyone for feeling afraid, and only saw, heard, and loved them right where they were in that moment.
What I believe is so very important right now, in this moment, is to remember and rely on the simple truth that God is good for us because God sees, hears, and loves all the parts of us. We are the church and we are about God’s love, even when we are afraid, even when we don’t feel safe. The good influence of God’s love for us can help us feel a little less afraid, and a little safer. The Good influence of God’s love can help us shift the public conversation to one of feeling a little more love, a little more faith in whatever comes next.
God is good for us, and we can be good for each other, whatever comes next.
About the Author
The Rev. Cory L. Kemp is founder and faith mentor with Broad Plains Faith Coaching. Cory, employing her signature Handcrafted Faith program, supports ordained and lay women leaders in visualizing, understanding and strengthening their beliefs, so that they may know, love and serve God and their communities with generosity, wisdom, and joy.