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A Word from Mike

June 25, 2020

It goes without saying that things continue to be challenging for all of us and our churches, trying to discern how to navigate these ever-changing times. We all long to get back to life as we have known it, but we may just be moving toward some ‘new normals’ (as it is being called) which are not particularly appealing for most of us. The latest projections presented by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchison suggests that we may not be near the end of this pandemic, but that there is likely more to come within the next number of months. As people have moved back more to what was common practice before, the Covid cases have risen significantly. I know some, if not a lot of the new cases can be attributed to many more tests being given, but, nonetheless, the number of identifiable cases is rising. Though many of those who test positive are a-symptomatic, there are still a host of people who indeed are suffering from the virus. How’s it all going to play out? I, nor anyone else, really know; so, we watch and wait.

What then do we do in the meantime? I once heard a preacher preach a sermon that he titled: “Living in the Meantime.” He spoke from Jeremiah 29 describing how God had Israel ‘living in the meantime’—in captivity for 70 years. The preacher made the statement…The meantime can be a mean-time! In other words, sometimes while we’re waiting for things to change, the ‘meantime’ can have its difficulties. God, though, had some words for Israel as to what they should do during that meantime. It was basically this: Build houses, plant gardens, get married, and have children…seek the best to the place where I’ve placed you, because you’re going to be there for a while! If there is no other takeaway to glean from this passage, it isthat we need to be diligent with what we can do even in trying circumstances. We can’t and shouldn’t live simply waiting for things to get better; we have to LIVE where we find ourselves. God told Israel that, because of His Covenant promises to them, that He would eventually deliver them and fulfill what He said He would do with them, but, in the meantime, they needed to live in the present and not be preoccupied with what was to come. That can be difficult, but God will be faithful to be with His New Covenant people now, just as He was with His Old Covenant people then. We can trust Him to complete what He has declared He will ultimately do, and we can trust Him to complete what He desires to accomplish in us and with us now.

These days may be ‘mean-times’ but they can be filled with trust, peace, and even joy as we walk with God and trust Him for every provision and for every step that needs to be taken. As individuals and churches, there are new opportunities for us to experience as we live out these days and as we walk through them together, relying on the presence and leadership of the Lord. Will we trust Him? Will we rest in Him or will we fret? Let’s press on together with our eyes firmly fixed upon Him, yet with our lives intentionally settled in this ‘meantime.’

Mike Manning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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