Pastor T (the title I occasionally and affectionately refer to Toby by) recently led us in a sermon series entitled “My Hopes and Fears for Evergreen”. Startlingly, he didn’t Include the fear that EBC might experience a pandemic. I guess my boss is not an Old Testament Prophet (you should see the look of disappointment on my face right now)!
Imagine with me for a moment that Toby had, in fact, seen this coming. What do you think his sermon might have been about? I’m quite confident that it would have had less to do with hoping we make it through it comfortably and more to do with fearing that we might waste it. What do I mean by “waste it”? Well John Piper wrote a book years ago entitled “Don’t waste your life”. He later wrote a book called “Don’t waste your cancer”. The title of the second book sounds like an oxymoron doesn’t it? How can you waste something that is inherently bad? Great question. Even better answer: We serve a God who is capable and incredibly skilled at redeeming! Countless saints through the ages have been able to join with Joseph in saying to their adversaries, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done.”
For Joseph, the brother-intended-evil led to the God-intended-good in the form of rescue for his family. For us, the terrible Pandemic of 2020 could lead to God-intended good in the form of transformation and additional adoptions into His family. God wants to shake us from clinging to this world and cause us to cling instead to Him. “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him” . God can use this time in our lives to make us truly satisfied in Him so that we make much of Jesus and a lot less of things that don’t really matter.
So dear brothers and sisters, don’t waste your pandemic. Beg God to use it powerfully in your life. Beg God to use it powerfully in the lives of those at EBC. Beg God to use it powerfully in the lives of those around the world. That’s my hope for Evergreen. That’s my hope for me.