“Faith is reason at rest.” Recently, the statement has echoed in both my mind and my heart. In fact, I am convinced that God has been reinforcing its truth to me. And how I have needed to hear it! Like many of you, I feel like I enrolled in a new course, RL405 REASON AND LOGIC. And the assignments that go along with it? Well, wow! It takes day and night to complete the workload. My mind refuses to rest, and instead, insists on thinking through various issues and scenarios before it. How do we safely return to on-campus, small group Bible study? What will church look like in six months? How can we continue to connect with to our congregation? How do we speak for biblical truth without being perceived as political in an emotionally-charged society? What are some ways we can show love to individuals struggling with self-isolation? How can we minister to the sick when we can’t visit hospitals, rehabs, nursing homes? How do we empower all generations to serve effectively when specific age groups are not even comfortable returning to campus for months more? Will international mission trips be possibilities in 2021? What? How? If? When? Where? So? Who?
Hear my mental exercises as I assess, reason, seek, formulate? Sure, you do. And while your questions may not center around the church per se, I believe many of you feel like my classmates in RL405 REASON AND LOGIC. You have been trying to contemplate school, work, and family. Questions abound as to what life may look like for you over the next few months. You have made plans, only to see those logistics change. Nothing appears constant.
I can attest to the fact that people are struggling mentally and spiritually. While COVID-19 has presented severe physical ramifications for individuals, it has also contributed to a mental deterioration to individuals and families. We, as a staff, have witnessed a substantial increase in requests for counseling. I’ve personally seen some of our senior adults lose more of their faculties because of social isolation itself. I’ve prayed with fellow believers who are combating severe depression. I’ve visited with individuals who have experienced strained relationships. I’ve talked with law enforcement officers and medical personnel who are burned out. And while these things happen outside of pandemic life, I sincerely hold that this coronavirus has directly attacked the mental and spiritual health of people in our church and community. You see, we need to reason through our approach to physical health, but we must also take into consideration how people are suffering on a different level and help them find rest.
Perhaps just as importantly, we need to allow reason to rest in our own lives. I’m not saying we shouldn’t plan. The old adage is correct: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” And these days, my brother, George, has reminded us that we don’t just need Plan A and Plan B; we also need Plan C, Plan D, and Plan E! However, sometimes we need to allow our reasoning ability to rest . . . in Him! This past Sunday, I observed that plagues can remind us how truly human we are and how truly God He is. Daily, I understand that. We are making plans for resuming Sunday School, children’s activities, and so much more; but much is dependent upon where we are in the next few weeks. And to be honest, I am frustrated that I can’t control those things. I can’t bring the coronavirus case count down on my own. I can’t stop the spread by myself. But I do know the ONE Who can! And I must rest in Him no matter what the future brings!
Would you join me in prayer for national, state, and local leaders as they make decisions? Would you pray for pastors as they attempt to navigate these days? Would you pray for school superintendents, principals, university presidents, and teachers who are trying to figure out what to do in the fall? Would you lift up business owners, medical personnel, and all those who are seeking wisdom in how to proceed? And would you pray specifically for rest in Christ? Don’t forget our Lord’s invitation: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Let your reason rest in Him. After all, that truly is faith. See you Sunday brings!