Dr. Marc Drake, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church Sun Lakes
As I write these words, restrictions due to the global pandemic are being gradually lifted in some places but, of course, we do not know what to expect in the months and even years to come. But Christians do not have to go into panic mode. And that’s because we have seen the faithfulness of God over the years and know that He has promised to never leave us and has promised to meet our needs (Philippians 4:19; Hebrews 13:5).
Yes, the changes to our lives due to the coronavirus have been quite disruptive. But have you thought about what God is accomplishing through this? Have you reflected on his faithfulness in the past and his promises for the future? The book of Joshua records the story of God’s people having gone through a major crisis. However, out of that crisis, God brought a fresh demonstration of his faithfulness and power: He parted the Jordan River so his people could pass through. Furthermore, the Lord had Joshua send men to the river to pick up 12 stones and pile them there beside the Jordan. Joshua told the people that when their children would ask in the future, “What do those stones mean to you?” they were to tell them that God parted the waters of the Jordan and the people of Israel, along with the ark of the covenant, passed over on dry land. Joshua then said, “So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever” (Joshua 4:7).
Over the years, God proves His faithfulness again and again in the lives of His children. And as those times are etched in our memory, we have the privilege of “piling up stones” as a powerful testimony to future generations of God’s grace and faithfulness. But note this: It is often out of a time of crisis, uncertainty, or suffering that we can see and magnify God’s faithfulness in our lives. Nazi Holocaust survivor Corrie Ten Boom observed that God does not give the grace before the crisis; He gives the grace during the crisis. Yes, and when He does, we are called to remember it and build a memorial—not of brick and mortar, but one of verbal testimony to God’s greatness and faithfulness! Hymn writer Isaac Watts wrote: “O God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, our shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal home!”
Do you have a pile of stones as a result of God’s faithfulness during this pandemic? We are indeed living in a historic time. A time that grandparents will one day tell their grandchildren about. A time for history books and documentaries to tell the story of the world virtually shutting down. But the far greater story is that of the faithfulness of God who brings triumph and security through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.