And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
– Romans 8:28
By Chaplain Mitch Wesley; PHH Athens
Time are hard and they seem to be getting harder. As this is being written, a global virus is spreading confusion and fear. Nations are taking extraordinary measures to slow the advance of COVID-19. Many people are worrying about how the virus will affect their health, the health of family and friends, and the economic health of our world.
We are faced with unfamiliar concepts like “social distancing” and “drive-through” medical testing. Pictures of empty shelves at the local grocery fill social media. Some have wondered if this is some kind of judgement from God. There are days when it might be easy for us to believe so.
At times like this, there is great comfort to be found in the assurances of scripture. Paul, in his letter to the Romans, speaks of God at work in the midst of suffering and fear. “We know,” he says, “that in all things God works …”
Note that he does not ask us to believe that everything that happens is the result of God’s will or that it is God’s intention for us to suffer. Paul is reminding the church at Rome, and us as well, that God is to be found in all things. In all things (and at all times) He is working to bring us closer to Him. He seeks to bring us comfort in our pain and confidence in our fear. God is beside us when we walk the difficult paths of life. He guides our hands as we extend them to help others. Paul tells us that the people of God can be confident that the purpose of God will be accomplished no matter what and that it will be good.
Hard things happen. It has always been so. However, just as there have always been hard times and hard journeys, God’s presence has always been with His people, seeking to bring peace of mind and peace of spirit. His grace will see us through all current crises and it will be sufficient for the frailties of the future. This is the essence of our faith.
Prayer: God of grace and peace, make us mindful of your presence as we cope with the fear and uncertainty of the day. As we face difficulties on the journey, may we be blessed with the knowledge that you are at work in all circumstances. Calm our spirits, Lord. Soothe our souls that we might rest in you. Amen