I enjoy leading Global Opportunities (GO) trips through my school, because they expose you to different cultures, places, people, and most importantly, they give you a broader view of who God is. Before I lead, I often let the team know that they are about to be exposed to unfamiliar territories that would disrupt their day-to-day rhythms and, overall, make them uncomfortable. I urge them to hold their expectations and plans lightly, with open arms, because they are about to go on an adventure that would require them to exercise faith.
In just a week, so many changes have happened with the increasing effect of the Covid-19, arguably the biggest global crisis of our generation. How we respond as individuals, governments, and nations will likely reshape the world as we know it. The impact has affected all of us, exposing the world to unfamiliar waters and causing a lot of discomforts. The pandemic has shaken the structures of society- disrupting global political, social, cultural, and economic spheres. Unfortunately, no one had prepared us, no one has the end in mind, of course except God, and we do not know how long and when it all ends. I grapple with so many difficult questions amid every turn of events disrupting the very critical pillars of human interaction. My mind, my heart and my body like many of you, is still trying to process every news I read, the conversations I hear and the next email/text/phone call I get that would completely alter my plan to get a new job, move into a new house, get married, and Commencement. I feel your pain, anger, frustration, anxiety. Being in unfamiliar and stressful situations will stretch us, and for sure, this is going to be one of the craziest faith adventures we go on together.
In the worst of times and the midst of the emotions, I have wondered what picture of God we could be drawing. Though we may not consciously think about it, this picture that we have in our mind determines how we relate to, interact with, and respond to God. I have found myself asking questions like, “God, what’s happening to our world? What are you showing us as Christians? How can I respond as a Christian? How can I process the emotions I am feeling?” and the lack of answers to these questions can be crippling, filled with fear and doubt.
However, as I wrestle with all the questions, the more I find hope in God as I see his sovereignty over everything. Now more than ever, I understand the concept of surrender, knowing that He loves, knows us, and rules the Earth. He created us and everything that is on this Earth. Genesis 1 says, “The Earth was formless and empty and God spoke it into existence.” Psalm 24:1 tells us, “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it and the world and all who live in it.” Acts 17:28 says, “For, in Him, we live and move and have our being.” The implication here is that grasping this gives us confidence in knowing that God is in control of our ups and downs.
Friends, being in unfamiliar and stressful situations, will stretch us or cause us to be angry and sometimes lash out. Understanding that God is in control and in-charge offers an invitation for us to surrender completely. By surrendering, we give up our opposition towards Him and accept his complete rule over our lives. When God rules over our lives, we can walk in confidence, knowing that He has been working great things in us, and He will be faithful to complete it.
As we navigate life’s complexities, bodily exhaustion, emotional heartbreaks, and everything that surpasses our understanding, our burdens are not simple, but there is a way maker, miracle worker, and promise keeper who invites us to hope and refreshment found in Him. Matthew 11:28 says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my York is easy, and my burden is light.” Let’s find peace and rest in Him because He’s got the whole world in His hands.