CORONAVIRUS: God's not cancelled his plans
Have you ever seen the film The Poseidon Adventure?
It’s a great film. The original from 1972 was one of my favourites growing up.
If you haven’t seen it, it is about a big boat that gets turned upside down after being hit by a giant wave. The rest of the film is the story of the main characters trying to make sense of their situation when everything has been turned upside down.
Wikipedia has an apt line: ‘The plot centres on the fictional SS Poseidon that… is overturned by a tsunami’. Could anything be a more relevant picture to how many of us feel right now? A tsunami has hit our world in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic and, for many of us, our ‘life-boats’ have been turned upside down…
In March, I went up for my most recent training residential (I’m training to be a Commissioned Evangelist with Church Army) over the weekend of the 14th and 15th, and then planned to travel up to Glasgow for some nice relaxing annual leave until the 21st. That was the plan…
I had just spent the previous couple of weeks in quite advanced conversations with some organisations about pioneering some youth projects and looking at building upon a network amongst youth in Chatham and Medway (as part of the Medway Centre of Mission). That was the plan…
And when I came back from annual leave (nice and refreshed!) in March, I was hoping to be ready to get my teeth into the youth work, some preaching in local churches and continuing the street outreach we do on Chatham High Street called Medway Tree of Life. That was the plan…
That was the plan! But like so many others right now, those plans have been somewhat… put on hold… and for a few days that has felt like grieving. Not glamorous, but true. That was how my ‘life-boat’ felt.
But gladly, we have a great big God who wasn’t taken as much by surprise as me by coronavirus! He still has a plan. He still loves us. And He still has the power to save.
He still has a plan. He still loves us. And He still has the power to save.
One of my favourite Bible verses is 2 Corinthians 1:9. In the verses just before this Paul is talking about his difficulties, his challenges and the problems that have been mounting for him. But in verse 9, he states the truth of why this happened; ‘But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead’. Wow! Our everyday activities for many of us have either stopped or totally changed, but we can rely upon a great big God that can heal us in our brokenness, meet us in our weakness, and has the power to save! Amen!
During this period of lockdown, a lot of our usual everyday outreach and activities have been paused – but God’s still been active in Medway. A few of things happening with Medway Centre of Mission are:
We’ve been keeping in touch with our network of people we’ve got to know during our time in Medway.
We’re writing evangelism resources to be used throughout Medway in the future.
I’m working on a discipleship handbook for young people. I'm hoping to use this for youth groupwork in Medway.
We’re mentoring others online via Skype.
We’re praying and fasting for our nation regularly.
We’ve been involved in helping start a WhatsApp support group.
The key thing is that even though our ‘life-boats’ may have been turned upside down, God is still full of love and compassion for us! And as we all get used to ‘the new normal’, and everything may feel different, gladly His heart for the world hasn’t changed one bit!
God is still in control. There is beauty in His mystery.
8 May 2020
Mike is a Cockney lad living in Medway who hates writing bios about himself but loves God! He also loves working as the Pioneer Evangelist in the Medway Centre of Misson alongside Stephen Ramshaw. Mike works mainly in Chatham amongst youth, and leads a street outreach called Medway Tree of Life, a Messy Church, does school work and is involved in pioneering Medway's first Metal Church!
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