by Jim Campbell, Pastor, Bay West Chruch of Palm Bay, Fl
Wow…what a difference a few weeks can make. Honestly, I never would have thought that, in a few months, we’d be taking the extreme steps that we are taking to combat a worldwide pandemic. I was in a grocery store the other day and heard a very frightened mom an aisle over living out her fear with her 4-5-year-old.
Change is unsettling, and uncertainty is difficult, and when our routines are changed drastically, its harder for people to handle things. I remember stopping by my normal convenience store the other day, just like every day, and as I reached for the cup, I paused. The thought hit me that there could be a virus on that surface that could start a chain reaction that could end my life or worse yet, I could take it home to my family and harm them. That was a sobering moment.
Immediately after that, a thought popped in my head that said: “So how is that different from yesterday?” And it’s true, none of us are promised tomorrow or the next minute and we walk around in uncertainty all the time, no matter if there is a virus that is so prevalent for us in the moment.
While it’s scary and things seem to be changing day by day, the truth is that a lot of things haven’t changed at all. Most of the time, people are going through their life oblivious to a lot going on around them, just trying to get by.
My wife shared a verse of Scripture with me the other day from her quiet time, as she does often, and I wanted to share it here, because it fit so well. In first Corinthians, in the Message translation, God inspired Paul to write “But the point is not to just get by. We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well.” (10:24)
Yes, our situation has changed, but for me, as a Christ-follower, the things that matter most really haven’t. I still have to live in such a way as to meet the new normal with the old normal…honoring Christ with everything I do and trying to help others know who he is. Yes, the way I did it before was different and now it’s a little different, but God wasn’t surprised by the coronavirus, so I can trust Him to give me what I need to make it through successfully honoring Him and continuing my mission to make disciples wherever I go.
Jim Campbell is a passionate disciple maker who believes heavily in the power of one on one discipleship. In 2009, Jim took on the role of Campus Pastor to found the Bay West Campus of FBC Melbourne. In September 2017, he became the first Lead Pastor as Bay West Church became an autonomous church in Palm Bay.