By Aaron E. Ziebarth, Executive Director
I have spent a lot of time talking to people on the phone recently–sometimes with “old” friends; other times with Christian camp and discipleship ministry leaders who are also pondering today’s challenges and opportunities.
The depth of these conversations wouldn’t be possible if not for the experiences of COVID-19. As we talk, we have referenced and expressed many emotions. I know you are facing them too: uncertainty, fear, hopelessness, anxiety, and the list goes on.
Considering this, I realize that I have never known what the future holds (Ecclesiastes 7:14 makes it clear that no one can discover anything about the future). I realize that I am often lulled into complacency, not even thinking about the future. The fact that things are changing so quickly has adjusted our sense of balance.
There have been other major periods of change in history. In John 16 Jesus is preparing the disciples for His departure. He tells them, “In a little while you will see me no more” (vs. 16). Immediately the disciples’ world was unsettled and they wondered what this meant. If that wasn’t enough, Jesus told them that they would “All be scattered” (verse 32). If you were in that room that day, what would you have thought?
I am glad the conversation didn’t end there (and so were the disciples).
Here is what He said next, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
He shared the difficult news so that they would have peace! He reminded them that we do live in a world scarred by the impact of sin. And because of that, there is and will be even more trouble. BUT take heart. Literally, that means we should have courage in the face of danger.
And how can we do this? Jesus reminds us of His reason for coming. He came to overcome the world! He has victory over death (1 Corinthians 15:57).
Friends, we, like the disciples, can have peace and take great courage in these difficult times because Jesus has overcome the world.
I am so thankful for the opportunities we have been given in Bible Adventure and 4.12 these past few weeks to share this peace and courage with children. We are praying for Governor Wolf and his entire administration. We are specifically asking our Heavenly Father to move the heart of Governor Wolf to quickly rank Franklin County “green” so children can come and safely have life-changing encounters with Jesus. Will you please pray with us?