God is good—this truth never changes. Whether I was diligently seeking to serve others, or wasting His time away by going through YouTube videos for hours… despite my fluctuation, God is always good. On the one hand, I see God’s goodness more because He has chosen to take some things away from my life. I miss my brothers and sisters in Christ. I miss people. I miss going out to eat. It would have been great to go to Japan for my internship this summer. I would have loved visiting my parents with my girlfriend for the first time. Whether it be a daily routine or a special event, I realized there were many things which I have been passively enjoying without actively glorifying God by giving thanks to Him. On the other hand, I see God’s goodness more because now I have more time to appreciate His blessings. I am thankful for having a phone to stay connected with others; for my friends who are so willing to give me a ride to a grocery store; for my fridge, microwave, and stove; for my couch; for the protection I have in my apartment; for the hot shower I get to take every morning… the list goes on. Everything I enjoy cries out, “… gaze upon the beauty of the LORD” (Ps. 27:4). So what can I say? I echo the psalmist: “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes” (Ps. 119:71). My God is good. -Moses
As a millennial American, life has always been fast-paced. Greenville is a growing city and with that comes unending possibilities to fill my schedule. As a lay-pastor, I have found that weekends are often busier than the work week. So, as I entered 2020, I decided this needed to be a year of “no.” I was beginning to recognize that being busy did not make me more spiritual. In fact, it was wearing me down and making me less patient with others and more hurried in my personal time in the Word. But 2020 was shaping up to quite the busy start.
Like many of you, I felt the initial sting of moving away from in-person community to virtual communities. Emails rolled in day after day of cancelled events and meetings. Then came the scramble to move our church online. Then, after the scramble, came the blessing.
Through the frenzy, our Church leadership landed on a study through Psalm 23 for our virtual small groups. It only took a couple of weeks before I realize what the Lord was doing in my life through this season. As Covid-19 cleared out my calendar, the Lord was using it to “make me lie down in green pastures.” I don’t like to “be still,” “to lie down,” or “to wait.” Maybe some of you out there are just like me!
As it turns out, God stepped in and said “no” to almost everything on my calendar. The Lord has given many of us an unusual time to rest! So tonight, I will enjoy Jeopardy with my family. And tomorrow, I will have another unhurried time in the Word! - J
A lot of plans have changed in the past month. As a graduating senior, most of what I was hoping for has fallen through or has been put on hold. It was very easy to feel discouraged, confused, and hopeless amid so much uncertainties. This past month I have been studying 2 Corinthians, and the unshakable truth of the presence of the Holy Spirit has been a great encouragement to me. I have been rebuked that I do not always realize the weight of the truth that God lives in me, and because of the Gospel I get to directly experience His glory. This should cause us to have hope and not give up amid uncertainties and trials. The Gospel can encourage us because it gives us the power to overcome pressure, confusion, abandonment, and despair—Christ carries us from victory to victory. Because the Holy Spirit lives in us, we have everything we need to overcome every situation—including discouragement, illness, chaos, and even death. So instead of thinking about all what could have happened, I am thankful I get to witness God’s glory--which is far better. And I know that experiencing His glory will cause me to trust in His plans. For further encouragement, read 2 Corinthians 3-4. -Patricia
This time of relative isolation has been very instructive to me on a number of levels. Primarily it has reminded me of the frailty of life. If I cough or feel a little under the weather, I wonder, “Oh no, do I have the virus?” I have felt anxious at times about how a tiny, invisible bug could alter or end our lives.
All of this has reminded me that the Lord is unchanging. He is not susceptible to the things that can cause me harm, either physically or emotionally. So He is the Anchor on which I must depend. He is stabilizing and strong. The reality of His immutability has been impressed on me through this quarantine period.
Like everyone else, I am learning how to engage with others over digital media in new ways. During these weeks I have mostly served my students through online interactions. I have tried to think of ways to enhance interaction with students without adding to their overall workload. I really enjoy chatting with students and learning how they are weathering this season.
Because of the enhanced emphasis on internet communication, I have been interacting lately with Christians from around the world through prayer meetings and webinars. It really reminds me just how big the church of Jesus Christ is and shows me that I don’t have to travel to have serious conversations or to serve people in helpful ways. I am also being reminded that the things that unite us in Christ are far greater and far more important than the things that can so easily divide us. Sharing a common experience reduces the sense of difference that often becomes an obstacle to genuine Christian unity. -Mr. Vowels
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The CGO Blog
Written by the CGO staff, with guest posts from students and other faculty/staff at BJU to provide thought leadership for missions in a new millennium.