Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
I recently read a story about two young men named Jed and Sam. According to the story, an organization in Montana offered a bounty of five thousand dollars for every wolf captured alive. Sam and Jed decided to head for the hills and make some money capturing wolves. Day and night, they soured the mountains and forests searching for their valuable prey. Exhausted after three days of hunting without any success, they both fell asleep.
During the night, Sam suddenly woke up to find that he and Jed were surrounded by a pack of at least fifty wolves with flaming red eyes and bared teeth, snarling at the two hunters and preparing to pounce.
Sam nudged Jed and said, “Hey! Wake up! We’re going to be rich!”
You know, sometimes when we’re surrounded by what appears to be many difficulties, we may in fact be surrounded by many opportunities. The Chinese symbol for the word “crisis” actually combines the two works “danger” and “opportunity.” When a crisis occurs, we can choose to be frightened and cowardly or strong and courageous. It’s a matter of perspective.
It is so easy to see that our work, our nation, and, yes, even our community has been in a time of crisis over the last several months. There has been, and continues to be, so much uncertainty. With uncertainty comes fear. With fear comes anxiety.
With that being said, the Church as a message of certainty, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We as God’s people need to see the difficulties that our world, our nation, and our community has been facing and continues to face as an opportunity to spread the good news of hope and peace, which is found in Jesus.
As your pastor, I encourage you to be “strong and courageous.” Look for opportunities to speak life, to speak hope, to speak love, and to speak Jesus.