Words of Comfort
How do we weather a long-term crisis?
Apr 1, 2020 at 11:00 AM
Editor’s Note: With so many churches in our area having to suspend worship services during the coronavirus pandemic, we are asking local pastors to partner with us in bringing a daily message of hope and comfort to readers during this difficult time.
In 1991, I worked a summer in the bindery at the Kingsport Press, then known as Arcata Graphics. I chose the night shift, wanting to make as much money as I could, knowing that I wouldn’t be getting paid during my first school year at Milligan College. Each night I walked into the factory with the rumble of the ground under my feet in darkness, and the heat only slightly lessened at night. Each night I clocked in and began my shift. In the bindery, my job was to stack books as they came off the conveyor belt. How does one do this for eight hours at a time? One doesn’t, of course. There are coffee breaks and lunches in the monotony. But these things didn’t get me through those hours. For me, the real key was in checking my watch once an hour. I would check my watch and look up. Around the top of the bindery, there were windows that were open to the night air outside. They only showed the color black at midnight. But in a few hours, that black would turn purple. Then, it would turn dark blue. And finally, bright blue. And my shift would end. I would clock out and walk out into the beautiful glow of a warm summer morning. Gradual changes marked the passage of time, and the mornings I always loved to see.
How do we weather a long-term crisis? Jesus already taught us how; and He did it while teaching us to pray. “Give us this day, our daily bread.” (Matthew 6: 11).
Not “tomorrow’s bread.” Not “our bread for retirement.” He told us to ask for “our daily bread.” If we only worry about what we don’t have, or what we have lost, we will not find peace at heart. But if we ask Him for what we know He wants to grant us today, we will live with peace at heart, and live with faith in Him. Such a way of living is not made in a sudden, one-time decision. It is made in small increments, in every moment, every day of living. Long-term changes in the heart, the real ones, are made through gradual processes. They are made in the small steps we take as we live for Him from moment to moment.
Remember Him, as you live through these small increments of time.
Mike Beverly is senior minister at Indian Springs Christian Church in Kingsport.