“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” Romans 15:13 KJV
Is 2020 too big for God? No. And, here’s why I know this.
Picture it: Early 1970s California. Hippies so strung out on drugs that some are lying in a stupor in public parks, slowly starving their dogs with a diet of raw oats, sleeping under a coffin-sized American flag likely gleaned from a fallen peer’s military funeral. Racial tensions flaring into hate speech and violence — even in schoolyards. Generations at war with each other.
At the risk of revealing my age — 53 🙂 — I’ll admit I saw these things with my own eyes, not in a Ken Burns documentary. But, I saw something else in the small, coastal city that was my home in early childhood.
I saw a church that was so full of the power and love of God that a young woman high on LSD felt drawn in during the middle of a service one night. Once inside, she began screaming and ran up and down the center aisle, stopping only to begin banging her head against a wall.
It was alarming. But, instead of calling the cops or organizing a fundraiser for a candidate who is tough on crime, a circle of church men surrounded her, prayed for her and she was instantly sobered and delivered from addiction.
She never took drugs again. Ever. She still lives in California. She’s still a Christian.
Another scene from the same town, same era: A white pastor known for reaching out to men struggling with drugs was killed in a car accident. His friend, the late gospel pianist/singer Andraé Crouch, provided the musical interlude at the funeral. White Presbyterians hosted the ceremony, wheeling one of the old-school upright pianos Crouch preferred right past their baby grand.
White, black and brown people (including my parents) from every church in this Air Force town turned out because the pastor was beloved. So was Crouch, who was unapologetically black — a Christian version of Sly and the Family Stone. No one seemed to notice the color differences.
There was so much power and love in that sanctuary, it seemed quite possible the pastor would rise from the dead, according to my mother. It has happened before.
Yes. This is how my life began. And, this early life — so circumstantially similar to today, but so spiritually different — is why I have hope. I have seen the power and love of God so beautifully described in the scriptures in my own world. It is real. The same yesterday, today and forever.
So, hear what heaven is saying.
God still forgives.
God still delivers.
God still restores.
God still heals.
God still provides.
Nothing, absolutely nothing, that 2020 has brought or will bring is beyond His reach. Have hope!