My post tonight is specifically to those who follow Jesus. If you don’t, you’re welcome to read it. But it’s a note specifically to the body of Christ.
I’ve been thinking about the heroes of the faith recently.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Corrie Ten Boom. Jim and Elisabeth Elliot. And others. There are so many.
Believers who have found themselves in difficult times, and rose to the occasion. Sometimes in martyrdom, sometimes surviving. But always remaining faithful.
And I look at myself, and how I’ve been responding to the pandemic.
I used to think that if I was put into a position of a hero of the faith I would certainly live up to it. I’m told to recant my faith upon pain of death? Bring on the guillotine. I’m told to bow to the King as my god? I’m standing. That king is not my God.
And suddenly, we find ourselves in one of those linchpin moments. We find ourselves living in a situation where we are confronted with what we believe, and we’re asked… will you be a hero of the faith?
But here’s the thing. I don’t find myself identifying with the Bonhoeffers, the Ten Booms, the Elliots. I’m not rising to the occasion to become some sort of spiritual leader. I’m hardly able to lead myself or my family. Sometimes, I find I struggle to get through the day.
And it has started to occur to me that while the heroes of the faith were taking their historic stands, there were hundreds and thousands of people who were just trying to survive.
Now, I find that I am identifying with the Christians who were terrified of standing up to Hitler. I’m understanding the Christians who didn’t want to leave their homes to go and share the gospel with the people in South America. I finally understand that there were people of faith in those times who were scared… people who felt isolated… people who had trouble sleeping at night.
People whose faith was not strengthened in adversity.
And I’m wondering if we – as followers of Jesus – haven’t been missing the mark a bit by only celebrating people who did the “right” thing in times of duress.
Sure. People doing the hard thing in difficult times is admirable.
But here’s the thing about grace. It covers everyone – including the ones whose response to adversity isn’t noteworthy. Grace says, “I know you struggled. I know you failed. I love and accept you anyway.”
When things were normal, this was something I hung my hat on… that things hinged on God’s grace and not my actions. God’s grace was there for all of us, even in our failures. And now that things aren’t normal, the rubber is meeting the road.
Either God’s grace is sufficient to cover us in the worst possible scenarios, or it isn’t.
I choose to believe that it is.
And while I’m hopeful that we will have new heroes of the faith arise during the COVID19 crisis, I am also hopeful that those of us who are just trying to make it, those of us trying to get through the monotony of each day, those of us who are having trouble sleeping at night because of our anxiety…
Well, we’ll be okay too. We may not be the subject of future Bible studies, but maybe we should be.
Because in the end, theologically and otherwise, what really matters is God’s grace, not us and the things that we do.
And my prayer for you is that you are living in God’s grace today. Because it covers a multitude of things, including how we respond to this pandemic.