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 chapter eight of Romans, Paul goes back and forth between our present reality as God’s children in a broken world and our future destination in God’s new heavens and new earth. Because we have tasted the first fruits, we yearn for Christ to complete His Kingdom. “The Spirit,” Paul writes, “comes to help our weakness. We don’t know what we should pray, but the Spirit himself pleads our case with unexpressed groans.”
Living under the ministry of the Holy Spirit calls for trust, which is incredibly difficult for us to muster right now. Fear, the opposite of trust, turns our anxious hearts in upon themselves, making us grasp for straws, believe crackpot theories, and makes us even more polarized than we were before all of this started. It makes us suspicious of and hateful to those who have our best interests at heart. It robs us of love, joy, and freedom.
I’m struggling with fear right now. Sending my kids to school scares me and not sending them scares me. Returning to church scares me and being closed to in-person worship scares me. These are just a few of the new COVID realities that haunt me.
What are we to do when trust doesn’t come easy?
Paul ends chapter eight of Romans by asking us what will separate us from the love of God we’ve found in Jesus. “I am convinced that nothing in all creation [your fears and mine included] can separate us from the love of God in Christ,” Paul concludes.
Even if you find it hard to trust anything else at this moment, trust that. Trust that you are loved. Trust that your inadequate prayers are superseded by a grace too deep for us to imagine. Trust that God has a better creation coming and that our citizenship rests in His hands. And the best news: Even if you can’t, it’s still true.