Photo by Jeff Rogers Photography
I have been a pastor and church planter for 30 years in Central Kentucky. During this time, I have seen God move, not only in the lives of longtime committed Christians, but also through ministries to people experiencing homelessness and addiction recovery.
How do I see God working in the midst of this pandemic?
The last time I remember feeling the things I have been feeling recently was the terrorist attacks of 9/11. But this coronavirus outbreak has been very different. When there is a collective tragedy, it’s almost like the Holy Spirit kicks something into gear. It seems like people are understanding the Holy Spirit in a new way, in spite of all of the anxiety and uncertainty.
During this pandemic, I have noticed a similarity in conversations with church members and non-church members in that their prayer life is deeper and more consistent. Many times, in the past, people have said to me, “I pray but I don’t hear from God.” Now people tell me, when they pray, they are hearing from God — and being comforted like never before.
There has been concern over the financial issues that have come with COVID-19, but many folks are feeling a peace about this. It’s been amazing to see how people want to give during this time. We have actually seen an increase in our giving, which we are using to help people who are struggling. There is a group who just raised $1,500 to make personal protective equipment for health care workers and first responders. They are praying over this equipment before they send it to be used.
I’m also hearing a lot of things about kids. God is bringing them closer to their parents, and they are also spending more time with their siblings. We have become so independent in our culture and within our own families as well, even our young children. Everyone has their own community on their phone. Parents and siblings don’t know the friends of other family members the way we used to. It’s almost like we are being taken back to the olden days when families spent more time together.
I am seeing that families are growing closer to God as a family. Things are being pulled back to the things of God and the Spirit. Even in our own family, for the first time a few nights ago, we just knelt around the coffee table and prayed. It’s like COVID-19 is a loose thread that has been pulled, bringing us all together and closer to God. My prayer is that this closeness continues.