Good morning you work in progress. And isn’t it great that God is not through with us, Yet! This morning I was reading a devotional thought that Max Lucado, put in his book “The Anvil” before 1985 and thinking of what is going on in and around us today. It is a story of the life of a blacksmith at work. Taking a piece of rustic iron, placing it in a hot fire, and then putting in on the anvil, he begins to imagine what it will be when the master finishes. He has a clear picture in mind and he begins to pound. The master knows the type of instrument he wants. He knows the size, the shape, the strength. He begins to work on it. He is taking the old and making something new. And with time, change occurs. What was dull becomes sharper; what was crooked becomes straighter; what was weak becomes strong; and what was useless becomes valuable. After the pounding and examining, the master takes the hot iron and puts it in a vat of cold water. Through the hissing and the steam, the new tool is now useful again.
As we think of how we are doing church these days, I think we are going to be forced to make adjustments, and that is probably a good thing. We have been forced to abandon our meeting together. That is just what the devil has wanted all along. He knows that we draw strength from our time of fellowshipping together in a collective body. It is there we draw strength and encouragement from our fellow believers. It is there we are shaped through our worship. It is there we are encouraged to take the Gospel outside the walls of the building and into the hearts of the lost and lonely. As Joseph told his brothers, “What you meant for bad, God meant for good.” With the new normal, we are now being forced to do church differently. Like the blacksmith taking the old iron and now making it into something new, we, as a congregation, are being forged to become a different, useful instrument for the Kingdom of God.
It is my prayer that we too will become sharper, straighter, stronger, and more useful as we keep our eyes on Christ Jesus and come through this time together. And we must remember, before the world was created, God knew the event, time, and effect the coronavirus was going to have on the ministry of His church. Proverbs is a verse that is challenging us to walk in His light. “Trust in the LORD with ALL your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. In ALL your ways acknowledge Him and He WILL direct your steps.” (Proverbs 3:5-6). You are a blessing today, even when you have to stay indoors.