Cha·os /ˈkāˌäs/ noun
Calm /kä(l)m/ adjective
I put these definitions before you because I am guessing that you have heard/read both probably 200 times today. We hear these words on a typical basis with the world that we live in but definitely in a time like this. It is pure chaos at the grocery stores, in our government, in our homes, at work, in small businesses, in large businesses, in our schools, in our churches, and the list could go on and on. It is an exhaustive list of chaos. For us at the church, none of us can say that we have ministered through this type of chaos before. Sure, there has been chaos in our lives before, in the church life before, and in our community -- but none like this. Atleast, not in my lifetime. In the chaos -- there is fear, anxiety, worry, trembling… it is almost stilling the amount. We are worried about ourselves, our families, our brothers and sisters in Christ, about our community, our nation, our economy, our nurses and healthcare professionals, etc. I am sure all these thoughts have run through your mind, as they have mine. But here lies the truth -- there is A CALM in the chaos of any disaster, trial, disease, and especially COVID-19.
So how do we do it? How do we amidst all of this, find the calm in the chaos? How do we rally together when social distancing is pushing us apart? How do we create community and encourage one another when face-to-face is not an option? I don’t know all the answers but I do know one -- we have the same God yesterday, today, and forever(Hebrews 13:8). We have a God who loves His people and is with us in all of this. We have a God that is seeing His people struggling and is hoping instead of turning to everything else that we turn towards Him! We have a God that has given us incredible people, resources, and abilities to get us through this time. I pray for our doctors, nurses, and those in the medical and research fields that God uses their talents to find something to help cure, aid, and prevent this virus. I pray for our community in all ways that we are able to rally together in this (with social distancing) by calling each other, reaching out in prayer and love, and helping where we can. I pray for the Church as we navigate how to minister to those from a distance. Something that I know Shepherd of the Hills has been actively doing these past few days. We want you to know Christ, to receive Christ, to grow in Him -- and we want to help you do that always. So with that being said, I have come up with a list of resources and things that I will be doing till we are able to meet in person again for our families, youth, and children ministries. Please take a look at the letters below pertaining to your family needs. We will have the opportunity to grow together through this (all while keeping our distance). If you have an idea, if you have a thought, if you would like to see something -- please let me know. I want to help you!
Lastly, I want to talk about the calm. I know that this is not a calming time for many. I know that me saying to be calm or breathe is not something you haven’t tried to do or thought about doing. I know that it is not as simple as that. But another thing that I know is that God is with us even in the times where chaos seems to close in. God is fighting for us even when we feel like the fight is too much. God knows us and the struggles that we face and He calls us to trust in Him. Last month, I wrote about baby steps -- maybe you take baby steps day by day in releasing this worry and fear… just know we have a God that sees that and is with you every step of the way. “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
In His Love,
Director of Family Life
Jessica Tibben was installed as Director of Family Life at SHLC in December 2019. She was previously working in Denison, IA as Director of Youth and Family Ministry for the past 5 years. She loves being able to serve both youth and families and bringing them to know more about Jesus.