by Colonel Steve Howard, Chief Secretary
Charles Swindoll has written, “Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react.”
Over these last few months of dealing with the COVID-19 crisis, there has been a lot happening to us. In many ways our lives have changed, and it’s clear that many of the ways we do things from now on will be different. We have gone through a time when we have not been able to personally attend corporate worship across the territory or country. Despite that, we have found ways to meet together, support one another, show our love and care for our neighbors.
Don’t you wish that some of the life that has “happened” to you in these months would just turn out to be a bad dream? As life has happened you have seen many different people display a wide range of reactions to situations. There has been anger, depression, resignation, joy, love and grace. You have seen that the “90 percent how you react” can play out in many ways. Other people are beyond our control, but we can control how we react. Have you reacted so that your hope shows?
As Christians, as Salvationists, the question is, have we been reacting in ways that will spur people on to ask why we have reacted in that way? 1 Peter 3:15 (NIV) says, “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”
When you served that cold drink in the name of Jesus from a canteen, did people see your hope in the midst of the crisis? When you handed out food boxes to people driving up to your corps during the quarantine, did people receive the love of Christ? On a personal level, what about the person who you interacted with at the grocery store while trying to buy necessities from a nearly bare shelf? Did you give that person a reason to ask you about the hope that is within you?
Are you prepared to share your hope with others? If we are to fulfill our mission to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and meet human needs in His name, our reaction to “life happening” to us has to include sharing the reason for the hope that is within us.