fbpx

In the midst of Holy Week, we find ourselves in a unique season of self-isolation and deprivation that coincides with the religious tradition of Lent observed by many Christians. Lent is a time of preparation – a period of giving up or sacrificing something in preparation for something better that is coming. The major difference is that Lent ends on Easter Sunday; and, in the case of the current crisis we’re experiencing, we don’t know what is coming next or when it will end. One way to navigate this period of uncertainty is to turn our attention to what God wants to do in us during this time.

"One way to navigate this period of uncertainty is to turn our attention to what God wants to do in us during this time."

Whenever we enter a season of trials, troubles, or temptations our tendency is to ask “WHY?” Our thoughts often quickly turn to Job in the Old Testament; we can commiserate with his plight and his desperation to understand why God allows such terrible things to happen. Unfortunately, like him, we rarely get the answers we seek.

Theologian, N.T. Wright offers his perspective on this when he says, “…Rationalists want explanations, Romantics want to be given a sigh of relief, but perhaps what we need more than either is to recover the biblical tradition of lament…”.  To lament is to express sorrow, mourning or regret over something – and it is what we experience when we ask “why?” and don’t get an answer. This is the time to begin processing; making space to grieve and to search ourselves and God. Isolation and deprivation give us the opportunity to shift our paradigm. If instead of avoiding or denying it, we lean into it and explore it, new things may emerge or become clearer; we can discover more about ourselves and those we’re in relationship with.

We like to have control and authority over what happens in our lives but, in truth, we have very little. The Coronavirus pandemic is a glaring example. The first couple of weeks of quarantine may have seemed a welcomed break in our routine, but as time goes on, the novelty wears off and is replaced by struggle, anxiety and stress as we lose our sense of autonomy and don’t have an end in sight. We can compare this to what the Israelites might have felt when they were led to the edge of the Jordan River (Joshua 3:2) before crossing into the promised land. They didn’t see how; they didn’t know God’s plan or how long it would take. God chose for His people to wait, watch, and depend on Him to come to their aid.

"As the spirit laments within us, so we become, even in our self-isolation, small shrines where the presence and healing love of God can dwell.”

During this time of hardship, temptations are many; we can lose hope and slip into despair, we can become selfish and view others as competitors for limited resources, we can numb the pain with secret sins and self-medicating, we can look for easy answers by shaming and blaming, but none of this will make it or us better. The rest of N.T. Wright’s quote, I feel, holds the answer, “It is no part of the Christian vocation, then, to be able to explain what’s happening and why. In fact, it is part of the Christian vocation not to be able to explain – and to lament instead. As the spirit laments within us, so we become, even in our self-isolation, small shrines where the presence and healing love of God can dwell.”

If this is the case, in times of suffering, the Christian response should also be one of charity. In addition to looking inward, we should look outside of ourselves and ask who around us is hurting and how can we help and support them? There are always opportunities, and where we don’t immediately see them, let’s ask God to show them to us and listen for the voice of His Holy Spirit.

God may not always give us answers, but in every trial we face, He promises to be with us. So, let’s lean into this season, see those around us, and know that God is here, He is working, and He will bring beauty from ashes. We may be experiencing the dark night of the soul today, but the resurrection is coming; we have the hope of Easter at the end of Lent.

child sponsorship

Why Can’t I Instant Message My Sponsored Child?

1.86 billion people log into their Facebook account at least once a month–that’s almost 1/4 of the total global population! This number doesn’t even include other outlets like Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. People in developing countries are no exception to this global trend, and chances are, the child you sponsor has

Go to Blog »
mission trips

4 Practical Ways to Prepare for A Mission Trip

Before embarking on your first mission trip, there are a variety of things you can do to prepare yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually. This article will focus on some of the practical steps you can take to ensure you get the most out of your experience. Here are four things

Go to Blog »
photography

4 Tips for Taking Photos on the Mission Field

The Forward Edge Blog In many ways, photography can be a vivid part of your ministry on the mission field. It can be used to break down cultural walls, build relationships, display respect, support team members, and share important aspects of a ministry with the outside world. Here are four tips

Go to Blog »
child sponsorship

4 Tips to Grow Closer to Your Sponsored Child

As a child sponsor for over 3 decades, and now as the Child Sponsorship Administrator for Forward Edge, I am often asked (and challenged myself) about how to best communicate with a sponsored child. In almost all cases, the children we sponsor live in other countries. We do live in

Go to Blog »

Change the World for One

This June, let’s match 30 sponsors with 30 children in our  programs for the vulnerable. That is a lot of children learning their true worth in Christ through relationship, but it starts with one sponsor choosing one child at a time. Are you ready to change the world for one?

Subscribe to receive all our new blogs straight to your inbox!

Transform a Child's Life Through Sponsorship

Hola (hello), my name is Kevin Gustavo

  • location

    Mexico

  • 8 yrs. old

    04-26-2012

Entered the program: February 2019

Kevin lives with his mother and two young siblings. They all live in one tin-covered room in a small corner of Kevin´s Grandma´s property. Kevin´s parents are not together and his mother is the sole provider for the family. She collects recycled material and tries to sells it to earn money. Their financial situation is very difficult.

Kevin's sister, Daniela, is also in the Trigo y Miel program.

Sponsorship Level What's this?

Three $38 sponsorships cover the complete holistic care of one child. Cover one, two, or three sponsorships.