This Unfamiliar Place
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. --- Hebrews 13:8

This message is for all of us who have mourned (and those who presently mourn) the death of family members and friends - some singular and some multiple deaths - in this year alone. This is also for those who are currently quarantined, those who have experienced COVID-19 and made it through, those who are dealing with this and other forms of illnesses, those who may live alone or are lonely, and those who are missing their family members who live in distant locations. We are in an unfamiliar place physically, spiritually, and emotionally. It does not feel good, it does not look good, and it is difficult to see any good in this place. But there is an everlasting Good News for us we can depend on, and here it is: 'it is in this unfamiliar place where we are most certain to find God.'  Yes, He was waiting here for us before we arrived, because He meant it when He said 'He'd never leave nor forsake us’(Deuteronomy 31:6) - especially now. The strain of what we are going through without being able to physically encircle each other with our support has taken a toll on us like nothing we have ever experienced before. Will we ever feel like our normal selves again? Quite frankly, 'no'. The people we were before these storms rolled in have been fighting in faith to survive. Just like the soldier who goes off to war and after a time returns home - we, too, will not be the same when we come out of this place. But because Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forevermore - He will take all of our brokenness and exchange it for renewed and comforted spirits - if we let Him. He will use our loss to strengthen our testimony in Him. He will restore joy within our souls and blessed assurance within our hearts and minds that - those we've lost, those who suffer alone, those who we long to see, and we - who are in this unfamiliar place - will not be disappointed in the outcome of His Kingdom purpose for this season. This, too, shall pass, and this unfamiliarity shall not be in vain. We can trust in God.