While I was having my quiet time this morning, a memory from years ago popped into my mind. It was the memory of Opposite Day, a day my children would designate as a day when nothing was as it was expected. A no-means-yes-and-yes-means-no day. And that part of the day alone could trip up a conscientious mother into giving consent to something unintended. Opposite Day might mean pajamas for day wear and pancakes for dinner. It was a day to wear your shoes on the wrong feet. On Opposite Day the only thing you could expect was the unexpected. At this point you might be scratching your head and wondering why I would think about these things during my quiet time. The simple explanation is that sometimes my mind is like a runaway train! But I think I can offer a better explanation of how I got here.
A few days ago I was listening to evangelist Lance Wallnau speak about the trials we are enduring in 2020. (Disclaimer: I really don’t know much about Wallnau or his theology but I thought this particular message was powerful.) The year is not even half over, and already we have had a plague of biblical proportions, a global shutdown, economic free-fall, chaos on our streets, and the threat of flying creatures called murder hornets. And now we have a tropical storm/hurricane bearing down on the gulf coast. It makes me wonder how people could simultaneously quarantine and evacuate. One particular point Wallnau made reached out and grabbed me, and has stayed with me. He was speaking about the church coming out of quarantine when he said, “What if out of containment comes enlargement?”
Those words eloquently expressed some thoughts I have been having on my own. What if God has allowed us as believers to go through this time of isolation to prepare us for something big He is going to do? That idea seems to me to be consistent with what I know about God. He does the unexpected. He acts in ways that are contrary to the ways we would expect because his ways are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:9). A primary example of this would be in the way Jesus came to earth. People expected a conquering king, but instead God sent a helpless baby born into humble circumstances.
So what if God is preparing His church for something new, something big? What if out of this time of isolation we experience a unity and togetherness like the early church described in Acts. What if out of these economic hardships we discover riches we have taken for granted? What if out of confusion comes understanding, out of pain comes rebirth, out of lockdown comes opportunity, and out of a time of quiet comes a Great Awakening? What if the church becomes THE CHURCH?! What if we see a new fulfillment of this promise from Isaiah 43:19:
For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
Wallnau went on to issue these exhortations for believers during this time: we must seek His face, hear His voice, understand His will, and be his witnesses. I don’t think I could say it any better. This is our time. Prepare to see God do something new.