What if things get worse?

What if things get worse?  I have been asked this question a dozen times in the last week.  As humanity scrambles to restore order and predictability, we find ourselves bracing for what may yet come.

We are not the only generation to experience this.  Truth be told, much of the non-first world lives this way all day, every day.  In some places right now, villagers in deserts across the planet are gathered wondering if rain will come and provide food for the weeks ahead.  If it does not, they do not eat.  In other places on the earth, right now as you read this, thousands of refugees are heading north on foot, their homes destroyed, their belongings gathered in a tattered suitcase, their future uncertain.

That aside, what confronts us is real, as is the accompanying mental anguish.  A year ago we were stunted, but as families, churches, economies, as a nation, we rallied.  We smiled again and bought new things, smiling at the future as hope seemed to rise on our horizon.

But it seems that momentum was short-lived.  Anxiety is growing, masks are being ordered en masse, and our social barricades are back in place.  What will happen next?  Will it be as bad as the first time…or worse?

Ha!  Put on a brave face!  Perhaps you and I were born for such a time as this!  Someone has to live through this, it might as well be us.  Tragedy will not win the day.  In the midst of all the bitter conflict on social media, the criticism of government, and the unending confusion from a thousand muddled voices, there are a few people who will courageously stare into the storm and run toward it.

Habakkuk the Jew was one of those men.  He wrote a small message to his people in a time of fearful uncertainty.  One hundred years prior, the Hebrew nation had been overtaken by the Assyrian empire.  In his day, the prophet awaited the certain siege and capture of Jerusalem, the last bastion of his people, by the vicious Babylonian army.

These two historic conquests of the Jewish nation had harsh consequences.  People were slaughtered by the thousands.  Those who were not were taken captive into a foreign land.  Their temple was raided, their homes were destroyed, their cities were burned.  Religious freedom was a thing of the past, and the great heritage of what was once the mightiest nation on earth was only a memory.

In this context, Habakkuk writes a message of hope.

“I tremble, waiting quietly for the day we are invaded.  Though the fig tree should not blossom, though there is no fruit on the vines, though the fields produce no food, though there is no cattle in the stall, yet I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.  The Lord is my strength.”

The prophet cites very real and tangible circumstances of his failing; agriculture was everything in his society.  If there wasn’t any produce in the field or animals in the barn, Kroger was not a backup option.  You just didn’t eat that week.

Yet in the midst of this he places his anchor in something higher.  He rests his identity and assurance in God and finds his strength in his knowledge of God’s goodness.

Today we have the same choice to make.  We can add to the noise of complaint and conspiracy, or simply steel our gaze heavenward and find strength in what is more true.  In doing so we will inspire others and build something deep in ourselves that will bear lasting fruit.

Let us aspire to be kings as described by C.S. Lewis in the stories of Narnia: “For this is what it means to be a king: to be first in every desperate attack and last in every desperate retreat, and when there’s hunger in the land (as must be now and then in bad years) to wear finer clothes and laugh louder over a scantier meal than any man in your land.”

This Week’s Calendar

Click above for a list of groups meeting this week.

Upcoming Events

We meet every Sunday at 10:00 am
to worship God together, and throughout the week in home groups all over the city. Please click the link to the left for a complete schedule of home groups.

Our Community

At VCC, we believe that church is not a function: it is a family. Our religion is only as alive as we are, the people that pursue it. So, rather than acting as an organization, we want to act as an organism. We have no time for casual contacts and meaningless formalities. We are a fellowship on an adventure towards the stuff of God. Church means worshipping God together, studying the Bible together, fixing our cars together, hiking together, eating together, playing together, praying together... enjoying the warmth of the Holy Spirit in all parts of our lives together, not just in appointed meeting times.