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Sunday, August 9, 2020

How the Pandemic Might Help You Bear Fruit

 By Alison Langerman

After going on several trips with RtH in the past, I was concerned about the way American Christians would react to supporting the ministry further during COVID-19. This concern led me to really begin thinking about my own privileged position and attitude living in a 1st world nation. These thoughts, prayers, and reflections are just the beginning of my own personal response to what God is doing in my small corner of the world.

Amidst all the chaos of quarantine and the fears of the spreading virus, I read this quote from author Christine Caine, “Sometimes when you are in a dark place you think you’ve been buried, but actually you’ve been planted.” What a different point of view. I don’t know how this global pandemic has affected you, but it has certainly changed your life in some very unexpected ways; how will you choose to view this trial? Don’t let yourself be buried when God might be planning transformed life.

I have asked God repeatedly to stop this quickly and heal the thousands who are suffering, but then the prompting of the Holy Spirit forced me to change my prayer. I began to think, what if God is using this global crisis to draw hundreds of thousands of hearts to him? There seems to be such a lack of good news during this time. But I have heard so many encouraging testimonies about college students attending virtual bible studies, about fathers who work from home finally being able to read scripture to their kids, and about floods of desperate seekers logging into virtual church services. With tears of anxiety in my eyes and a lump in my throat, I decided to change my prayer of “stop this quickly” into a prayer that I might have strength to endure this for as long as it needs to last for lives to be saved. As much as it terrifies me, I am choosing to be planted and not buried.

In his article, “First-Year Vineyard Care,” Wes Hagan explains that after planting young vines the vintner will gradually decrease watering to force the plant to grow deeper roots. Hagan encourages vintners to, “Allow the roots to dry out between water applications. This will promote root growth as the vines sink their root systems deeper into the soil layers in an attempt to find water.” This strange season certainly feels like God has left us wandering without water. However, I will choose to believe that our sovereign Lord actually has a plan and that he will use these deeper roots that we are being forced to grow now in order to bear beautiful, sweet fruit in the days to come.

John 5:15 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

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Thank you for your words of encouragement. The Sales Family