By Conference Minister Diane Weible
God has not given us a spirit of fear, but the spirit of power, of courage and resolution, to meet difficulties and dangers; the spirit of love which will carry us through opposition.” 2 Timothy 1:7
I don’t usually have a hard time starting to write. Today I can’t seem to do it. I’m feeling the exhaustion of this moment. I’m feeling the grief and the stress that so many have told me they too have experienced at various moments in these months. And that’s just the pandemic.
The repeated murder of and violence toward black and brown bodies, while not new, is being seen and understood in new ways. This is good. It has to happen. And, as our eyes are opened, we begin to see all the places where we have contributed to a culture where not all life is valued. For me I see what I have not said and should have; I see what I have not done, and should have; I see where I thought the world looked one way when it looks very different for people who do not have the privilege I have, who do not share my narrative.
Ministry has never felt so important. This moment in time has never felt so important.
And, the very next step feels monumental. Paul’s letter to Timothy offers the dose of encouragement I need. When the spirit of fear threatens to take over, it is the spirit of power, and resolution that will carry me, carry us, through.
God is calling us to work and ministry that builds the Kindom of God and focuses on Jesus’ call for us to treat all people as the amazing creations they are. It seems so obvious and yet, why is it so hard? When the work is hardest and feels so insurmountable that the next right step is hard to see, the spirit of courage will carry us through. We cannot give up. Instead, we must dig deep.
The power of courage, resolution, and love made known to us in Spirit is what will carry us through. When we are tired and don’t think we can take another step, breathe, listen, and dig deep—Spirit will guide us through. While these days are hard, they also carry a potential for transformation that can only be steered by the power of God. As people of faith, that is our center and our strength. Lean into it; gather strength and move forward into the next.