Shut and Locked by Mary Loudermilk. 1 4/5 (1)

Inspire Encourage

“On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’” (John 20:19, ESV)
Life has taken some unusual twists and turns for all of us in recent days. Our minds are filled with questions as we try to understand how things could have changed so rapidly. Our schedules are altered (or canceled) and social interactions are limited. New phrases mix into our conversations as we talk about “sheltering in place” and “social distancing.” Many of us had never heard of coronavirus until it crashed into our comfortable world a few weeks ago. Now uncertainty surrounds us. We are limited in what we can do and where we can go.

This week while thinking of various friends now facing difficult situations, I realized I cannot be there in person for them. One friend lost a family member. Another is currently in a rehab facility with no visitors allowed. Still another is a shut-in with health issues. A fourth is out of the country and alone. Because of current restrictions, I am limited to calls, texts, and email messages. As I prayed for each one, I realized how limited I am in what I can do. But then God reminded me that while I have limitations, He does not.

John 20:19 is part of a passage of scripture relating events following Jesus’ resurrection. Suddenly, life as the disciples knew it no longer existed. For over three years they had walked and talked with Jesus. Their hearts were stirred as they heard His teachings and saw Him perform the miraculous. Now? Now they were hiding, locked in with their fears and uncertainty. Where should they go? What should they do?

Then Jesus stepped into the locked room.

“Peace be with you.” Yes, peace was exactly what His disciples needed. His presence in their midst and the words He spoke allowed them to look to the future. This moment in time was not the end. It was the beginning of something even greater than what they had previously known.

As I meditated and prayed that evening, God reminded me of some things.

Walls cannot lock Him in or keep Him out.
Borders do not restrict His movement.
Viruses do not cause Him to fear.
Regulations do not limit Him from coming near us.

God has no limitations on what He can do. I may not understand how He will use this current situation for His glory, but I don’t have to understand. All I need to do is trust.

When the children of Israel left Egypt on their journey to the Promised Land, they found themselves in a difficult place. The sea was behind them and a wilderness lay ahead. At that point, they saw very little to encourage them. But God had a plan to draw Pharaoh and his army into position so He could destroy them. God’s reality was very different from the people’s perception.

“For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, ‘They are bewildered by the land; the wilderness has closed them in’” (Exodus 14:3, NKJV).

It may look like we are bewildered by current circumstances and that we are shut in by a wilderness, but in reality, God will use the things happening in our lives for our good and His glory. I cannot be with my friends during these difficult times, but God will be. He has promised to never leave us or forsake us. Nothing is impossible when He steps into the room.

Don’t put limitations on God’s power. He has none.

Information from: Pure Ministry – UPCI Ladies Ministries – ladiesconnections@upci.org

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