Be a Camel: How believers can respond when uncertainty abounds
Camels are a perfect mascot for this season of worldwide pandemic.
In ancient times, camels were invaluable for travel and industry.
- They adapt extremely well to climates.
- They were able to survive without food or water for months.
- When the timing is right, they can sprint rapidly for a sustained period of time.
It’s difficult, because camels are not attractive creatures. They are slow, cumbersome, and… boring. Very few athletic teams have adopted camels to be a mascot.
Being a cheetah is far more tempting. They are sleek, attractive, and extremely fast. Since cheetahs tire easily, quick results are imperative. Our culture has adopted a cheetah mentality that has not adapted well to the COVID-19 environment.
A biblical model of being a camel can be found in the faith and life of Abraham.
He provides a stirring example of how to respond during a worldwide pandemic that could have lasting repercussions.
- The Lord told him to leave the comforts of family and security to fulfill his promises. By faith, Abraham journeyed.
- Abraham did not know where he was going. This was new territory that would require adaptation and flexibility. His faith was the fuel that kept him going one day at a time.
- God’s timetable was far different than Abraham’s timetable. Patience and endurance are key elements to fully trusting God’s promises.
- God delivered on his promises. Even though a son was born to Abraham at an old age, other promises were fulfilled after his death.
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”2 Peter 3:9
God provides many promises during a believer’s life on earth. He allows both blessings and difficult circumstances to help remind us that God is God and we are not. It is his desire to focus on the promises yet come when souls who rest in Christ receive eternal life in heaven.
Now is not the time to be a cheetah. Let’s not long for quick and easy fixes, nor have an insatiable desire to have life return to normal. Comfort, security, and familiarity are fleeting when they are tied to earthly treasures.
Now is the time to be a camel. This requires a deliberate, slow, and patient journey. Peace, security, and hope that are tied to heavenly treasures are far more valuable.
Adopt a Camel Mentality
Churches and Christian leaders can adopt a camel mentality in how they guide their church.
- Like camels, they can have a willingness to adapt to any climate while teaching and preaching clearly from the Bible. They can adapt and make changes in their methodologies and approaches to spread the Word and bring as many as possible to heaven. Perhaps this may be a time God has given for churches to pour wine into new wineskins.
- Like camels, the church can survive without food and water with Christ as its chief cornerstone. This may not be a time of harvest. Churches may diminish and some will close its doors for good. Whether churches grow or decline, results are always in God’s hands. People are thirsting today for meaning and purpose – and congregations can concentrate on actively providing the living water of Christ through the power of his Word.
- When the time is right, churches can sprint rapidly over a sustained period of time to harvest souls for Christ. We have no idea when this may come. Many of us may never see a time of great harvest, but God promises that the work of planting seeds of the gospel will never amount to nothing, nor will our labors ever be in vain.
It seems that a cure for the virus is still a good six to nine months away. A presidential election is months away. This means there will be more social unrest, frustration, government distrust, and political division.
How can believers in Christ respond when times appear threatening and uncertainty abounds?
Be a camel.
O Lord, Creator of the heavens and the earth, the One who sustains and provides, the King of kings who perfectly delivers on his promises, we place our fears and concerns at your feet. Through your grace, we are forgiven and redeemed. Through the power of your Spirit, we dwell in your presence. With eyes fixed on heaven and with hearts intertwined with your purpose, empower us to work while it is still day to proclaim to the world what you have already done through Christ. With you, we can do all things. With your promise, we can take anything that life throws our way knowing that your hand is in it. In your name we rest. Amen.
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