Thanksgiving Day 2020. I woke with the word Emergency heavy in my mind, weighing down my spirit like a rock tethered to a balloon.
As I finished my coffee, greeted my family, and began planning out my day’s preparations, the word kept repeating in my inner being. Emergency! Emergency!
I diced vegetables for our tiny gathering of three, a little wobbly and tired myself from the virus that everyone in the world has come to either loathe or fear. I am not at my peak performance, but I am not so sick that I can’t cook a small meal. I am thankful that I am not as sick as our brother and sister in Kenya, who are also fighting this virus, thousands of miles away from us. Our brother had to be hospitalized, and his wife couldn’t visit him. A separation much like we see here in America, out of respect for safety. But an Emergency there because healthcare isn’t as reliable or accessible. Our beloved brother and his wife lead a church that not only reaches out to save lost souls but also teaches others to go out and share the good news daily as if lives depend on it. As if there were an Emergency occurring right now before our very eyes.
I take a break from my chopping. I tire easily today, and I can afford to rest. I realize that the great Emergency evolving in front of our eyes is not the Emergency created by a global pandemic or the Emergency of overfilled hospitals or collapsed economies.
Today, as I prepare for my tiny Thanksgiving of three who either have been or are currently infected with Covid-19, I realize that the great Emergency that is compelling my spirit to move my fingers to type out this plea isn’t even one that spreads across our globe. This Emergency is here, only in America.
Our amazing country is in crisis. And not a political one. I am afraid for our country because while we fight this virus, attempting to save as many lives as possible, we forget the greater battle that rages on, in the invisible realm of the spirit. Americans! Emergency!
More than 150,000 people were diagnosed yesterday in the United States with Covid-19. I don’t care what source you depend on, but no matter what, a small percentage of those people will die of the disease. Is it 1%? One-half percent?
How many of those people have been so distracted by the politics or the economy or binge-watching or social media or even just making it through the day without yelling at someone in their own family that they didn’t have an opportunity to seek out The One who can give life?
My heart is crying out that there is an Emergency in America today because we have been so concerned with our own personal rights, with our own personal spaces, with our personal appearances (OMG! My roots are so 2020!), that we have forgotten that as Christians, we are commanded to GO.
Our brother and sister in Kenya were devastated when Covid-19 sidelined their abilities to share the good news with others. As soon as one of them was out of the hospital, his first thought was not how wonderful it would be to return home to his wife. He didn’t worry about his job, or shaving his beard, or taking a hot shower. Upon returning home, and before even fully recovering, he began making plans to get back out into his community to share the gospel. To save lives. Not the physical ones of our current confines. But the soul that lives for eternity or is damned for the same.
I regret to say that saving lost souls was not my first thought when the nurse said my test was positive.
I am thankful my soul has been saved and will live for eternity with my Creator. I know I am a sinner, and that my sin separates me from God. I know that Jesus Christ is God’s one and only perfect Son. He was crucified on the cross and He died, having never sinned. He rose on the third day and ascended into Heaven. It is ONLY because of Him that I can be forgiven of my sins, and only because of Him that if I were to perish of Covid-19 or any other Emergency, I would spend eternity in Heaven with Him.
But how does this Emergency only apply to America? Americans, we have forgotten our roots. We have forgotten that our country was created on a foundation of belief in the God of Nature. And that this God of Nature endowed us with certain rights.
Our Declaration of Independence beautifully states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
America! Listen, there is an Emergency!
Because our founding fathers believed that God gave each of us these rights does not make these rights the foundation and most important priority in our lives!
I would argue that the greatest command, coming straight from the Savior himself who I believe our founding fathers were referring to in the Declaration of Independence, would be to, “Go, into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”
Out of all the rights that I have that are listed in the Declaration of Independence, I only need LIFE to follow this command.
I do not need liberty to share the gospel. My brothers and sisters in India and other countries where Christians are persecuted can tell me that. We had news this week of a brother whose home was demolished BY HIS FAMILY when they found out he was a believer. He does not need his religious liberties to share the Word. He does it at great risk to his life, his family, and his home.
I do not need the pursuit of happiness to share the good news that can save a soul. In fact, I do not need to be happy at all. Just ask Jesus, who was beaten, mocked, and suffered at the hands of people who scorned him. So, while it’s certainly nice to be happy, I do not need to be happy to save a life for eternity.
What I need is the gospel. What I need is Jesus.
So, this Thanksgiving, I compel you, Americans. Whether you are healthy or unhealthy, masked or unmasked, together or apart, SHARE THE GOOD NEWS OF JESUS CHRIST WITH SOMEONE TODAY.
There is an Emergency right now in our country. There is a crisis. People will die today. They will die of Covid-19 or car accidents, they will die of cancer, of suicide, of heart attacks. God’s hope is that not a single one would die without having heard the life-saving words, “You are forgiven.”