I think it started with toilet paper. You remember, grocery store shelves empty from end to end. But like the pandemic itself, the shortages and binge buying raced through other aisles as well. Hand sanitizer. Pasta. Cleaning products. Rice. Masks. Meat. Perhaps a bit irrational, but real.
Consumers clamoring for items that somehow fostered a feeling of safety, or security, or sustainability. Even now, six months later, “normal” is a deteriorating memory. Certainly shelves are better stocked than before, but the object of that mad rush for control remains elusive. Uncertain. Unclear.
We hear phrases like “supply chain interruption and breakdown.” A global pandemic hijacks the typical movement of goods and services. Raw materials vanish. The work force is quarantined. And as all of this unfolds, it reveals the fundamental need for meaning, security, and opportunity. In all of us. From urban to rural.
Is life out of control? From empty shelves to crowded streets. From social distancing to social unrest. From streaming video to personal despair. What’s next?
Could it be that what’s next is the realization that the love of Jesus is never in short supply? Is it possible that a pandemic pulls back the curtain on everything but the hope of Christ? What if the chaos and pain on our streets point us toward a God of justice and mercy? What if the toxic political climate shines the light on the irrepressible Kingdom of God… and the King that rules it?
Behind the empty shelves, this is what we are finding. A hunger for hope. And a message without supply-chain issues. Not Jesus as an option. But Jesus as the answer. Delivered authentically. Delivered personally. The story of God, exposed in me… His image bearer. Unleashed in you… His image bearer. Overlapping stories revealing an everlasting God.
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.” (Lamentations 3:22–24, ESV)
No shortages. No stockpiles. New. Every single day. Limitless.
Hope inducing. Life giving. Future securing.
The chaos clears the clutter. The shortages point to the source.
Jesus. The giver of life. The giver of grace. The provider of hope.
Now, as never before, our mission bulges with opportunity. Empty shelves create open hearts. And barriers provide unique platforms… for hope. For Jesus.
He is not silent. He is not distant. He is not in short supply.
Now, more than ever. Now, with the curtain of self-reliance pulled back. Now… especially now.
Dan Wolgemuth is President/CEO of Youth For Christ. Youth For Christ has been a pillar of missional ministry since 1944, when the Rev. Billy Graham served as YFC’s first full-time staff member. Since then, Youth For Christ has continued to be both a rural and urban ministry on mission, and always about the message of Jesus.