It doesn’t feel a stretch to think of living in a growing pandemic as being like entering a wilderness – it’s full of unknowns, there’s a harshness about it, it’s a place of isolation. And it can also involve loss. I don’t mean loss of life, though that’s a reality, but I mean a loss…

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By Matt Smethurst, managing editor of The Gospel Coalition, and originally published at www.thegospelcoalition.org It’s now clear that COVID-19 is a deadly serious global pandemic, and all necessary precautions should be taken. Still, C. S. Lewis’s words—written 72 years ago—ring with some relevance for us. Just replace “atomic bomb” with “coronavirus.” In one way we think a…

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In the closing minutes of the film version of The Fellowship of the Ring (part one of The Lord of the Rings), the story’s heroes face a hope-crushing defeat. They get trounced in battle, and scattered from one another. Gimli, Legolas and Aragorn regroup. They are weary and shaken. “So it has all been in…

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Picture this… I’m imagining Jesus out at sea in a creaky, smelly old fishing boat. The waves are happily slapping up against its wooden bow as an exhausted crew “put out into the deep” where Jesus wanted them to let down their nets despite the long fruitless night they’d already endured (Luke 5:1-11). The expressions on the…

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I think I’ve got a silly notion in my head that if an all-powerful God has a sovereign Plan, then His Plan should be accomplished the way a missile takes a straight and steady path toward its target. I mean, when the great God who created all things sets His will to do something, how…

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Can you imagine Jesus having a moment of uninterrupted downtime while sitting amidst a crowd of people? It always seems like the crowds would never leave Him alone. But in Mark 12:41, we’re told that “He sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money in the offering box” (Mark 12:41) as if…

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What do you do when you’re in a place that you can’t leave? There is a group of Paul’s letters called the Prison Epistles: Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon. Paul makes repeated reference in these books to his “imprisonment”, to himself as a “prisoner”, and to his “chains”. (Hence the label.) He probably wrote them…

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I continually forget how radical God’s grace is. It’s like the thick haze of my own regrets makes it difficult to see clearly as I squint amidst the clutter of my own bad attitudes and blunders. God’s grace just doesn’t compute in such circumstances. That’s why I need regular reminders of how amazing it is!…

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As I began reading Psalm 125 this morning, the first verse gave me the impression that my life is only as stable as my capacity to trust in the Lord. In other words, it sounds like it’s all up to me: “Those who trust in the Lord are as Mount Zion, which cannot be moved…

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One of the good sides of having a heart attack (like I did six months ago), is learning to live with lack: Lack of energy. Lack of concentration. Lack of emotional stamina. And lack can be a good thing, since it pushes you into Christ, in whom there is no lack. As John says in…

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