Gene Jennings

Gene Jennings

I’ve heard the word “unprecedented” dozens of times since the coronavirus crisis began. This is indeed the most unusual and bizarre season of my entire lifetime. Who knew the power of a germ? The world has come to a near standstill during this unprecedented time.

In case you’re wondering, unprecedented means “never done or known before.” To be sure, this is an experience that this generation has never faced. Our world is anxious, frightened and on edge. People have fought – yes, literally fought – for toilet paper. Let that sink in for a moment.

What we need is unprecedented prayer for unprecedented peace. We need to pray like we’ve never prayed before. We need peace like we’ve never known. We need those who believe to cry out to God for His grace and favor to protect our world, our nation, our families and our friends.

The apostle Paul was in isolation during unprecedented times when he wrote a letter to the church in Philippi in A.D. 61. His isolation was much more severe than what some of us have experienced recently. Paul was in prison. The times were unprecedented because a worldwide movement called "the church" was in its infancy – a movement that “turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6, KJV and ESV). Yet, even from a prison cell, Paul could write these words: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6,7).

Please don’t read over Paul’s words too fast. Do not be anxious. Pray with thanksgiving in every situation. When you do this, the peace of God which is beyond our understanding will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Just a few months ago, we didn’t know what COVID-19 was. No one did. It was named in early February. Now, we all know what COVID-19 is. But guess what? God knew it ages ago. He’s not taken aback by it. He’s not surprised. He holds the future in his hands. Perhaps now is a good time for us to reach out to the hands that hold the future. Let Him have your anxiety and fears. Let His peace that is beyond all human comprehension overwhelm your soul. Let Him guard your heart and your mind. And don’t forget – even in the middle of the chaos – be thankful.

May God grant you unprecedented peace during this unprecedented time.

Gene Jennings is Associate Pastor at TrueNorth Church in North Augusta. Visit truenorthchurch.com for more information.