By Tom Bender
“…God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:20
I’m in the events industry. My company provides Audio-Visual Technology for corporate meetings, awards shows, conferences, and much more. Our business, like so many others, has been decimated. Cancellations and postponements poured in, and we were helpless to stop this trend.
A couple of years ago, I wrote an article for Tec Magazine (Pittsburgh Technology Council), titled “The Opportunity and Adversity of Technology.” The basic premise is that new technology gives us great opportunity to do things, which previously was unimaginable. New technology also brings adversity with complicated interconnectivity, sophisticated software, and skills training.
With COVID-19 suddenly and unexpectedly thrust upon us, I began to think about the opportunities available during this adversity. Businesses like mine can do the things we always said we would do when “it slows down” (we’ve been saying this for the last three years.) My colleagues can take time to learn new technology, develop new marketing strategies, and create new services for the ever-changing needs of our customers.
With our families and loved ones we have opportunities to re-connect, eat meals together, play games, study, learn, and dream about possibilities when this invisible threat is over.
Our church, indeed the entire church of Christ, has infinite opportunities in the midst of this adversity. Through out scripture we see where God used adversity to create opportunity. Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers (Genesis 38), imprisoned for a crime he did not commit, then became second in command over all of Egypt. At the end of his ordeal, Joseph was able to say, “…God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (Genesis 50:20).
The infallible word of God is filled with real people, real adversity, and real opportunity. It is a microcosm of redemption, perfected in the work of Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection.
The leadership, staff, and volunteers of Christ Church at Grove Farm are embracing the opportunities wrought by this adversity. They are using technology to provide on-line worship, teaching, and prayer. They have developed a task force to help those in need: the elderly, at risk, and immunosuppressed. These new initiatives will long outlast COVID-19. They will be used to continue the work of calling our community, and our world to Christ.
May we all, individually and corporately, seek God’s guidance in finding the opportunities in this adversity.