Keep On

“What I’m getting at, friends, is that you should simply keep on doing what you’ve done from the beginning. When I was living among you, you lived in responsive obedience. Now that I’m separated from you, keep it up. Better yet, redouble your efforts. Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God’s energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure” (Philippians 2: 12-13 MSG).

My lands! This man, Paul, packed some major punch in every verse he penned. But in this letter to the Philippians, he gave a dose of amazing encouragement. And sometimes, “keep on keeping on” is exactly what we need to hear. 

As I’m writing this, we have been in quarantine for weeks. Weeks! Never before have we walked such a path. I was chatting with my mother-in-law recently – and in her 80+ years, she has lived through the Great Depression, the youngest of 7 with a mom whose husband died far too soon, and sending her own husband to Korea for months to fight. Despite those challenging times, she said she had never experienced this kind of stress – in the midst of the quarantine and the “social distancing”. 

Yet here we are – trying to create a new normal day-by-day. While our situation is different from those living in Philippi, the encouragement is the same:

1. Keep on. We may not be gathering on campus; but friends, Immanuel is still open for business. We still have the amazing ability to meet for small groups online, worship together online, and reach our community for Christ. 

2. Redouble your efforts. During the days following Hurricane Katrina, our church set up a place for people to come, have a bed for rest, and a hot meal. In the same way today, we are providing masks and gloves, food and cleaning supplies – to meet the needs in our community. I love that our church has always been willing and involved in our city, state, country and world. But even now, we are reminded to redouble our efforts to benefit those that need it the most. 

3. Use your energy well. Your friends and family are struggling with stressors they may have never known before, as you are. But use your energy well! Check in on those around you. Invite them to gather online with us – and ask how you can pray for them. 

Perhaps you might want to mirror our friend Paul’s actions and write a letter! What a joy to find a letter in your mail from someone who really cares!  

Keep doing that you have been doing. Keep moving forward. 
 
By Carrie Peterson

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