This Will Be Our Finest Hour
The movie Apollo 13 depicted the harrowing account of three astronauts in outer space who needed dozens of seemingly impossible scenarios to fall their way in order to make it back home alive. Just before their attempt at re-entering the earth’s atmosphere, one NASA engineer on the ground began to delineate every negative issue that was heavily stacked against the astronauts’ safe return: “There’s the parachute problem, the heat shield, the angle of trajectory and the typhoon”. Another NASA engineer responded, “I know the problems. This would be the worst disaster NASA has ever experienced.” At that moment, the lead flight director of the ground team who happened to overhear this conversation shifted the stifling atmosphere in an instant with a hard stare and this pointed remark, “With all due respect, sir, I believe this is going to be our finest hour.”
In this quarantine time, whatever has been concealed in our hearts, both the good and the not-so-good, has been magnified. This is why we’ve seen such beautiful stories of benevolence and heroism but also degrees of hatred and ugliness from humanity that we didn’t imagine was possible. And we’ve even seen some of those extremes coming up from within our own souls. Don’t lose heart! Don’t focus on the negative! Stay the course!
I believe this is going to be our finest hour!
Though it has felt just the opposite during this quarantine time, to those to have ears to hear and eyes to see, our Father would want us to know we’ve been in the midst of one of the greatest times of personal growth as well as Kingdom advancement for the body of Christ. The funny (or maybe not-so-funny) thing about how God keeps us clothed in humility means we usually don’t have crystal clear perspective on where we are during the process. Or perhaps more to the point, there’s always something bigger going on from heaven’s perspective and we usually don’t have a clue.
It may appear to some that humanity is on the verge of crash and burn, but don’t you believe that narrative for one moment! What’s actually happening in us is a deepening of our childlike trust in Jesus alone as our source of life and joy and encouragement. Even if you’ve felt like you’re barely hanging on or you find yourself shocked by some of the ugliness surfacing in your own heart during this time, just know that by an act of his grace, the Spirit of Christ in you has actually been morphing your character through it all:
“Even in times of trouble we have a joyful confidence, knowing that our pressures will develop in us patient endurance. And patient endurance will refine our character, and proven character leads us back to hope. And this hope is not a disappointing fantasy, because we can now experience the endless love of God cascading into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who lives in us!”
(Romans 5:3-5, TPT)
I love how the Voice translation captures the last part of this:
“When our characters are refined, we learn what it means to hope and anticipate God’s goodness. And hope will never fail to satisfy our deepest need because the Holy Spirit that was given to us has flooded our hearts with God’s love.”
I think one of the things that will surprise us the most coming out of this quarantine time is how much we all grew—not always in the wahoo! sort of way we would all prefer, but in the way our brilliant and tenderhearted Father chooses in his wisdom to grow us up in love because of what we persevered through by his grace. Though we may feel like time is being lost, our Father is wasting none of this precious time with us!
I believe we will come out of this time more in love with Jesus and with one another and more connected to God’s heart dream for us as his ekklesia—the called-out ones who bear His name and release the culture of heaven here on the earth in greater measure:
- In heaven, no one puts another down because they all clearly see the glory of God on and in one another! The culture of honor reigns supreme!
- In heaven, there is no jockeying for position because we are all happily worshipping Jesus who is the King of all kings and the Lord of all lords!
- In heaven, everyone lives in the full light of the truth of God’s justice—making all wrong things right through the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross—which was accomplished before the world began.
- In heaven, there is no racism or hatred of any kind because perfect love has permanently filled our hearts.
Take courage! Throughout history whenever society has looked its bleakest, time and time again this has become the backdrop for God to cause His light to shine the most brightly through those who love Jesus.
I believe this is going to be our finest hour!
By the way, the astronauts made it back safely even though the odds against their return were great. I’m so glad that our Father isn’t impressed by the odds we may feel are against us. His ability to redeem every aspect of our lives and of this world is 100% certain. I’ll take those odds every time!
Brent Lokker was born and raised in California and has been a pastor in the San Francisco Bay Area for over two decades. Brent’s greatest joy is being a loved and treasured son of His heavenly Daddy. The other extreme joys in his life are being a husband for more than 25 years to his beautiful and amazing wife, Suzanne, and a father to his two awesome sons, Derek and Aaron.
Brent is the author of Always Loved. He and his wife Suzanne are the founding and senior pastors of Blazing Fire Church, a church on fire with the passionate gaze of Jesus!
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