There is an old Yiddish proverb: Man plans, God laughs. I don’t know if I necessarily agree with it, but I can understand the spirit behind it. People have a tendency to map out detailed goals and agendas for themselves only to run into the brick wall of “unexpected circumstances.” Things happen and they sometimes upend all we have planned to do. I don’t think, however, that it’s fair to say God laughs in such times. I don’t think He derives pleasure from our misfortune, whether it’s because we are punished for a crime or simply hoisted on our own presumptuous petard. In fact, I know He doesn’t derive pleasure in such things because He tells us so (Ezekiel 18:32).
Instead, the truth is more that man plans and God does whatever He wants because He’s God.
We had big plans for 2020. I’m sure most people did. I would love to meet the person who is ending this year saying “everything went exactly as I planned.” Actually, scratch that, we all need to find that person and fire him into the sun!
Things were upended early in the year and that caused many plans to be nullified or changed dramatically. Nevertheless, there are some things we do that we simply can’t stop doing just because the world decided to up and go crazy. We may have to change the way we do some things, sure, but we still have to do them, all the same. For example, our Master tells us:
“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
Notice how He doesn’t say “go into all the world, unless everyone might get sick, in which case take the year off.” He just told us to go into all the world. If there was a circumstance where we shouldn’t go into all the world, that would have been the perfect time to mention it. He doesn’t. He just gives us the command and leaves it to us to obey it.
In fact, He gives us the flexibility to obey it in a way that fits the times, too.
How do you evangelize the world in the middle of a pandemic, when air travel is restricted or when people are hesitant to open their own door to go outside, much less cross the threshold into a church building?
We at North Heights decided, if we can’t take the Gospel to them in the way we usually do, we’ll create a way for them to come to us with the Gospel in a way they are comfortable with. Our website started a year before the pandemic; our YouTube page started a year before that. In that time we have released over 500 videos that have been watched 19,000 times in total. We’ve also published close to 400 articles the teach book-chapter-and-verse Bible to people interested in deepening their knowledge of God’s Word. In terms of who is watching our videos and reading our articles…
How about 75% of every country on earth. At least one person in all of those countries has heard the Truth either in video or article form.
That’s what “go into all the world” looks like in the 21st century, and when you’re in the middle of a pandemic, that’s making the best of a bad situation. We had big plans for 2020, the Devil threw a lot of them into a buzzsaw. I’m sure he was laughing when he did it. Looking at the map of people who are seeing the Gospel right now from just our website…I don’t think the Devil is laughing any more.