As I reflect on the month of July, there are a few things that we know with a great deal of certainty. First, what we were afraid would happen in South Africa, has happened. We were kidding ourselves if we didn’t expect the economic disparities that exist in our country to eventually reach a breaking point. We just didn’t know was what the catalyst would be.
Secondly, we know that, under pressure, both the worst and the best in human nature can rise to the surface. Robin Wright of the The New Yorker, details what the worst can look like: ‘forty thousand businesses ---including stores, banks factories, and post offices—were vandalized or burned; damage to the economy was estimated in the billions of dollars.’ This will continue to be a significant challenge for an already stretched economy that is reeling under the impact of Covid-19. But the best was remarkable: People gathered for prayer, and then they went to work. Food parcels were collected and distributed. Churches united for prayer and support, and then spread out to meet needs. The territory was stressful and uncharted, but many provided support where they could.
Finally, although what lies before us will surely stretch us to what may seem like breaking points, there is one other thing that we can know with certainty. God can do more than we can possibly comprehend:
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
(Ephesians 3:20–21 (NIV).
I am trusting that God is working, even in the midst of what looks like chaos and despair. Maybe this is the moment that we have been waiting for and that God will unite his people in ways that are ‘immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine’ to bring the hope of the gospel to the communities of our nation?