These are the words of a song released by the band Bon Jovi during the Coronavirus pandemic. The aim of the song is to encourage the listeners that, although they are unable to do the things that they normally do, they are still able to have a positive impact on the world.
As I write, this sentiment is very relevant to us as Christians. We are unable to “do what we do”. Our gatherings are very different to what they were and we have even been prohibited from coming together in our buildings for long periods of time. Toddler groups, children’s work, coffee mornings and other events that we took part in seem like a distant memory. Busy weeks of church activities have been replaced with empty weeks broken up by one or two Zoom calls. So how can we serve God in these or in other limiting circumstances? This article is focusing on the pandemic but the sentiment is not confined to a particular scenario; many circumstances can arise in our lives which prevent us, either temporarily or even permanently, from “doing what we do”. What should our response be in these situations?
When the woman anointed Jesus, as recorded in Mark 14, He commended her and said, “She has done what she could” (v.14). He wants us to do the same. He does not ask us to do the impossible but rather to do what we can. We see examples throughout the Bible of the Lord’s servants doing exactly that in the most challenging of circumstances. The Apostle Paul shows us how we can serve God while confined. He prayed, sang, wrote letters and witnessed to those who were with him when he was in prison or under house arrest.
Instead of focusing on what we can’t do right now, let’s concentrate on doing what we can. We can make use of our quieter schedules to spend more time in prayer or reading the Bible. There is opportunity online to access a wide range of helpful Bible teaching. Perhaps we could phone someone or meet them locally for a walk to encourage one another and have fellowship. Witnessing can be done on social media or through acts of kindness. There are people all around us who are struggling and there are many ways in which we can help to ease their suffering a little. God’s Word can still be spread and His Name can be glorified outside our church buildings.
So, as we continue to live in these unprecedented times when we are unable to “do what we do” to serve God, may we all be encouraged to “do what we can” for Him.