It might surprise you that among the staff of Vox Church, a shared favorite TV show is the late-90’s White House drama "The West Wing." As the title suggests, it focuses on the political theater of a fictional White House staff during the President Josiah Bartlet administration. I love it, and I am glad to work on a staff that reveres it, also. Next time you are scrolling Netflix, resist the urge to rewatch "The Office" just this once and give "The West Wing" a try. I think you’ll like it.
Early in the show, I want to say midway through Season 1, President Bartlet has an exchange with one of his staff members when he suddenly interjects and asks "What’s next?" which he explained meant they were moving on to the next thing, whatever it might be. It was a verbal sign to everyone in the room, a stake placed in the ground. "We are done with this, and we are moving on together." He would almost always say it with an air of confidence that communicated a sense of unity and excited anticipation about their next challenge to tackle.
Depending on your inflection, the words "What’s Next?" can communicate completely different things. Said with fear, it infers anxiety and worry. Spoken with hopelessness, it carries no hope or joy. But asked with wild confidence, it conveys expectation.
We’ve all had challenging situations present themselves on a seemingly endless cycle these past few weeks. Maybe you are working from home or maybe your job was furloughed. Perhaps your child’s school was closed and now YOU are the teacher. Maybe this virus that was once oceans away has infected you or your family. In the midst of so much chaos and confusion, we can adopt a mindset that becomes defensive and scared. Your "What’s Next?" is punctuated with fear and timidity.
Today, right now, as you are reading this, right into your uncertainty and fear, right into however this COVID-season finds you - God has a word for you. He has more peace, more joy, more confidence, more love, more faith, more acceptance, more life, more abundance, more patience, more goodness, more faithfulness, and more kindness toward you. There is no limit to His supply because He owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50). His faithfulness extends to a thousand generations (Deuteronomy 7), He is your source (1 Corinthians 8), He will meet your need every time (Philippians 4), He is your help (Psalm 121), your every desire is fulfilled in Him (Psalm 34), and His goodness and His mercy are following your every step (Psalm 23).
Go back and read that again. And again. Let it wash over your soul. Receive the truth of God’s Word. Whatever this season has brought into your home and your heart, God’s bigger. He is stronger. He is mightier. He is in control. He is trustworthy. And He is good.
May your "What’s next" today and throughout this season be spoken like a child longing for their parent to tell them the next part of the fairytale. Full of anticipation, full of excitement, and full of confidence.