Op-Ed: Remembering 3:16

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Do you remember where you were, and what you were doing three years ago, on March 16, 2020? I do. I remember that day clearly.

That was the day we received word that everything was shutting down for two weeks in hopes of slowing the spread of the new Covid virus. And so began the changing of the world, as we knew it. It was the beginning of three years of uncertainty, rocking the foundations of our earthly security. We dutifully went home and stayed there. Businesses, restaurants, schools and even churches closed. We wore masks, sanitized everything, listened to horrifying news updates every night and wondered if we would ever feel safe again?

On 3.16.2020, the college where I work was given instructions to shut down. A situation like this had never happened before. We hurriedly began the process of alerting students of the changes to their classes. I quickly began to make signs for all the doors. The signs informed the students of the college closing, the transition to online classes and the best way to contact their instructors. In haste to post the signs, I had abbreviated the date to 3.16. I attached the signs to the doors, all the while trying hard to calm my waves of fear. Finishing the last sign and turning to walk away, the numbers 3.16 caught my eye. Immediately the words of the Gospel of John 3:16 came to mind.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 NKJ

The beautiful words of the foundations of the Christian faith. It reminded me of the unchanging hope we have in spite of the unknown. It has been said that the only emotion stronger than fear is hope.

As the anniversary of the first closing is remembered on Thursday, March 16, 2023, I will be remembering this hope, which is available to all who believe. I will also be remembering a quote by Pastor Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel Church, Costa Mesa, California. He said:

“Never trade what you know, for what you don’t know.”

We can hold fast to the promises of God and a hope that never changes. On Thursday, March 16, 2023, share the hope you have with someone, John 3:16.

“We have this hope, strong and secure as an anchor for the soul.” Hebrews 6:19

Tanya Shearer