“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:13–14, ESV)
Your life is dramatically different today than it was last week at this time. Much has changed. Our normal routines have been dramatically interrupted. We are all learning a new normal caused by social distancing.
Furthermore, there is great uncertainty. We do not know what the future will hold. We do not know when this will end. And what will be the lasting impact this hiatus has on life?
Many of us may be anxious.
- How will I make ends meet if I am not able to work?
- Will I lose my job?
- What will happen to my retirement?
- Will I get sick?
- What if I run out of supplies and I can’t leave the house?
There is much that we might fear. In times of upheaval, we tend to focus on what has been lost. It is this concern about what might be lost that creates anxiety and fear. This is typically what comes to the forefront of our minds.
Consider however what might have been gained. What is the opportunity? We are all busy people. We always feel as if there is not enough time. We are constantly on the go. Maybe you have longed to have the opportunity to slow down. Now you are being forced to slow down. It may be inconvenient. It may be costly. But there is nothing you can do to change that now. Lean into this opportunity to slow down. Rather than dwelling on what is lost, focus on what is now made possible.
Here are some ideas:
- Read the book you have not had time to read.
- Get outdoors, go for a walk, and enjoy the fresh air.
- Start that new exercise program.
- Spend some quality time with your kids.
- Play a board game.
- Learn a new skill (cooking, sewing, woodworking).
- Learn to play a musical instrument.
- Organize your attic/closets.
- Start that new home improvement project.
- Get caught up on sleep.
- Organize your old photos.
- Call and reconnect with an old friend.
Feel free to share in the comments how you are taking advantage of this situation. Don’t waste this time by binging on Netflix or endlessly scrolling through social media.
Our church has lost the ability to physically gather together. But not all is lost. We are still able to gather together in our homes. We will be streaming songs and I will be sharing a message online. If your church doesn’t provide a similar opportunity I want to invite you to join us. I will be sharing more info about how to join in later this week.
In so many ways, it will like going back to the early church. Listen to these words from Acts:
“And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:46–47, ESV)
They did not go to church. They were the church! And they met in their homes! And the Lord added to their numbers those who were being saved!
Not all is lost. There is an opportunity gained! Disruption can be a good thing. When our routines are disrupted we are forced to consider what is most important – our relationship with God! We are made to examine why we do the things that we do. We learn not to take what we have been given for granted. What is God teaching you through the disruption?
My prayer is that God will use this time for spiritual renewal in our churches and communities. I am praying that he will use this time to open doors for the gospel message that those who do not trust in the Lord would come to trust in the Lord. May God heal us not just from Coronavirus, but may he heal our land of apathy, idolatry, greed, and more.
Come, Lord Jesus! Amen!