The past several weeks (and especially the last few days) have been nothing short of a whole lot! We’re all processing it a little differently. We’re all choosing how we will carry out life from hour to hour and all our choices are a little different because we all have our own set of unique circumstances. In the middle of all of it there’s a common thread, everyone is scared. We’re not all scared for the same reasons, but we are all scared. Some are scared because of the way people around them are behaving. A lot of people fear the virus itself while others are concerned over the fallout of the decisions being made to stop its spread. Some are genuinely afraid to be alone. There are individuals who are afraid we will lose our freedoms and others afraid we will lose our lives. Everyone is different but everyone is scared and that’s ok.
Take a minute and take some deep breaths. I think we’ve forgotten to breath for fear of what we are going to inhale. The truth is, we are alright. We’re going to be alright. There’s nothing about this situation that’s good, but it hasn’t escaped the hands of a good God who’s taking it, spinning it, weaving it and making it into something that he will use for good. None of this is lost on him and he hasn’t taken his eye off you. He knows you’re scared. He knows exactly what you need, and he also knows exactly what you don’t need. There is beauty in the midst of this horrible ugly and it’s a time like we’ve never had in our lives to shine bright as his kids.
A few things to keep in mind as the days progress
- God’s the same today as he was before our world fell apart. God did not and will not fall apart. You can and should trust him. Trust isn’t the absence of fear but it does bring rest in the middle knowing that the one who holds your future is good and fully in control. He will not stop being who he has always been! The seconds are still ticking off the clock by his command.
- Understand that the kids in your life are really afraid and they are hearing things they don’t know how to process and they’re looking to you to bring balance to their world that just got totally dumped on its head. Don’t push them to the side. See them, hear them and respond to them. If you do, you’ll see their brows are a little tighter and their language is consumed with big words that they don’t know what to do with. Take this time to point them to the biggest and greatest stories God left for us in his word to remember who he is in times of crisis. Put your arms around them and point them to Jesus.
- Just because you’re stuck inside alone doesn’t mean it’s time to stop thinking about your neighbors. “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10. This is not a time to be self-centered. It’s a time to be creative and thoughtful and figure out ways to help and encourage each other because everyone is scared and everyone is in need. Bob Goff says it so eloquently, “Give away inexplicable amounts of love with tremendous courage.” The time to love louder than you’ve ever loved before is right now!
- It’s ok to be scared, it’s not ok to stop being thankful. “Glory in his name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.” Psalm 105:3. We have absolutely everything to be thankful for! God has set up his church in a way that has them prepared in seasons of plenty and seasons of drought. He has, in his perfect wisdom, shown us the value of community and giving and that’s an understanding that runs deep through times of abundance and times of crisis. We have so much to be thankful for.
- God is revealing himself to a lost world. Choose to be a part of that. We ask him for it all the time and he’s responding. He does big things in and around us every single day. In times where life ticks on a usual we often fail to recognize his movements. In times of crisis, we’re looking and watching and expecting. The door is wide open for us to watch God move and we get to do it together, not just as a nation but worldwide. Let’s stand next to one another and watch in anticipation what a big and inexplicably good God is going to do as he walks through a world in need!