I’ve been wanting to write this blog for the past few weeks. And you would’ve thought that with more time on my hands due to the shelter in-place order, I’d be typing non-stop. Nope. Writer’s block? “What do I say?” I wondered. How do I encourage others in a way that doesn’t sound super-spiritual or trite?
So I woke up this Easter morning and asked God for help. Go figure. Why hadn’t I done that before? And then I felt His Presence confirm that today was the day to put fingers to the keyboard.
The day began in darkness and rain and I thought, “What a solemn Easter.” But as the morning progressed, the clouds quickly moved and revealed the brightest blue sky. I could feel my spirit soar as I walked towards my living room window to take it all in. Then there, right in front of our picture window was a huge rainbow. I felt God telling me that hope was on the horizon and that this was the day to share His heart. So where do we go with all this Covid-19 stuff?
First, God wants us “to consider it all joy when we encounter trials of many kinds.”
I think this pandemic would fall into that category. Our faith is for such a time as this. It’s rarely in the easy times, when everything is going well that our faith grows. It’s usually in the hard times, when we have no clue what to do and we feel powerless that we cling to God in desperate trust. And it’s in these times that we get closer to Him, get to see Him work, and our faith grows. His word says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) That’s a promise. Jesus did many miracles because the recipients had faith. Can we praise Him for His faithfulness in this trial and trust that He is at work?
The second thing that God wants us to do is tell Him exactly how we feel.
He doesn’t want us to pretend that we’re ok when we’re not. He wants us to share our hearts with Him because He cares about us. 1 Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” God called David, “a man after mine own heart,” (Acts 13:22) David was constantly going to God with His feelings. But he didn’t stop there. He would always come back around to acknowledging God’s promises and His faithfulness. And David had an intimate relationship with God and really got to see Him do extraordinary things.
The next opportunity that we have in this pandemic is to pray without ceasing.
In many places in the Bible, the Lord tells us to pray continually. This is a command. And there’s nothing like a pandemic to help us do that! So God is actually helping us to fulfill His request through this crisis. One of my favorite Christian heroes is Brother Lawrence. He lived in a perpetual conversation with God and had a sweet intimacy with Him. His book, “The Practice of the Presence of God” has inspired many to have a deeper relationship with the Lord.
Finally, God is giving us an opportunity to share our hope in Christ in the midst of this trial.
In a recent conversation with two office-mates, I failed miserably to share this hope, but thank God for His grace. We were chatting in the lobby when one of them asked me why I was able to be so happy in the midst of all that was going on. Immediately I started bragging that it was because I didn’t listen to the news. My sweet office manager and friend then chimed in saying that it was because I was a Christian. Oops! I dropped the ball on that one. Thank God there will be other opportunities! The world is looking for answers and we have them. Jesus says in Mark 16:15, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Jesus also says that in this world we’ll have trouble but to be happy because He’s overcome it. This is great news and He wants us to share it with everyone. What better time than now?
Dear Friends, our relationship with God is being refined in these times, so we can come forth as gold (Job 23:10). Let’s rise to the challenge and immerse ourselves in Him so that we can get to see Him work and be salt and light to a lost world.