I’m not into conspiracy theories. I don’t like all of the unfounded rhetoric being passed through social media and sheltered circles which draw people into a wilderness of angst and feelings of purposelessness. Isn’t that what happens? We look around us and worry without understanding what we need to be concerned about. We look at hands that are full of the riches of the kingdom of God, but are deceived into believing that we are helpless. A feeling of hopelessness seeps in and we feel like we’re trudging instead of marching with authority.
When the pandemic mandates were enacted in Minnesota, my college kids came home to finish school online, I was running a ragged schedule with homeschooling our littles, working to help everyone keep up, and trying to keep the home in order. It felt like chaos. I had big hopes for the summer, but I was so exhausted that I just sort of fell in a heap at the feet of Jesus. I’ve been here all summer long, just listening to Him talk about who I am in Him.
God has been renovating this temple, starting with the way I think. So many ways I have been undone and then re-built, over and over, all summer long. And all of this has stemmed from a sense of helplessness and a cry from my heart that I needed Jesus to show me how to be.
How can I be strong when I am weak?
How can I know how to prepare my family in a season when so many things are uncertain?
How can I do this crazy thing called rocking a baby on my hip while I let go of my first born for her to get married and do life from afar? I see my older kids coming up, and there are hurts I wish I could remove. There are hurdles I wish I could protect them from. Stillness can be such a magnifier. There are so many things I thought I have not done well enough, and felt I was coming up short.
Sometimes my plate is too full and I can’t fulfill all of my plans. I have to remember that God’s plans are not always my plans, even if we have the same end goal in mind. Sometimes I have to let go to see how His methods are better. I have to just be eclipsed.
I see people standing taller. I see families spending time together instead of running in different directions. I hear women talking about seeking God hard. I heard a man saying that he has this deep seated desire to just spend time with people—to sit with them and study the Bible with them; he never had that desire before this stillness which has been an opportunity for us to sit and listen.
Covid has been a covert way for God to pull people aside and say,
“Stay there for awhile. You’re in a time out. I want you to consider your life and our relationship. You know that I am God. Do you remember to remember that I am still in control? I want to help you walk more closely with me and help Me with what I have planned.”
Many of us recognize just a taste of how it may be for those living in communist countries where everything is regulated and they are told who they can be, how they can move and what they can do… or not.
The church is seeing that there is danger in forsaking the assembly. We understand Paul’s instructions to live peaceably with others, as far as it is up to us. Pray that we can obey God while still obeying the authorities. Because some times and seasons in history, some places in the world today, God’s children have had to make difficult choices, and we see consequences of sin every single day.
In terms of math, we’re living in the product of the world’s faulty multiplication. It’s an evil world we live in. As we look back through history, we see it coming in waves. When the ship hits rock bottom, a fresh move of the Holy Spirit comes along and lifts men and women up when they begin to hear God speaking truth over them and they obey. He brings them above their circumstances, and when enough people begin moving together with the Spirit, entire families, churches, cities, and nations are lifted up out of the mire. Hope, the gospel of hope, ushers in golden years in history. We are not finished yet.
We can have leaders who trudge against the grain and try to light a match to show us that God’s ideals bring peace to our streets and prosperity to our economies. The news is full of images of what happens when we try to do it on our own. The whole world can see that America has not been listening to its prophets. There is anarchy. It’s rotten fruit. God’s laws bring health to our bodies and strength to our families. But until the foot soldiers realize that it is on God’s foundation that we should be marching, we’ll continue to trudge in the mud as a nation.
We need a grass roots movement of men and women who are not ashamed of the gospel and who are so fed up with being masked that we want to shout the truth from the roof tops. Lets not be afraid to just live our lives in front of people. Even when we say nothing at all, there is sweetness in the Lord’s presence. They will lean in to get a closer look.
There is fear out there. That is a pandemic. But I have to tell you… when I see the people who are afraid, and I am so tired of feeling like life in 2020 is striving, this shy mama just wants to put my arms around a stranger and tell them how much Jesus loves them. My vision is getting clearer, my voice is getting louder, and my love is getting larger. How about you?
My son, do not forget my teaching,
but keep my commands in your heart,
for they will prolong your life many years
and bring you peace and prosperity.
Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord and shun evil.
This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones.