Three weeks ago I was staring at my tv, watching the news and thinking, “Wow, so much is happening so quickly.” The Corona Virus pandemic, happening all over the World, is now sweeping through America. Schools are closed. Many people are losing hours on their jobs. Some people are battling the illness itself or trying to stay safe by quarantining. Things seem uncertain. What will happen today? What will happen tomorrow or even a few months from now? Our minds can be full of unanswered questions. If we take some time to pause and contemplate on God's goodness, his blessings, and his love for us we can begin to feel anxiety lifting off of us.
I was sitting here today thinking about the changes within my family. I contemplated on the good and the bad that have come out of this time. My kids have been home for about three weeks now and all of their classes are online. I never thought I’d be a homeschooling parent. On one hand, I enjoy being home with my children and on the other, I’m considering the things that this event has taken away. My daughter is in her senior year of high school. I will not get to see her enjoy her high school prom and likely, I will not get to see her high school graduation. A lot of things are dampened. However, this time has also brought its blessings. I have been able to rest, spend more time with my family (although my kids are eating everything), and get back into my writing. My daughter was accepted into UCLA and different people have poured in support for my family (financial support, groceries, and scarce supplies). At a time when toilet paper has become the new gold, all I can say is that in spite of these circumstances, I can still count my blessings.
When we are shaken by negative circumstances and life gets disrupted by things out of our control, we have to have confidence in God. We have to know that even in the middle of it, he is still blessing us. King David, in Psalms 27, understands what it’s like to go through hard times. Though he was battling a visible enemy, and we are fighting an unseen, airborne enemy, he showed us an example of what it means to fully trust God. He says, in Psalm 27:13, “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living (NASB).”
David had hope that God would bless him just as he had done in the past. Are we able to see God’s blessing even in the middle of Corona Virus? I have seen people coming together and supporting each other. I have watched people figuring out new ways to reach the homeless and the elderly. I have witnessed God supplying my family’s needs. As we face this pandemic, let us put our attention where it really matters, on God. It’s hard not to think of all the bad things happening around us when they are right in front of you, but we also have to remember that God is still in control. As long as you are in God’s family, you will always have what you need. Life may not always give you what you want but if you keep trusting in God and believe that things will work out for your good, you will be able to get through this time with peace, joy, and the ability to see God’s blessing.
I pray this for you,
Heavenly Father, thank you for being the one that we can lean on in troubled times. When life is uncertain and chaotic, you have a way of giving us assurance that everything will be ok. Uplift every reader and give them peace. Bless them to have the awareness that you are in this with us. Give us the ability to see your blessings even in the middle of all that is happening around us. Free us from the chaos, keep us healthy, continue to bless our families, and work miracles for ourselves and our neighbors. Thank you, Oh Lord that you are in control. We praise you for who you are in Jesus name, Amen.
When you were younger, in particular settings, did you ever hear your parent say, "Sit still?" Many kids are squirmy and cannot sit for a very long time without twisting and turning. Kids have lots of energy but as they get older they learn to sit for a longer periods of time. By the time we are adults, we can sit through long seminars, classes, church services, etc. Sometimes we learn a lot by sitting still. We watch and listen, and it helps us to approach life better.
When Israel was up against the Assyrian army, they took their eyes off of the protection of God and began to put their trust in having help from Egypt. They “trust[ed] in the shadow of Egypt” (Is. 30:2 KJV), which meant that they put Egypt in God’s place. They formed an alliance to gain men and horses to help them fight the Assyrian army, but this was not God’s plan. God’s plan was for them to trust in him as their deliverer. The problem with Israel was sin. They failed to trust God and they didn’t seek him for a solution to their problem. If only they would “sit still.” Isaiah 30:7 said, “…therefore have I cried concerning this, Their strength is to sit still.” Israel’s strength was for them to humbly rely on God, wait on his plan, and trust in his time of action.
What are we anxious about that keeps us from sitting still? What are we afraid of? What are we up against?
When things get hard it is easy to take our eyes off God and begin thinking of other solutions to our problems. What can we do to get rid of this road block? What can we do to avoid this immediate pain, frustration, fear, etc.? In life we will experience all kinds of emotions, but we cannot allow our emotions or what we feel or see cause us to turn away from God’s plan. Your current problem may seem like a road block, but it is only a façade. When we trust in God, he is our strength and nothing can stand in His way. Therefore, nothing can stand in our way. Picture your road block crumbling. Picture your path cleared. Picture yourself ready to stride towards your goal. Above all, picture God leading the way.
We cannot allow ourselves to react to difficulties without seeking God’s plan. Pray, read the word, or seek counsel from another strong believer. There are many ways to “sit still” and ready yourself to hear God’s plan of action. Don’t get sidetracked by the road block. It’s only temporary. One of two things can happen: the road block will be removed or God will show you another path. Either way you win. Walk through your difficult situation knowing that you are a winner. God has a plan and your road block doesn’t stand a chance.
We can sometimes get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and miss out on some very important, very needed quality time with God. I realize recently that I had reached a point where I felt ill at ease. I wasn’t tired. I wasn’t having a bad day or anything. I just felt this longing for something that was missing. It was like a pull on my soul for something deeper, more meaningful, and more peaceful than all of the activities going on around me. It was an invitation to quietly sit in stillness and bask in God’s presence.
Our souls constantly need to be recharged. I was listening to the radio one day and the person speaking said something that really made me think. He said, “It’s good to busy yourself in good things, but don’t busy yourself so much in the good things that you miss the greater things that God has for you.”
What greater thing can we have than spending time with our Savior who cares for us? God longs to spend time with his children but so much more than this, we desperately need to spend time with him. Sometimes we can be so absorbed in everything around us: caring for others, working, taking care of the house, cleaning our car, cooking, browsing Facebook, watching Netflix, feeding the fish, cleaning the fridge, fixing the toilet, and polishing the silver. If we are not careful, we can find ourselves in a place where our steam is running out like whistling kettle that screams, “I am done.” Now, you can keep going, you can keep driving yourself, but wouldn’t it be nice to just sit still and enjoy God, to dwell a moment in our Father’s warmth and light, to meditate on his Word, and be refilled.
Allow your soul the opportunity to be replenished. Sometimes it’s as simple as taking the time to pause from the busyness of our lives in order to meet the greater need: Sitting at the feet of Jesus. We see a prime example of this as we look at the story of Mary and Martha as Jesus visits them at their home.
Luke 10:38-42 (NLT)
“As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Martha was concerned about providing good neighborly hospitality by ministering to or serving her guest, but Jesus showed her that the best hospitality you can give to him is spending quality time at his feet. At his feet, we show a humble eagerness to hear what our Lord will say.
My challenge to you is that every day, you will take some time out of your busy schedule to sit and hear from the Master, dwell in his presence, and enjoy his company.
Here are three Psalms about longing for God. You can use them for meditation during your quiet time with God. Sometimes it’s good to give our souls a check up.
God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; (Psalm 63:1 KJV)
Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee (Psalm 73:25 KJV)
My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. (Psalm 84:2 KJV)
Dwell in His Presence,