I’m writing this quarantined in my own house. In the midst of the chaos and fear-inducing Coronavirus, many of us find ourselves prisoners in our own homes. We have locked our doors, told people to stay away, and hunkered down waiting for the unknown to pass. I have a few unsolicited, non-medical thoughts I’d love to share.
1) How wonderful it is for us all to slow down a bit. If you’re anything like me, I fill my calendar to the brim. I actually find a lot of pride and satisfaction knowing that I am incredibly busy. I schedule meetings all day, every day and know that when work hits my desk, it will be accomplished with a great level of excellence. At least, that’s what I tell myself. I have found great joy knowing that when people reach out to me, I will make sure they are taken care of.
How misguided is that? How foolish and arrogant is that? Ephesians 2 reminds me that it is not in works, so that no one can boast. Here, Paul is talking about salvation and grace through faith that is at work—even so, we ought not to look to our own abilities and think how awesome we are. This quarantine has slowed a lot of us down. It has allowed us to take a breath, focus some attention to a proper place, and find the sabbath God has called us to.
2) A funny comment I’ve seen online this week: “Day 3 of no sports: I’ve found a lady sitting next to me on the couch. She says she’s my wife. She seems nice.” This is laughable, but in truth, how often have I come home from a busy day at work only to quickly turn on a mind-numbing show for the rest of the evening? A dear friend of mine, Josh Straub of Famous At Home, posted this: “Fellow Dads, we’re living in an unprecedented time. No sports. No distractions. No school. Just time. Unprecedented time. The very thing your kids crave. With you. At home.” What a blessing it is to spend time with our families!
We have created treasure hunts and played dress-up. We have chased each other and laughed out loud. We have cooked together and told stories. We are living in a slowed-down, incredibly intentional time. How are you finding time to be intentional with your family right now?
3) My pastor spoke this weekend about how in this season of Lent, we often let go of something in order to focus our attention more on Jesus—yet none of us expected to be giving up this much. It was a lighthearted joke to start the sermon, and while true, I do hope that it causes us to slow down and focus our attention. Many churches across the nation closed their doors this weekend in hopes of containing the virus. Many churches also moved their services online, some for the first time. I love that we live in a time where we can use technology well to help spread the gospel.
Many of us, like myself, are finding new ways to entertain ourselves while quarantined. What a blessing it is to see the outpouring of people tuning into their churches online! My hope and prayer for our time stuck alone in our houses is one of the family revival. May we all tune our attention and affections to God in this season, planting new habits into our families. I pray that as we eventually emerge from our homes, we reunite with our communities with a newfound love and passion for each other and for God.
4) I implore you to keep meeting. You’ve got to keep meeting and studying Scripture together. Now, I am not saying that you should meet in person, but so many outlets have been made available to gather together via technology. Small groups can continue to meet virtually; so many churches are finding ways to stream their Sunday service; some churches are now holding daily live Scripture readings. We have to focus our attention on the Creator of all.
I received a call from a pastor friend of mine. They have a unique congregation in that most of their church is unchurched or in the beginning steps of accepting Christ. He is doing everything he can to keep his congregation together. Because of the new CDC guidelines, he and his staff have decided to create multiple discipleship groups so that no more than 10 people are able to come together, but that they’re holding multiple meetings per day! They are doing whatever it takes to keep their congregation growing. They are studying the Word together, breaking bread together, and bearing each other’s burdens—together. Digitally or in-person (whatever the most recent CDC guidelines permit), I implore you to keep meeting together, keep developing community, and keep the faith.
So as we all begin to develop a little bit of cabin fever, I ask that you remind yourself that God is in control of all of this. He is the Mighty Healer. He is before all things, knows all things, loves all things. We serve an incredible God. Now we have slowed down, resting in the realization of who He is and who He remains.
PASTOR GLADYS W BRIGHAM says
I believe the God is totally in control of everything that is going on in this world. He is not causing the problem but He is allowing the problem to come to pass for a season. This is a great way to see how many people who goes to church on Sundays, who goes to Wednesday night gatherings, and are able to bring his/her family’s together to do services on their own during “stay-at-home” as instructed by CDC. So, how many church-going people were able to conduct home service with family’s? The church I pastor at and myself were instructed by the President to conduct services in-home at 11am on Sundays and we had done our first service at home March 29th. I sent the songs and Bible scriptures to the church secretary to send off to members and friends via email and texts. What happened after I did this it was in God’s hand to see that it went to all those who were able to receive it. I said a prayer that all received it with gladness and were able to perform their own services and learn from all the year’s they’ve been sitting under all the preaching they learned from. We will continue through the month of April until such time that our church President say it is okay to open our church doors, Hallelujah!