Last night, I was listening to Dr. Tony Evans, along with two of his children, Chrystal and Jonathan, talk a bit about the Coronavirus crisis and how we navigate this extended time at home with (or without) our families and loved ones (link at the end). While it definitely had spiritual elements, it was also a very down to earth look at what’s going on and how this affects us on a daily basis. These are three practical things that I took away from listening to this conversation expanded just a little in some spots to add my own thoughts and feelings.
1. Don’t waste this time . . . It would be easy to wish this time away. Even the biggest home bodies among us (raising hand over here) are used to being somewhat on the go. For the first time in history, our schedules have been wiped clean. Rather than bemoan that fact, we need to embrace it. And we need to help our kids embrace it. There will be absolutely no harm done to our kids in learning not to be continually entertained and constantly having somewhere to go and something to do (and let’s be honest, it’s not as if we’ve taken away all sources of entertainment).
2. Get to know your kids . . . Maybe you already know your kids, but take the opportunity to reconnect with your family. Eat meals together, play board games, laugh and enjoy one another.
3. We still need community . . . This is really tough for everyone, but for those without family, this can be super hard. While it’s not the same as person to person contact, I am very thankful for technology, for the ability to connect via text, social media, facetime, whatever . . . for church online when we can’t do church in person . . . so reach out, help where and when you can. Check in on your people.
Here’s the thing, I do not believe, for a second that God caused COVID-19, but as I’ve said before, we live in a fallen world where sickness and sin and catastrophes happen. But God (again with the “but God” . . .) can and will use this for His good and His glory. On a personal level, I’ve had to completely switch gears. Those that know me well, know I rarely vary from my schedule, and I plan carefully for changes and interruptions. I’m very used to my daily routine of dropping the kids of at school, working out, doing housework, laundry, paperwork and bookwork . . . shopping for and prepping meals . . . and to have it unceremoniously interrupted, without any time to really prepare my mind and my calendar, as ridiculous as it sounds, kind of threw me. But I’m learning all about flexibility. Remember when I said vulnerable wasn’t my word of the year? Well I would add, neither flexibility nor spontaneity will ever (or as my youngest says “never, ever, ever”) be my words either. Of course, God sometimes has different ideas than us. And He’s using this to teach me, that it’s okay to interrupt my schedule.
Amongst all the stress and anxiety and uncertainty, God can use this to teach us and reach us and change us . . . and God can use us to reach others in this. And rest assured that no matter what we see in the natural, God is for us, and He loves us.
Continue to pray for this to come to an end. Continue to pray for those that are sick. Continue to pray for those in authority and making the hard choices. Continue to pray for those that have to be out there working, our healthcare workers, the grocery store and pharmacy employees, first responders . . . and those that aren’t working but are anxious about finances and job security. Respect what is being asked of us and be willing to do what needs to be done in order to stop the spread.
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:18-28
If you'd like to hear the whole conversation with Dr. Evans it can be found here. (Hopefully that link works. It's on IGTV so if you don't have Instagram I'm not 100% it'll work.)
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