Good afternoon, friends. I know life is very strange right now and I hope I can get some of my thoughts together to share them with you. Let me start out by saying, this is A LOT for a burden-bearer/empath/someone possessing the gift of spiritual sensitivity. So if that’s you, I’m right there with you. I FEEL the whole world’s feelings right now and it’s so very heavy. I’m doing my best to lay the burden at Jesus’ feet where it belongs but it certainly isn’t easy. We’re all going to need lots of time at the feet of Jesus. Let’s not forget to take care of ourselves in this way.
One of the stories that has been helping me recently is about a man who went to visit some missionaries who were run-down and feeling defeated by the oppression they were experiencing. When he stepped off the plane the missionaries asked him, “Do you feel the defeat, the oppression in the air?” And the man said something I cannot get out of my head, “I carry the Living Lord Jesus with me. When I step on this soil, THAT OPPRESSION FEELS ME.” Oh my goodness, that gives me goosebumps. So as I feel the anxiety of seemingly the entire world, I’ve been reminding myself over and over again that I have the power, the authority, the love, and the peace of the Lord in me. While I feel the oppression alive in the world today, I also know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the oppression feels me too. WHOA. Let that be a comfort to you who are also sealed by the Holy Spirit of the Living God. Breathe, friends. That breath in your lungs is the breath of God.
There’s a particular author and speaker I follow on Social Media who was with someone who has the corona virus and that means this author is quarantined for fourteen days. I’m going to be vulnerable and honest with you today about the progression of my feelings and I do have a point so, stick with me. The first thing I did when I heard about her quarantine was cry for her. She lives alone and the thought of no human contact for two whole weeks for someone who is used to daily interaction is heartbreaking. Then I thought about those who live alone all the time and my heart broke for them as well. But the more she posted about it, I found myself moving into the “just get over yourself” realm. I wanted to tell her that I do this whole lonely thing all the time and she needs to get a grip. Wow, how quickly I turned away from grace. And really, I have a husband who comes home to me every night so, even though it is incredibly lonely to sit here all day every day, at least I have him. Some people don’t even have that and here come the feels again. I’ve been asking God how I can identify and find these people and regularly go give them hugs or something! But I think it spoke volumes about my heart that I moved so quickly from sadness and empathy to bitterness. What an opportunity God has given me through this for repenting and allowing Him to change and heal my heart.
I see so many people posting on social media about all the things they’re going to do to fill their time at home. I get that. When things get overwhelming, don’t think that I’m not going to put on some Netflix and try to turn off the world for awhile. But, friends, I want us to realize the incredible opportunity we have here. Please don’t miss it. We have an opportunity to spend time with God in solitude. This opportunity has tremendous value… a shining treasure in the midst of darkness. No work, no extracurricular activities, no outside entertainment. I want to encourage us to turn off the TV, turn off the phones, turn off the music, and just spend extended periods of time alone with God, allowing Him to heal the things we’ve allowed to sit and fester inside of us because we don’t have time to work through them. Throughout my period of illness, nothing else has been more healing. This could be an opportunity for renewal, restoration, relationship, REVIVAL. I just fear we’re going to miss it.
We have so much opportunity right now. For me, it’s an opportunity to discover and repent of the bitterness and jealousy I still carry. What will God show you during this time? You’ll never know unless you let Him. It’s also been a time for me to become painfully aware of my lack of concern for those who have even less human contact than I do. They have been so fresh on my heart and I’ve begun to pray earnestly for God to reveal to me or anyone else in their lives how we can identify and reach out to them. Who might God place on your heart during your time alone with Him? Someone’s feeling of belonging may depend on us opening ourselves to God’s leading toward them. We also have the opportunity to get to know each other’s situations and feelings better and to practice grace with each other. I appreciate the isolated author’s expression of her feelings of loneliness and singleness during her quarantine because it shone light on the shadows of my heart. It brought up less-than-healed memories of the complete loss of my daily support system when I left my job. This is a huge opportunity for God to clean more things out of my heart and I am filled with gratitude at the thought. What might God want to clean out and heal in your heart? Additionally, we have the opportunity to start conversations with people who are isolated much of the time. What do they need? How have we been failing to meet their needs? How can we reach out? What can we learn from them? Now that we understand just a little bit of their loneliness, what can we do to bring Jesus to them?
I’ve got a picture in my mind of Jesus during this uncertain time. No, I don’t think God caused this virus but I do think the way He plans to work it for good is for His people to use this time to spend with Him. I picture so many of us filling our time with activities and TV and social media while Jesus is right there on the other side of all the STUFF, waving His arms and saying, “Please don’t forget about me.” He loves us so much and wants to spend time with us. This could be an unbelievably healing time for all of us. Even though it might have taken a virus for God to get our attention, it absolutely could be the stuff of healing and revival. I encourage us to expect amazing heart miracles to come out of this by opening our hearts to His.
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14
Amen. Let it be so, Lord Jesus.