This post was first shared as issue 15 of These Sacred Words
This has been an odd week for most of us. And going into this Monday morning maybe you feel a little confused or anxious. Maybe you’re not going into the office today like you normally would because your boss told everyone to work from home? Maybe you’re going a little crazy after being quarantined in your house for one too many days. Maybe you have a job that requires you to go in today and you’re just a little nervous about it.
All of this COVID-19 stuff is affecting us each differently, bringing up a range of emotions from indifference to panic. But I think regardless of what we’re feeling today, we could all use some comfort. I hope this post is a reminder that in the midst of it all there is still rest and peace to be found.
There’s no denying the emotions that COVID-19 has roused in all of us. Maybe you’re a little panicked and anxious today or maybe you are just trying to avoid thinking about it all. It’s a situation unlike anything most of us have experienced, and maybe for you it all just feels weird and confusing and a little bit scary.
But I’ve seen some beautiful things come out of all of this and I’d like to share them with you.
In an age where self-sufficiency reigns and our lives carry on at a break-neck speed, I’ve seen that we are being reminded to slow down, to take a break, to notice the people around us. As events are cancelled and work slows, I think some of us are stopping for the first time in a long time.
In a time and place where everything seemed to be so perfectly in our control (we had our schedules and our plans and our perfectly-orchestrated lives), we are being reminded that, actually, there is so little that is in our control.
Slowing down and releasing control…these aren’t easy things to do. And I wonder how much of the fear and panic of it all revolves around realizing these things in ourselves – the need to slow down and the loss of control?
So here are my hopes for the next few days, weeks, or months that we as a worldwide community are wrestling through COVID-19.
I pray that we would allow ourselves to slow down, to take a break, and to enjoy the holiness and sacredness of a true and deep rest that says we relinquish control to an all-powerful God.
I pray that we would ask ourselves what our hope is actually in? Is it in our safety? Our health? In a clean house and a safe community? Our economic security? In a government we can trust?
Or is our hope in something lasting and secure?
I pray that when feelings of fear and loss of control and panic arise, that we would lean into the steadfastness and trustworthiness of a God who is sovereign over all.
I pray that these days would grow our intimacy with God, our time with him in his Word, and our depth of trust in his goodness and in his plan.
So here’s to slowing down and realizing that really, truly, thankfully, nothing is in our control. And that we are held secure by a God who loves us and cares for us deeply.
In a time where events are cancelled and staying at home is encouraged, may you press into the slowness that comes and allow yourself to truly (and maybe for the first time in a long time) rest. In days where panic seems to rise and confusion reigns, may you trust deeply in the sovereignty of a God who sees and cares and holds you fast. In this break from the normalcy of life, may you create a rhythm of intimacy with God, pursuit of those you love, and care for your neighbor. In it all, may you see God as ultimate and worthy of respect, love, and glory. May you trust him fully and deeply.
A friend posted these words from the Heidelberg Catechism and it reminded me of our sole grounds of security and hope. This is the reason we can trust God and have hope:
What is our only comfort in life and death?
My only comfort in life and death is that I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil. He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven; in fact, all things must work together for my salvation. Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.