Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
In the wake of the recent Coronavirus tidal wave, that simple verse from Psalm 46 has been quietly echoing through my mind.
Just… be still.
I have a hard time being still. I am a mom of 3 who is constantly cleaning, organizing, picking up, putting away and driving around town to shuffle kids and run errands.
Even if my body isn’t physically moving, my mind always is. Making lists, making plans, thinking ahead, overthinking what has already happened, and mentally preparing for an afternoon full of extracurricular activities, dinner prep and nighttime routines.
I am busy, We are busy. All… the… time.
There’s a stark contrast between my life of 2 weeks ago and my life today.
Two weeks ago my husband and I were running around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to fit in all the things.
And you want to know what? I was complaining about it!
Complaining about baseball practice, baseball games, gymnastics two nights a week, homework battles, school projects and household chores.
In general, I constantly felt overwhelmed by the sheer logistics that are required to manage a home, keep people alive and maintain decent relationships.
And now… we have virtually nothing on our calendars because that busy life I just described has been canceled for at least the next few weeks.
Brick and mortar school, baseball, gymnastics, corporate church worship, family outings, friendship gatherings, holiday celebrations; all put on hold.
We went from being very, very busy to a wide open schedule in about 3 seconds flat.
And you know what… I was complaining about it!
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Complaining about not being able to go anywhere, about being stuck at home with the kids and about my new role as their homeschool teacher.
I never signed up to be a homeschooling parent!
So… now what?
Like the rest of the world, my mind has been spinning, wondering about the future and contemplating the unknowns.
What happens next? What’s the next step? When will this all stop? Will we be able to go back to “normal?” What will normal even be in the future? Will we be exposed to the virus? What if we are? What if someone we know and love is?
Each day, my mind runs around this circle of unknown and hypothetical questions and eventually comes to rest on this conclusion: No one on the planet really knows.
Just… be still
It’s then that I hear God whispering again…
Be still. You don’t need to know all the answers. Stop striving to figure this all out. I am in control. Just do your best and be still. Know that I am God and I am in control… not you.
John 16:33 I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. (NIV)
God’s telling me to enjoy this. He’s reminding me that I’ve wanted this. That I’ve been crying out for this slower paced life and that I’ve longed for more time together with my family.
He’s showing me that I’ve been running myself and my people ragged trying to fit in all the extracurricular activities and social events. And, now… there are none. So, for the time being, I can feel Him calling me to quiet my mind, slow my pace and cherish it.
For all of us, now is the time to focus on our kids. Play a game with them. Read with them. Cook with them. Take walks with them. Go on bike rides together, watch movies, color a picture, have a dance party and sing silly songs together. Be patient with them because, after all, we finally have the time.
Now is the time to call our parents and grandparents. Check in on them. If possible, invite them over for dinner.
Now is our chance to focus on our spouse. Surprise them with lunch and deliver it to their new home office. Say something nice to them. Thank them. Ask them how you can help them during this time. Take an interest in their hobbies. Create a new hobby together.
Now is the time to reconnect with friends; actually call them and have a real, live conversation with them over the phone. Put technology to good use and video chat with them.
And now, more than ever, is the time to focus on God. Pray for wisdom. Read the bible. Ask Him all the questions. Give Him all your worries. Ask Him to fill you with peace. Observe His creation and look for Him in the quiet calm of nature.
Philippians 4: 6-7 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. (NLT)
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What I hope we gain
It’s clear that so many are struggling already and will continue to struggle as we wait this out. I know the economy is crashing and that people are sick and in critical condition. I’m hearing about businesses folding, people losing their jobs, increased anxiety and families dissolving. I know and I hate it.
But, as horrible as this all is, I also have high hopes for the many wonderful things that could come out of this pandemic.
My hope is that we come through it with a greater appreciation for everything; relationships, freedom, our jobs, each other, our material possessions.
I don’t want to take anything for granted.
My prayer is that we all become more aware of the needs of those around us and that generosity becomes second nature. Now’s our chance to support those who are struggling and build up our community.
Let’s come out of this together as a planet that is kinder, less judgmental, more giving, more caring, more compassionate, more patient and more grateful.
This is our opportunity to reflect on the value of human life, what’s really important and what really matters.
Things to keep in mind while we wait
I think it’s both important and fascinating to keep in mind that, like it or not, we are living through a major historical event. I am trying to respect and appreciate that. Never before in my generation and the generation before that have we experienced anything like this. This is history in the making.
Also, this WILL NOT last forever.
We will be able to resume normal life in a relatively short period of time. People will be able to return to their jobs. Family and friends will be able to gather together again and celebrate life.
The economy will eventually rebound and we will be okay.
Last, try not to worry. That is so much easier said than done but it will do no good. Absolutely none. It won’t change anything, solve anything, heal anyone or make the time go by any faster.
Matthew 6:27 Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? (NIV)
Comment below with how I can pray for you as we ride this out. We truly are all in this together and I’d love to lift you up from afar.