I went back to work today after an extended Spring Break. My little Livi stayed home with her nurse, “quarantined” in her bedroom, since her doctor considers her to be part of the at-risk population.
Along with the other teachers and staff of our local elementary school, I made plans for the return of my students later this week and also for online learning, should that become necessary.
Who knows what the next days and weeks will bring? I find myself praying:
“God, what would You have me do?”
This prayer is stirring in my heart–not specifically in regard to my family or job, but in a much broader sense:
“God, people in my circle and all around the world are uncertain, hurting, and scared. I know that You are the answer. What would you have ME do?”
Because Robert and I have spent the last seven years in and out of crisis situations with Olivia, I’m pretty sure I know what God would NOT have me do.
I know that His desire for me is not to succumb to fear, living out the moments of each day gripped by anxiety. I don’t want that either. Not now that I’ve experienced Jesus as my prevailing peace, my calm in the storm.
I know that God’s wisdom is a gift from heaven–one that He would not have me cast aside carelessly. Wisdom compels me to love my community and honor governing authorities by practicing social distancing and staying home whenever possible.
I’ve heard it said that the church (made up of people, not buildings) is a light that shines even brighter in dark times. I want to be part of that light. My soul is stirred:
“Oh God, let the light of Your Son in me not be hidden behind a wall of self-absorbtion or extinguished by the changing winds of fear. Let it be a beacon shining directly on Your heart, which pulses for humanity.“
What about you? Social distancing and quarantines may restrict where we can go physically, but they also foster a near-perfect environment for drawing near to God.
The busyness of life has been put on pause. We are cut off from the usual string of endless distractions, and we have a Father who longs for us to turn our attention to Him. He wants us to know Him more deeply and to rest in the satisfaction of being known by Him.
I’m still listening for the complete answer to my prayer, “God, what would You have me do?” But on the inside, somehow, I know this is the place to start:
“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.”–James 4:8a (ESV)
“God, I’m here. Right now. In the space created by this pause, for however long it lasts. You have my attention. Yes, I will take care of my family, cherishing the blessing of this extra time with them. I will look for opportunities to care for my neighbors and community. I will show up for every day life and whatever it demands. All the while, I settle it in my heart today–the trajectory of my life is directed toward You. In this season, You are the treasure I seek. Give me grace to pursue You with all that I have and to follow where You lead.”
I commit to spend the next 14 days actively seeking to deepen my relationship with God. Friend, even as you practice social distancing, will you “unquarantine” with me? I pray that as we purposefully draw near to God, we will experience more freedom within the walls of our homes than we ever have outside of them.
Day 1: No matter what happens today, refuse to dwell on negativity and fear. Instead, each time you are faced with an opportunity to be swept up by negative emotions, choose to re-direct your thoughts to God and His great love for you.
God, I consciously make the decision to turn my eyes toward You today. As I go about the tasks that this day will require of me, I guard against fear, worry, and anxiety. I recognize and admit my human tendency to magnify anything negative, and I ask for the grace to magnify Your goodness instead. As I draw near today, please highlight the particular facet of Your goodness that I need to see today.
***If you would like to join me in drawing near to Jesus through a 14-day Unquarantine, scroll down to enter your email address under “FOLLOW BLOG VIA EMAIL.”***