As I sit here looking back on all that has transpired over the past few weeks and days around our world, and all that continues to transpire literally every hour right here in our own states, towns, and homes, my brain is struggling to comprehend it all. Schools are closed. Grocery store shelves are emptied. And panic seems to be growing as fear and uncertainty continue to build. And you know what...I don't blame you! I don't blame you for being concerned about what this all means for our communities, country, and world. I don't blame you for feeling uncertain about how your family is going to successfully navigate being thrown into helping your child(ren) tackle distance learning, all the while doing all you can to continue to work and provide for your family. I don't blame you for being nervous, anxious, or even a little afraid. And you know what...the Lord doesn't either!
Yep. That's right! This pandemic didn't catch Him off guard and neither did these feelings of worry, fear, uncertainty, and, for some, even panic! How do I know? Well for a few reasons...
(1) He told us this was going to happen! What wait....?!?! He told us that in 2020 the world would be hit with the Corona Virus? Well, not exactly! But John 16:33b says "...In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world!." So though the Lord did not give us a line by line print out of all of the struggles we would encounter across the course of history - World Wars, Slavery, Civil Wars, Spanish Flu, Haulocausts, Corona Virus, and the list goes on - He did tell us that life in this fallen and broken world was not going to be easy! But He didn't stop there! He didn't just put on his Mike Morgan severe weather tie (shout out to all on Oklahoma peeps!) and say - "Get Ready! Take Cover! Cause storms are comin' your way!!" Nope. He stepped into that secret space - that space very unknown to us but fully known to Him - and gave us everything we could ever want or need to weather the storms! How? Well, just keep on reading...
(2) This pandemic may be hitting us in the year 2020 but thousands of years ago, God put into motion a rescue plan that none of us could ever think, dream, or imagine on our own! Our plan of action when chaos hits is to hoard all the things and bunker down for the long haul! Our gut reaction is to panic and not plan. And I think the happenings over the past few days and weeks shows us just how ill-equipped we still are, even when our best-laid plans are put into action! (And no - His plan of action did not involve how to acquire more toilet paper lol) God's plan of action looks quite different for our own. His plan is a plan of protection, provision, and peace. His plan started by sending His one and only son to die a brutal death on a cross - not just for forgiveness of our sins, but to give us direct access to Him and His presence! He knew the days ahead of us were going to be difficult and the struggles were only going to build and He knew we would need His spirit living in us, working through us, and surrounding us! That's why we celebrate John 14:16 "...He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever." He knew that in these trying times we would need MORE, and in giving His Son on that cross He has given us more than enough!
(3) Not only did He warn us and set the most amazing rescue plan into motion - He also equips us so powerfully through His Word! Ephesians 6:14-17 says, "Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." If you notice - He didn't equip us with the sweatpants of uncertainty or the sofas of hiding in fear. (Though you all know I'm all about that sweatpant wearing on the daily!) What did He equip us for? He equipped us for battle! And it's in these times of uncertainty that we all need to gear up! Stand firm! And prepare for the battle that is ahead! For you that might be the battle of overcoming fear and anxiety about the state of our world! For others, it might be surrendering to the Lord the battle of stress and worry over where your family's next meal is going to come from due to the recent closures and layoffs. Or maybe, like me, the struggle of no longer having an outlet from the day to day stresses of life. You mama's know what I'm talking about - those mindless wanderings through target or those quiet, uninterrupted walks at the park that are a necessity so you don't lose it on your kids when they are a bit extra loud or are asking the MILLIONTH question for the day!
I know in the scope of the world's problems my personal battle may not be as "serious" as those of others but the Lord still sees you! He still hears you! He still cares! And His sacrifice is still for YOU! No matter your current state of mind. No matter the battle you are currently fighting. The solution to the problem at large is the same - it's time to lean in even closer to the Lord and allow His peace, His presence, His Holy Spirit to wash over you like never before. Instead of a mindless walk through Target it is time for some intentional time in His word. Instead of a peaceful walk at the park, set aside time for a peaceful time or worship - no tasks or to do's or phones. Just peace and rest in HIM!
One of the ways the Lord has laid on my heart to help usher His peace and presence into our home and into the homes of others is to set aside moments to turn off the tv, set aside the phones, and simply fill our home (and yours) with moments of worship. And so, out of humble obedience to the Lord's leading, below I have attached a video of one of those worship moments with Casey and I. We aren't professionals but we love the Lord and His people and want to do all we can to help you and your families navigate this difficult, staying fully rooted in the Lord! We want you to know that though we are all fighting different battles we are all fighting together in Him and (spoiler alert ) HE ALREADY ONE! (Remember what we just read in John 16:33b "...In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world!." So as we step out in faith obedience to the Lord, we hope you are blessed by this song and that the Lord's peace and presence fill your home as you worship along with us!