By Jane Reynolds
One of the great things for some of us in this Coronavirus world, is we’ve had more chance to join with our families in worship. For me this means going to ‘church’ in different places around England and Wales. I offer this unashamedly from one of my ‘trips’. My life group has found this helpful and I hope you will too.
It’s not unusually to be feeling a bit confused and out of sorts by all the changes in our circumstances. As Christians we don’t always understand what’s going on inside. We know we have a mighty God who is faithful and true in every way, but Gods plans are not always our plans and he does things his way, and in his time. There are five key areas in all of our lives that have been affected by the Coronavirus . Five areas that are found in Jesus. Up to this point we may have thought they were rooted in Jesus, but these suppositions may be being tried and tested at this time. The may need a little rebalancing.
God made us to be connected to each other and to him. When He looked at Adam he decided it was not good for man to be alone. Our God is a triune being: Father, Son and Spirit, living in unity together.
Jesus also asks us to be devoted to one another in fellowship. It is therefore natural that we are missing each other and the contact we use to have with each other.
But we are not disconnected, either from each other or from God.
Let us use this time to make deeper connections with our Father God. As we spend time with Him, let us catch His heart for others, those in our fellowships, those around the world. Let us catch Gods heart for the suffering, the lost and the lonely, those that do not know Him and those that do.
Let us plug into the free gift of the Holy Spirit who helps us to pray and teaches us all things: The spirit of wisdom and of grace. May we be changed and grow as we spend time with God, with our families and friends during this time.
We have a God of order and design. Without structure comes disorder. Our normal structure of life have changed, making us feel off balance. We can take steps to rectify this. Lets develop new structures and routines make time for exercise and personal prayer. For some we need to guard from over working, for others we need the structure to ensure we remain productive and don’t leave this time with regrets. Let’s make time for personal prayer and reflection, time to have important conversations with friends and family. Just because there is a disorder in the world doesn’t mean we have to be disorganised. Let’s build new routines and bring order into our lives
So did you want to stand and fight or fly away when this all started? Did you ignore it, thinking it would all go away, or did you rush to the shops and panic buy? Perhaps you have lost your job security or been placed on furlough. All of us have our health threatened by an unseen force, so tiny yet so powerful. Yet we have a God who is far stronger, who faced death without fear and won that ultimate victory.
Jesus asks us to be ‘strong and courageous’. We say God is our strength and refuge, that He is our security and we can trust Him because He is faithful, He is Jehovah Jireh, my provider. However, many of us felt insecure and frightened as we learnt more about this virus.
We need safety and security to flourish. The truth is the world offers nothing absolute. When we know who God is and what He has done for us, who God made us to be, and who we are in God, then we can stand secure in our faith and praise without fear.
Let’s face it, most of us don’t like being told what to do at times. We feel our freedom has been taken away with the lockdown. Things are frustrating, plans have had to change.
The truth is it is God who brings true freedom. Let us not be pulled down by the loss and confusion of the world at this time. Let us not be foolish but listen to wise council and stay at home. We have more freedom that the apostle Paul who rejoiced in prison. Let us redirect deceptive thoughts that tell us we are disconnected, alone and trapped. We are part of a world wide family and have far more freedom to worship, to make new routines, exercise and enjoy Gods magnificent creation than many others, despite being in lockdown.
God made us with a purpose. We can confuse our purpose with our identity. Some of us are grieving because we feel a loss of purpose, or status as our jobs change, we feel of a loss of identity. However our identity has not changed, we remain children of the living God. Heirs to His kingdom and adopted into His family through Jesus. Neither has our purpose. We were created for good works which we can still do, just in new ways. We were created to worship and fellowship, to love God and each other. During this time we can learn even more what that means and how we can outwork the two key commandments and elements of our faith, loving God and loving our neighbour as ourself, in new ways.
Let us remember that we are able to do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Let us be strong and courageous through this time because we were created to have connection, structure, safety, freedom and purpose and that has not changed. We find all that we need in Christ our rock and our salvation. God knows our needs, He gives us our identity and purpose. His mercies are new every morning and we can put our Hope and trust in Him.
Jane. With thanks to Dave@Ascot Life Church.