As I work on this writing, it’s March 22, 2020. The Pause button has been pushed on our world, in some way and measure for everyone. If you’re like me, you were pleased (read: relieved) about some ways you were prepared, even without having thought of it that way at the time (pre-shift), and quickly saw room for improvement going forward, maybe even a huge need for improvement, in one or more areas of your life.
I’d drafted notes for this writing a week before hearing Pastor Mark Driscoll’s sermon today. I say that because if you watch the sermon (link provided below), you’ll hear him mention a few things I’d intended to write about here, and do include. Primarily, how ready were you—physically AND spiritually? Someone crafted and posted a meme, shared by many on a social site, that said an upset-with-us God has sent all of us to our rooms to think about what we’ve done. That’s one way to look at it. Let’s consider some things you’ve likely already thought of since this shift began.
Funds: Did you feel you had enough or ready access to enough? Regarding the governmental aspect of this, the next time someone wants a million or more of our tax dollars we worked for so they can do something like study shrimp running on a treadmill, they’d better know they’ll be able to cure cancer or world hunger or do something significant for all or most of us as a result of that study before they get access to discretionary funds. Just so you know, that particular study is from way back, during another administration, but you get my point.
The same initial question applies to food, toilet paper (I think I just heard a number of you scream, and a few expletives get shouted as well), toiletries, and medicines, including over-the-counter ones. Add items to this list, based on your own needs realized during this time.
What a number of us realized, when looking at the above, is how much we actually depend on the government and others for what we need and use. Some of it makes sense. Some of it . . . Time to take more responsibility for ourselves, at least in some matters, than we’ve been doing. Time to re-evaluate who we rely on and for what.
It’s the same when it comes to the spiritual aspect. In a way, a number of us are Spiritual Socialists. We expect the priest, pastor, minister, rabbi, whatever title applies, to have the relationship with God we are supposed to have—and only some of that belief and practice is on us—it’s what we were told. If that caused you to squeal, sorry. If you did squeal, please provide the scripture(s) from the Bible that instructs us to not have a personal relationship with God, our Father.
How prepared did you feel, spiritually speaking, when this shift hit the fan? Did you turn to the Word and God in prayer for direction or did you listen to the people on TV, etc., WAY more than you needed for daily updates? Did you join a prayer call with other prayer warriors and intercessors or did you hop on the bandwagon of complainers and those competing for First Prize in Snark? Did you turn to the Bible for God’s Word to strengthen your inner peace and courage or did you turn to something to appease the flesh and or numb the mind? Did you whine more than you worship? Did you worship at all? Read or reread 2 Chronicles 20 to see how God responded to worship.
Emotions of every kind were and are bound to surface when shift happens. Pastor Mark deals with this topic beautifully in his sermon, but did your emotions control you? Did you make them, whether positive or negative, as viral as the virus?
Intercessors for America also created a meme, as follows:
The media tells us the coronavirus is coming, we panic and prepare.
The Bible tells us Jesus is coming, most people do nothing.
That should give all of us pause as well. First, because we got a clear picture of how we as individuals, families, friends, congregations, health care providers, and governments were prepared or need to do better. And, second, we learned where our spiritual preparedness is. Some familiar with the Book of Revelation and other prophecies in the Bible asked: If this knocked you for a loop, how are you going to handle what’s coming before Jesus returns? Many of them refer to this time we’re in as the dress rehearsal for what’s to come. If that frightens you, perhaps you’ve been more of a spiritual socialist than you’ve been aware of. That’s not a judgment. Been there, done that, have a closet full of T-shirts, metaphorically speaking. And I thank God for moving me from that closet into my prayer closet.
Pastor Mark Driscoll usually live-streams his sermons on YouTube. This time, of course, there were no attendees in his church. He related what we’re dealing with right now to the book of Daniel in the Old Testament. Personally, I think God put an anointing on Mark’s message. If you need comfort and courage, or anything this sermon might provide for you, here’s the link. And, please share it with anyone you know would benefit from hearing these words of encouragement. His sermon is timely, no matter when you listen to it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfLTm2RhoXI
This too shall pass, but we’ll never be the same—not if we learned anything worth anything from this experience. This applies to us as individuals, and what’s known as God’s Seven Mountains: Religion, Family, Education, Government, Media, Arts/Entertainment, Business. Each day, and months from now, we can ask ourselves the following: How have I shifted? Am I pleased or thankful for who I revealed myself to be during this time? Who and what will I appreciate more going forward?
It’s a good idea to ask these questions about ourselves and the bigger picture of every area of our lives: Personal, family, social, spiritual, health, financial, personal development. Unless timing affects when you read this, most of the world is still pretty much on Pause. This means we have the time, most of us, to consider these things. The fact is this: There are some events you can’t prepare for. There are many you can prepare for, as much as possible, in some measure.
May the peace and joy of the Lord, which surpasses all understanding, surround and fill you, your loved ones, and your life—today and each day going forward.