I’m writing this, hunched over my keyboard at the dining room table. I’ve been seeing this table in my city rowhome a lot lately. Every morning, I drink the same coffee, eat the same breakfast, and sit in the same rickety wooden chair. I notice the same kitchen cabinet door that needs tightening, the same floor that needs sweeping, and the same counter than needs cleaning.
I’ll have to get used to these now-familiar sights. That’s because almost everyone in my city, Philadelphia, has been asked to stay home to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Are you stuck at home too? It feels like just about all of us are cooped up in our houses right now. As the days go by, it can feel harder and harder to find a sense of normalcy, let alone joy or peace.
Maybe you feel overwhelmed by taking care of elderly parents, a houseful of kids, or even just yourself. Maybe you lost your job, other income, health insurance, and a sense of safety.
Dear Christian, take heart!
It’s perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed right now. You might notice yourself feeling listless, lethargic, trapped, tired, anxious. Remind yourself: These feelings are OK. They are normal. We are living through an unprecedented pandemic that has uprooted many of our lives.
Here’s a truth to hold onto: It will take us a while to find a new sense of normal, to build new routines, to feel fully ourselves again—but it will happen. And as we push on, creating a new sense of life, adapting to FaceTime calls with friends and Zoom meetings with church family, things will get easier.
What can we do while we wait? This season of Lent is the perfect time to discover what it’s like to find the joy in waiting, to still trust in a season of uncertainty, to be grounded in God during a time of unknowns. It won’t be easy. There is no quick fix. But, thankfully, God can bring us joy even when we’re heartbroken. He can give us peace even when we’re worried about the future. He can give us hope even when the oncoming weeks carry question marks.
Are you feeling overwhelmed and stuck right now? Let’s take some time to calm our minds and pray for God’s peace, wisdom, joy, and safety.
God, I need your peace right now. Fill me with a sense of calm and contentment despite all that’s going on in the world.
Our God is merciful and tender.
He will cause the bright dawn of salvation to rise on us
and to shine from
heaven on all those who live in the dark shadow of death,
to guide our steps into the path of peace. — Luke 1:78-79 (GNTD)
Give me your wisdom and strength. Help me see this situation through your eyes.
… For those whom God has called, both Jews and Gentiles, this message is Christ, who is the power of God and the wisdom of God. For what seems to be God's foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and what seems to be God's weakness is stronger than human strength. — 1 Corinthians 1:24,25 (GNTD)
Help me discover the kind of joy only you can give—not a joy of easy laughter, but a joy that stems from boundless hope in your goodness.
And so I am thankful and glad,
and I feel completely secure,
because you protect me from the power of death.
I have served you faithfully,
and you will not abandon me to the world of the dead.
You will show me the path that leads to life;
your presence fills me with joy
and brings me pleasure forever. — Psalm 16:9-11 (GNTD)
Remind me that you will keep me safe. No matter what happens, I can rest in your love. Thank you for loving me. Amen.
Be determined and confident. Do not be afraid of them. Your God, the Lord himself, will be with you. He will not fail you or abandon you. — Deuteronomy 31:6 (GNTD)
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