Observations from Quarantine
I can’t help but feel this time of self-isolation is an involuntary “stripping away.” My socialization, consumerism, and time management have turned upside down. To be honest, I feel like it is a powerful lesson in the discipline of simplicity. During these days in seclusion, I have begun to re-evaluate what is important.
I have realized just how much unnecessary spending I do. No more jaunts to the store just because I need a little retail therapy. I make my list and go to the grocery store to get the essentials. I have even begun to take a good hard look at what I really need. There is no more “I’ll buy extra for a rainy day” as shelves have signs posted as to the number I am allowed (“What do you mean I can’t have enough toilet paper in which to side my house!”).
This lesson in what is essential is teaching me I don’t need as much as I thought. I am also learning what it means to be a good steward of what I have. If you are like me, you have cupboards filled with unused items that you’re keeping for a rainy-day situation.
My not having “all-I-want-when-I-want” has made me look at my trust in God. He has always provided…I have never wanted for anything! I have discovered I found security in stuff that has compromised my security in Him.
I am also reminded that we are wired for community. I understand that the term “social distancing” is being replaced with “physical distancing.” It makes more sense. We are social beings, and we will find a way to connect, no matter what comes our way.
I was delighted to see our socialization evolving while on a walk in the park (and keeping my six-foot distance from others). Complete families were biking together, walking the dog together, and hiking together. Neighbors were chatting with neighbors while sitting on their respective porches. I even saw a post on Facebook the other day, where someone said they’ve cooked more family meals in the past two weeks than they have in the past six months!
I feel for parents who are challenged with homeschooling their children (I am attempting to help my grandchildren with their studies)! Trying to navigate their educational requirements while keeping your sanity is a task of epic proportions. Certainly, it is a test of every fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control).
We are living out Romans 8:38-39. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” This is evidenced by congregations joining together for live-streamed worship, Bible study, and Sunday School.
Last, of all, this time of quarantine must bring us to our knees. The following list is certainly not exhaustive, but it is a start for your prayer time. We must take time to pray for:
- Those who are struggling with COVID-19 and those who are mourning the loss of loved ones from this virus.
- The medical professionals who are on the front lines of this pandemic; putting themselves at risk as they battle this infection.
- Leaders all over the world who are trying to keep economic balance.
- Those who have lost jobs and businesses due to the downturn of the economy.
- Those who are lonely.
- That this time of uncertainty will deepen your trust in God and love and creative service to others in His name.
Author Sarah Young beautifully pens God’s response to our needs through the promises found in His Word:
“I am training you to not only endure your difficulties but to transform them into Glory. This is a supernatural feat, and it requires the help of My supernatural Spirit. When problems are weighing heavily on you, your natural tendency is to speed up your pace of living frantically searching for answers. But what you need at such a time is to slow down and seek My Face. Invite the Spirit to help you as you discuss your difficulties with Me. Then lay your requests before Me and wait in expectation.
Even though you wait expectantly, I may not answer your prayers quickly. I am always doing something important in your life – far beyond simply solving your problems. Your struggles are part of a much larger battle, and the way you handle them can contribute to outcomes with eternal significance. When you respond to your troubles by trusting Me and praying with thanksgiving, you glorify Me. Moreover, your practice of praying persistently will eventually make a vast difference in you – My loved one crowned with Glory.”
written by Major Lauren Hodgson, USA East SLD