Can I let you in on a secret? On Easter morning when everyone was texting “He is Risen!”, I was having to force some enthusiasm when texting back “He has risen indeed.” I did not wake up excited to yet again, turn on a screen and watch a sermon online. I certainly was not interested in this way of life continuing on as is.
During this lockdown time, it has been disheartening for me to watch so many fearful reactions of people. While there have been some people realistically in the frontline facing this virus, it has been the minority here in my community. I see some individuals driving alone in their cars with masks on. It is not uncommon on a walk to see people hold their breath as they avoid you and cut through the grass off the path when going by. Many have forgotten how to smile or have conversations. It is almost like they will catch this virus if they do either. People look upset if you get too close in the store.
I’m just ecstatic when someone at HEB is wanting to have a conversation. Please! Someone talk to me.
Our world was in a crisis before Covid-19. Suicide rates were on a rise. Teens were dealing with incredible issues of depression, self-worth, insecurity, and belonging. Phones screens had become their dominant companion instead of good old fashion face to face conversation and interaction. And really, who are we kidding? Many adults were struggling with those same issues.
Needless to say, I was having a bit of a bad attitude Resurrection Sunday. I did not appreciate this new norm at all. Isolating people in a time when we were already having to fight to help people connect just seemed like going in the wrong direction…fast. The devil loves isolation.
Thankfully, God got my attention the next morning in my “unhurried” devotion time. He made it clear that I had the wrong perspective. You see, one of my pet peeves is a very common response you get when you ask people how they are doing. The reply I would get before the lockdown was frequently “I’m soooo busy.” To me that’s code for a few things…well, we all have our interpretation of what that phrase may mean. Were those the excuses we were also giving God before this lockdown when He would ask to spend time with us? So many people talked about how depleted and exhausted they were because of the insanely full schedules that we maintained prior to being forced to stop.
When life is hectic and our schedules are full, our time with God tends to be more like snacking. That may be part of why the spiritual condition of America was struggling so much. Our lack of really taking in the nourishment of time in the Word and with God has led to us being spiritually anorexic and malnourished. It is really no surprise that this has led to a lack of strength, stamina, and faith when faced with challenges. How can we be strong in our faith, believing God’s promises and who we are in Christ, if we just snack on His Word?
God quickly pointed out that one of the things that I could be very thankful for during this lockdown is unhurried time with Him. There is no excuse to not spend time in the Word and in prayer. To feast in His presence, not snack and run. It’s true. Where do I really need to rush off to these days? We have the opportunity to take in full meals in His presence and to let him speak to us because we have the opportunity to be still. That’s a new concept in some ways for me. While I feel I am in constant prayer and in the Word as I normally run around in my days, this being still before Him to really listen to and let Him minister to me is a bit of a new but peaceful experience. I have learned to be grateful for that.
There are many days now where I get to the end of my quiet time and there isn’t anything on my calendar that I have to run off to. I am not required to cut off that communion with my Heavenly Father. One thing I will be very disappointed in at the end of this lockdown is if I come out looking spiritually emaciated. Oddly, it still takes discipline and an intentional spirit though.
While I am not crazy with what Covid-19 has done to society in creating fear and isolation, I am now so very thankful for the gift of more time to spend with God. It is only in these now unhurried moments with Him where we can fatten up on heavenly peace, joy, faith, wisdom, provision, healing, and protection. This is a fantastic time to allow Him to fully equip us to further walk out His purpose in our lives.
So let’s put our clocks, social media, and news feeds away, and pull up to His banquet table and start feasting on full meals in His presence. No more snacking. Let’s come out of this most unusual time well nourished, rested, healed up, restored, and refreshed because of unhurried time with Jesus, our Savior.
Now excuse me. I need to go and “eat”.