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What Can We Do?
What can we do during the COVID-19 crisis? We have been told what not to do—not to venture out of our homes, not to have physical contact, not to panic. So what is it that we can do in the midst of this pandemic?
I continue to believe that God is in control and that He will use even this time for our good! But many of us feel helpless in the face of issues that extend to the entire world. We don’t even feel certain we know what to do on the local level. We want to help people, but we fear risking our own lives and the lives of family and friends through any kind of close contact with others. In light of this new way of life, here are some ideas to help you think through how you can still be active and help others.
Someone posted online a list of questions for us to ask ourselves each day:
What am I grateful for today?
Who am I checking in on or connecting to today (by phone or other digital means)?
Which expectations of a normal life am I letting go of today?
How am I getting outside today?
How am I moving my body today?
What beauty am I seeing, cultivating, or creating today?
This list is a good start to get us thinking and acting outside of ourselves. But there are other things we can do. People from our church have volunteered to get mail and deliver food for elderly. Some have baked or purchased treats and left them on their neighbor’s doorsteps. There are also things we can do right at home. What about spending time with your family, or making some memories with your children? What about spending time with your spouse, working on your relationship, investing in each other? How about writing down the stories of your life to share with your children and grandchildren, telling them the stories of your faith as well?
We didn’t choose this time. All we can do is decide what we are going to do with it. Maybe God is using this situation in a different way. This is certainly a great time to do some of the things you have always wanted to do but never had time for. However, maybe God is slowing us down and moving us inside for another reason. Maybe we have focused too much on doing and not enough time on being…being with God and growing in our relationship with Jesus.
As Americans we are deeply tied to our job, career, or profession. One of the first questions we ask a new acquaintance is, “So what do you do?” We end up being defined by what we do. Our very identity is tied up with our job. This is not God’s intention. We are called to define our identity by who we are (or whose we are), not by what we do. In John 15: 1-8, Jesus uses a grapevine to illustrate his relationship with us. He is the vine; we are the branches. There is a rhythm to the life of grapevines. There is a time of resting the vines and pruning back the branches. Then there are times of renewed growth and production of grapes. The vines rest and are pruned back so they can be more fruitful. We are given this same rhythm of rest and work. Many of us are so focused on doing that we forget to rest, or we rest in a way that doesn’t renew us.
Maybe Jesus is telling us that now is the time for extended rest. Now is the time—not just to take a nap—but to focus on being instead of doing, a time to focus on being connected to the vine, a time to take time to be with Jesus and develop a relationship. Get into God’s word, not just to know about God, but to KNOW God. Let God’s word change you. When we set aside a regular time each day to spend with God, we are prepared to work from our rest, bearing more fruit when this time passes and work resumes.
Find out who you really are by being with Jesus, so your work will not define you but be an extension of who you are in Jesus.
7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. John 15:7-8