I wish you all could have seen how long I stared at this blank, white screen while a cursor blinked at me.
I’ll save you the suspense. It was a long time.
I have so many things I’d love for us to journey through together, and no idea where to start. It looks like we’re in this quarantine thing for the long haul, so we should have some significant time together to process and journey. I want to talk about what’s practical. I want to talk about what’s spiritual. I want to open up space for us to talk about what we’re feeling and afraid to say.
Right now, what are you feeling and are afraid to say?
I’ll take a wild guess that at one point or another, you’re feeling anxious. We all are. Collectively, as a group, whatever kind of group we are… we’re unsure. We have no idea how to plan. We can’t get used to a new normal because it changes every few hours. We are trying to make the best of our situation, while working hard to remember that so many others around us have it worse.
Where do you think Jesus finds Himself in your story right this minute?
I’d be willing to bet that for most of us, we feel like our situation isn’t big enough to bother Him. We are inconvenienced. We are uncomfortable. But are we truly suffering? For the majority of us, the answer is no.
So here we find ourselves, day by day sliding just a little bit deeper into it all. In the chaos and the uncertainty and the anxiety.
There’s so much we have to learn about Jesus. There’s so many things about His character that we have got to grasp hold of if we want to truly live. Words like trust. Prayer. Grace. Strength. All of the things.
But do we believe that Jesus cares about our particular situation? About the tiny details of our lives that consume our thoughts? Are they enough to affect Him?
The answer has to be yes.
Anxiety is covering the globe right now. I don’t believe that God is asking us to be unaffected. For those of us who face anxiety in our every day lives; I honestly believe it’s impossible for us to glide through this without experiencing some kind of fear or distress. I don’t say this out of a lack of faith. I just believe that Jesus isn’t asking us to remain unaffected.
As anxiety comes, He’s asking us to bring it to Him. To work it through with Him.
“Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful when Christ displaces worry about the center of your life.” [Philippians 4:6-7 msg]
Let praise shape your worries into prayers. I couldn’t think of anything more beautiful.
I would like to be settled down, wouldn’t you? I would love for my worry to be displaced from the center of my life.
How do we do it? Philippians provides an answer:
“…By filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious – the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.” [v.8-9 msg]
In other words, take a break from the news.
Listen to worship music, sermons, podcasts, whatever.
Get God’s Word in you.
Find things that make you laugh.
But in order for our worries to be shaped into prayers, they’ve got to be brought to God in the first place. Yes, the world feels upside down.
Yet, God still knows how many hairs are on your head. I’ve always kind of wondered why this was important. It isn’t because He can count really high. God isn’t intimidated by math. Y’all, think of how many of our hairs end up in the shower drain or in our our hairbrush.
The number of hairs on our head changes. The tiniest details of your life change every single day. And He is not unaware.
He cares that you’re a high school senior and you’re missing out on a major life milestone.
He cares that you may need to postpone your wedding.
He cares that your job is uncertain.
He cares that you’re working from home while trying to homeschool your kids.
He cares that you had to shut the doors to your small business.
He cares that you had to cancel your kid’s birthday party.
The very hairs on your head are all numbered.
Let this be your beautiful reminder that our Sovereign, Just, and Holy God is interested in the details of your life. So bring them to Him.
Yes, even in a global crisis. He knows what’s really bothering you, anyway. He knows that you’re avoiding time with Him because you have no idea how to pray for something so massive when you feel like you’re drowning in your own reality.
Let your worries be shaped into prayers by the Creator.
Watch as a sense of His wholeness comes together for good. In you.
“What is the price of five sparrows – two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” [Luke 12:7]