The world has exploded. You’re probably sitting at home right now scrolling through your phone, checking your social media feed for what feels like the billionth time today. You’re on edge and stressed. Maybe a loved one of yours is sick, and you feel responsible to protect them from COVID-19. Maybe a loved one of yours has COVID-19.
You could be suffering financially, being either laid off or just generally unemployed until we are out of social isolation.
Maybe you’re sad, unable to meet up with friends or family in person.
Regardless of your situation, this virus has been affecting your life—a little or a lot.
To top it off, you see posts from your Christian friends to “keep praying” and to “have faith”. Prayers for keeping them and their families safe flood your feed. And you ask yourself: what good is prayer going to do? Why would God let this happen in the first place?
The effects of this virus are devastating. Thousands of people have died globally. Ontario has declared a public health emergency and therefore the province is urged to practice social distancing to proactively prevent further spread of this pandemic. I know many who now are required to work from home, and some who simply can’t work. Bars are closed, theatres are closed, retail stores are closed—basically anything that can gather 50 people or more is shut down for the time being. It’s highly recommended that no one cross the border, but those who do are subject to strict quarantine. We are restricted financially, socially, and geographically.
With these restrictions, though, could we consider: how will we be using our newfound time? How have you been using your time already?
I think it’s easiest to do what we want to do. Looking for a new job if we’ve been laid off, spending time with the family in our home, sleeping in, bingeing our favourite shows and movies. These things are great things—but what if God wants to use this season to speak to you? What if this—this silence in the midst of all the hustle and bustle—is when you’ll hear God the most?
Would you want to? If you did, would you let Him change your plans? Would you lower your expectations and humble yourself?
I find that we often say that we need more time. Some of us put off what we know we need to do—what God has called us to do—because it’s time-consuming and requires work. I’m not immune to this. “When I get a moment” has become one of my most-used phrases, because I always feel like I’m “doing” something. While I am, we also need moments of rest to recharge. If you were to do a cross-country drive without stopping to look at the map, would you be able to make it to the destination without getting lost?
Would you be able to hear God’s whispers if you fill it up with “busy”?
I’m not sure I could. So let’s keep listening, and remember: wash your hands.