Who Are You Becoming?
It’s official. In the U.S. we have been in quarantine more than 6 weeks now because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In other parts of the world, it’s been much longer. There has been over 2.9 million positive cases confirmed in 185 countries with 204,000 deaths so far; 55,000 of those have been in the U.S. alone. We are hearing that it’s not going away anytime soon and we should expect this to come back in a few months. Our economy is tanking and 26 million Americans have filed for unemployment. Things seem pretty bad. There are a lot of unknowns.
Yes, everything looks different today except for one thing- THE GOSPEL. The good news of Jesus is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. We are in the middle of a perfect storm, but as each day passes, I’m realizing that God may just have us here for a bigger purpose. I’ve been thinking a lot about what that purpose may be these last 2 months, and this morning, my pastor Louie Giglio spoke about it as well and things became clearer to me. He said, “I’m going to make it through this, but what is IT going to make ME?” Wow. Let that sink in for a minute.
When all of this is behind us and we’re back to work; when we can leave the house without fear of catching a virus; when we can hug our friends and family again; when we can visit our favorite stores and eat in our favorite restaurants- will we go back to “normal”? I sure hope I don’t. Because, in full transparency, normal for me means I’m living in my comfortable condo in Atlanta, going to a job I love at Coca-Cola, shopping online when I want to, watching too much T.V. or spending too much time scrolling through my phone, complaining about being single, staying up late and getting up when I want to- just because I can. Even in this quarantine time, I “suffered” through three weeks of being on my own in Atlanta and then drove to Virginia, where I am now with my parents in their beautiful home in Richmond until all of this passes. I have my health, my family, I can zoom with my friends when I want to, and I can take a walk outside and breath in air without fear that I could get sick. Not everyone can say that, especially now.
Don’t get me wrong, I have suffered, and members of my family have suffered, in our own ways. Things are not perfect by any means, and over the years they’ve been really hard at times. But right now, even though we’re in the middle of a pandemic, I’m keenly aware of how blessed I am. I’m also keenly aware that my parents won’t be here forever so I’m soaking in every minute I’m getting to spend with them- we are cooking together, coloring and painting together, doing puzzles, watching church online together, taking walks and more.
All of that said, if I come out of this quarantine time and go right back to “normal”, it would all have been for nothing. I know God is preparing me to come out of this stronger- especially in my faith. I feel Him pulling me closer to Him in these days, and I don’t want to miss what He has for me.
Friends, it’s okay to freak out a little- these are scary, uncertain times- but the question is- will you choose to stay in that place or not? Will we let that fear paralyze us or pull us towards the one (dare I say the ONLY one) who is able to bring us through anything. As my pastor, Louie Giglio, said in his message last week “It’s okay to freak out as long as the fear only visits and doesn’t move in.”
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” (2nd Corinthians 4:8-9).
Yes, many are suffering and going through trials, but God hasn’t left our side. He is the only constant, a steady, unchanging force, our rock in troubling times. Even if you don’t know Him yet, He knows you. You are his precious child, "more precious than rubies". (Proverbs 3:15)
Who are YOU becoming in this time? Don’t try to get out of this prematurely- let it finish it’s course. Let GOD finish His work in us. Let Him refine us, like precious gemstones, so that when this is all over, we will shine brighter, love deeper and have more compassion for others than ever before.