Quarantine

I think we can all admit that life is weird right now. It seems that every person and plan has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We have not experienced anything like this in our lifetime, and believers and non-believers alike have been forced to consider God in all of this.

Some of us are asking, “Who is God?” Others are asking, “Where is God?” And some are asking and seeking to understand how God is using this time for our good and His glory.

I know that He is. Personally, many of my idols have been revealed, and God is using this time to show me His rightful place in my life and remind me who is on the throne. Here are a few lessons I am learning.

God meets us in solitude

This time of sheltering in place looks different for all of us. For some, it may be hard to find a quiet moment in your day. For others, the quietness may leave you desperate for connection with another person.

No matter where you find yourself, I want to encourage you to spend quiet moments with God. That’s where change happens.

Albert Tate, lead pastor of Fellowship Monrovia Church, said, “If you look around the Bible, you’ll see that just about every leader that God used had been quarantined.”

God not only meets us in our solitude, but wants to use this time to change our hearts to look more like His.

One of my favorite examples of this is the prophet Jonah, who suffered under the mistake of assuming that he was the center of the universe.

If you’re anything like me, you are just one quick thought away from becoming the center of your own universe, too.

When Jonah found himself in solitude in the belly of a fish for three days, God changed his heart. Jonah chose to obey the Lord, and then led the people of Nineveh to repentance, sparing them from destruction.

This time of quarantine has reminded me how powerless I am and how little I can control. Much like Jonah, I can’t see what tomorrow will bring, but I can surrender it to God. Whether He changes my circumstances or not, I can trust that He can change me and make me look more like Him.

Time will not pass without changing us in some way or another. Meet with God. Ask and allow Him to work in and through you in this time.

God humbles us in times of uncertainty

God is reminding us of who He is and who we are not. We are not the authors of our own lives, He is.

Right now, a wrench has been thrown in all of our plans. Everything has been put on hold. Vacations, banquets, birthday parties, baseball seasons and graduations have been called off. Weddings, anniversary trips and even funerals have been postponed. We are all grieving our losses, great and small.

At a time when it seems every plan has changed, I’m reminded that we aren’t promised tomorrow (James 4:13-14), and that many are the plans in our hearts, but it is the Lord who wills them (Proverbs 19:21).

When I realize that I can no longer put my hope in this world, I’m reminded that my only invitation was to put my hope in Him, the only One who is constant (Hebrews 13:8).

God designed us to enjoy His creation

I moved into my neighborhood two years ago. I felt that I had done a good job of meeting and befriending my neighbors. Then the quarantine happened. I’ve met more of my neighbors in the last six weeks than in the previous two years.

Why? Because we are all outside.

A few months ago, a typical day for many consisted of work, errands, dinner, Netflix, sleep, then repeat. Now, having endless hours to indulge in technology, we are finding it doesn’t satisfy us. We’re all doing yard work, walking, running, riding bikes, playing on the sidewalk, making up games, exploring new trails and having picnics.

Being outdoors is a respite for many of us right now. We are finding David’s words to be true when he said God’s green pastures and quiet waters restored his soul. Many of us are in desperate need of restoration or relief from the news or from our four walls.

I am finding peace outdoors.

Oswald Chambers once wrote, “In every wind that blows, in every night and day of the year, in every sign of the sky, in every blossoming and in every withering of the earth, there is a real coming of God to us if we will simply use our starved imagination to realize it.”

Creation teaches us about God’s beauty, creativity and power in tangible ways.

Psalm 19:1-2 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.”

I would argue that many of our minds have been starved and distracted from this wonder. One of the greatest blessings of today could be the opportunity to enjoy and rest in His creation.

Madalyn Latter is a Women’s Ministry associate at Southeast’s Blankenbaker Campus.