These are definitely unprecedented times. Never has anything like this happened on a global scale. Yes, quarantines have happened before, but the world has never shared this experience together. This is different, even special, in an odd way. We are all part of something that will go down in the history books. We who are alive today will have a common story to share,“What was it like during the quarantine of 2020?”. It is bringing the world together in many ways. Uniting humanity in our suffering and our struggle to overcome. Still, for each of us, this time is massively different. Within every person there are unique strengths and challenges. We are all on a journey of becoming. Where we have been, what we are now, and where we want to go is not the same. Who we are quarantined with, our responsibilities, and what we have access to is not the same. Our stories will be massively different. What is your story?
Many of us live believing that things just happen to us and that we can only react to what is coming. But your story is meant to be something that you help to create. Yes, there are things out of your control, but how you view those things, and what you do with them will determine the life you live and the story of YOU. God has given you the gift of freewill. You have the power to choose! This makes your story largely up to you! Right now, you can decide how you will view this time in quarantine and then, make your decisions about what to do each day based on that. Within you, right now, there lies hidden potential: undeveloped talents, buried strengths, repressed weaknesses, and undiscovered faith. You have never been in a situation like this before, and, most likely, you will never be in again. What is it that you can gain from this season? This time is a gift…your existence is a gift. Many people have lost someone dear to them and would love all of us to realize that this time is a gift. When you were created, God knit you together and made you unique. He has plans for your life that only you can fulfill. You can choose to seek the Lord to find out what He has hidden for you to discover in this time. Romans 8:28 declares that all things work together for good for those who love God and who are called according to His purpose. What good thing could this unique time produce in you? How should you invest this time into your future? Who do you want to become? What has God said about His plans for you? Be intentional to steward this time well and you will be amazed at what comes out of it!
Are you in a hard time? Every battle is the chance to gain something new…a place to conquer, a strength to increase. There is no testimony without a test and, no victory without a fight. Are you struggling with fear? Then you have an opportunity to find a peace from God that is unshakable, eternal, and supernatural. Perhaps it is your marriage, or your relationship with your kids, a health struggle, or financial trial? 1 Peter 1:7 talks about the testing of our faith, that it is the way we become more like Christ and are able to give even greater glory to God through our life! Having struggles in this time is actually something we can rejoice in, because it reveals our weaknesses and gives us the opportunity to grow. Like silver or gold being refined, the fire and pressure causes the impurities to rise to the surface so that they can be skimmed away. What remains is more precious and beautiful than ever before. You are becoming something new right now, but you get to choose what you become.
The forced isolation in this season can bring us face to face with everything we have been keeping busy to avoid. This can be your time of re-awakening to what is good, eternal, and what really matters. Will you allow God to take away the impurities, the fears, the doubts, the griefs, and frustrations? Will you forgive and let go of unhealthy things from your relationships? Will you go deeper into the love of God so that it can be the means by which your life becomes whole, stable, and powerful? In Ephesians 3:16, the apostle Paul prays for us to be internally strengthened by the Holy Spirit. In verse 17, he then explains that our choice to trust Christ paves the way for us to have a greater experience of His love and a stronger foundation for life. In what area must you learn to trust Christ more? This is your chance to become free!
No matter where you are at in this season, God, as a loving Father, is always wanting to work things for your good! Everything can become something to bless and strengthen you! Good and bad times in your life can bring you closer to God and give glory to Him as you yield yourself to His process. Learning to slow down and sit at His feet each day to receive what He has for you will equip you for every season of life. As long as you are alive on this earth, I pray you never stop allowing process to happen. You begin dying the very moment that you think, “I don’t want to change” or “I don’t want to feel weak or have to learn new things.” Even in a winter season, you can learn to rest, to be content, and to walk in peace and stillness. Only living branches experience change; old things falling away and new things birthing. Dead branches never have to deal with changes, so they become brittle and eventually break off the vine. Embrace your process, rejoice at feeling weak or challenged to learn new things, find the joy of stillness with God, humble yourself before God and receive what you need…become excited to keep going in His process! Good things will come as you do, I promise!
John 15: 1,2 “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.”