As most Americans are entering the 2nd week of social distancing (more like self-distancing for us), and others around the world possibly for longer, we are suddenly finding our schedules open, with more free time to contemplate the state of our lives.
For me, this ordeal started the morning of Friday, March 13, 2020. I had glanced at my social media and saw reports of panic and horde shopping from the day before.
Just the day before, we had received a call from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, informing us that Kassadi’s surgery was being postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus.
After praying with my husband while on his way to work, I told him I felt led to go to the grocery store instead of my usual routine of writing after sending my family off for the day. Many times, people will say “something told me” when describing this kind of feeling, but I firmly believe this was the Holy Spirit leading me to action.
But I have to be honest, I don’t always listen when the Holy Spirit directs me to do something. When He comes to me in a quiet voice, I sometimes allow the noise within my life or my own desires to drown Him out.
And my disregard usually leads to my regret and leaves me thinking, “I should have…”. So, as I’m always trying to grow and learn, one thing I’m working on is responding as soon as I hear His voice instructing me to do something.
This grocery store trip was totally out of routine for me. I typically meal-planned only one week out and did my grocery shopping weekly while the girls were at practice. But volleyball had been cancelled for that week, and we were low on food supplies.
To complicate matters, after taking a detour for a couple of years, we were back to following Financial Peace University (Baby Step 2!) and had a strict weekly grocery budget. By the time I arrived at my local Shoprite and saw the unusual amount of people shopping that early in the morning, I was thankful that I had followed God’s directive.
The stockers were replenishing the shelves, and all around me I saw people with carts full of food. So, I got to it, calmly walking through each aisle and choosing items we might need over the next couple of weeks.
Most the customers were calm and friendly, many joking about the current state of toilet paper. By the time I left the store, the parking lot looked like it was Black Friday, and cars were searching for an open space to park. I left grateful to be stocked for a few weeks, but really had no idea what was ahead of us.
First came the report that my husband’s school was being closed to students for teacher development and cleaning. Then later that evening, we were notified that our daughters’ school would be closed on Monday and then they would return on Tuesday.
The weekend went on, more reports of new cases came in, and more changes in our neighboring states. When Sunday came around we were informed that no one was going back to school/work and self-distancing was a new word added to our vocabulary and lives.
The next week was like none I’ve ever experienced before, isolated from human interaction outside of my family, and spending WAY too much time on Social Media scrolling for updates on what everyone else was doing while self-distancing.
This period will definitely be a defining point in our lives. Just like we remember our pre-9/11 lives, we are now experiencing another shift which will lead to a new normal of our post-coronavirus lives.
We have no idea what that will look like, and if we stay glued to the gloom and doom of some news reports, it may cause us to live in a constant state of fear and anxiety. We grow more concerned about our health and safety, our finances, our jobs, and what the future may look like.
That’s why this week’s scripture from the popular Psalms 23 writing about the Lord being our shepherd is so relevant for this time in our lives. In Biblical times, sheep depended on shepherds for their very lives.
Don’t we all want the Great Shepherd to walk us through this difficult time, where the shadow of death threatens in every newly reported case of coronavirus?
We are living in a space that is unknown but can still trust and walk with God through all the uncertainty we are experiencing. But how can we do that with all the noise around us, vying for our attention?
With the changes in most of our daily lives, we should definitely have more time in our schedules to meet God daily to connect with Him and read His word. I know He would love to hear from you, even if you’ve never talked to Him before.
Drown that TV out with your worship or inspirational music. Replace post-apocalyptic movies with light-hearted or inspirational stories that leave you feeling positive and encouraged instead of anxious and jittery.
While writing this, the song Way Maker by Leeland streamed through my phone, and as I was listening while typing, the words caused me to stop and lift my hands in worship.
You are: way-maker, miracle-worker, promise-keeper, light-in-the-darkness, My God – that is who You are!
Even when I don’t see it, you’re working, even when I don’t feel it, you’re working, you never stop, you never stop working, you never stop, you never stop working.
And isn’t that exactly what we need right now?
God to make a way for us, when we don’t know what lies ahead?
God to work a miracle out for us, when the unexpected suddenly has us feeling powerless?
God to be a promise-keeper, as we trust in the comfort of His Word when reading about His promises? Especially the promises in Psalms 91!
God to be our light, as we walk the unknown path ahead, not always knowing which steps to take?
Yes, He is all of those things, and is always working on our behalf – even when we don’t know what He’s doing, or how it will all work out.
Make sure you stay close and continue to walk with Him through this pandemic.
Be blessed and be safe.
Are you walking through these uncertain times alone? Have you reached out to the Great Shepherd for protection? Take the time to read Psalms 23 and talk to God about the protection and provision that you need today. Ask God to speak to your heart in response.
Feel free to respond in the comments section… and share this story with someone in your life that could use the encouragement.
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