Today is April Fools’ Day and yet, I don’t feel much like joking around.
Some of us are dealing with family members and friends who have been affected by the coronavirus. Some of us are concerned about our loved ones working on the front line in healthcare. Others may be worried about providing for families after being laid off.
If we focus on the negativity we see all around us, it really can seem like a dismal season of life, and that old foe, hopelessness, is always ready to make an appearance, and settle down in our homes.
There are so many devastating situations fighting for our attention. And many of us are confined to our homes with little to no contact with those outside of our family, which doesn’t allow for much distraction.
But as I’ve always shared, God has a plan and a purpose for us. Nothing about what we are going through has taken Him by surprise.
Even though we don’t know the ‘why’, we can certainly ask for the ‘what’.
What are we supposed to be doing?
I asked God that very question – how can I help others from behind these walls?
What are we supposed to be doing during this most difficult time?
Do we watch the 24-hour network news, increasing our worry and fear with each rising infection count and death? Do we binge-watch Netflix or another streaming service for distraction? Or spend countless hours scrolling through social media, consumed by what our family, friends, and neighbors are doing to pass the time?
Even as I scrolled, I saw a number of my friends taking action – sewing face masks, making care packages, and working at food banks.
Lord I see people meeting physical needs, what can I do to meet spiritual needs?
How many hours during the last week did I spend not being productive while on my phone? My Screen Time showed a significant increase from my usually hours spent online.
But my usual time praying and spent with God did not increase.
Now I know that neither of those things are particularly enjoyable when compared to other ways I could be entertaining myself.
But we are in the middle of a pandemic. And I wanted to make a difference in the lives of others and not just sit around and watch time pass by while not making an impact within my circle of influence.
God let me know that I could pray. He showed me that I hadn’t done much praying over the past week. I started off strong when the self-distancing first started, but then I watched more and more of the news and read the stories my friends posted on Social Media. I needed to stay informed right?
But how much was too much?
He placed on my heart to pray for our sports’ families. So, I said a prayer for all of the families that we have been connected to through the girls’ sports. Then I felt led to send an encouraging message on the group messaging apps for our track and volleyball teams. Something I had never done before.
Wait – what God? Everyone on there is not a Believer, what if someone responds negatively? Or what if that’s against the communication guidelines?
But on the flip side… what if someone’s life was impacted from my obedience?
What if the grocery or medicinal item they needed showed up?
What if their plans changed, causing them to avoid an unfortunate encounter?
What if their mind which was full of worrisome thoughts suddenly was calmed and they could go back to sleep?
What if someone had been praying for a sign and my response was God answering their prayers?
My discomfort and fear transitioned to an overwhelming emotion that I can’t even describe when I thought about the impact that prayer could make. I immediately sent the message out, letting those families know that I was praying for them during this difficult time. It was quite emotional to step out in boldness and obedience.
There were so many people that I was connected to outside of my immediate and extended family that I could be praying for – friends, neighbors, school community, church family, former school and college mates, sorority sisters, co-workers, and others who I have connected to by various means over the years.
When I really thought about it, I realized there was a lot that I could be doing! I could be praying for each of these groups of people who were no doubt as concerned about the coronavirus as I was.
Every time I saw a post asking for prayers, I would not just put up praying hands, but actually stop and pray.
But I couldn’t just pray and not believe my prayers would be answered. I needed to have faith for every situation I was praying for – what was the point of praying if I didn’t believe?
I’ve been focused on saying this prayer for all of us going through together. And especially for my readers, I pray this for you as well:
Provision – I pray that God provides everything you need, whether it be food and/or resources.
Protection – I pray that you are safe from harm of any kind, including the coronavirus or any other medical condition that could negatively impact your health.
Peace – I pray that you are able to trust God and rest in His Sovereignty, Grace, and Mercy with everything going on around us.
Think about what you can do differently this week to make an impact in someone else’s life. There’s no better time to start than now!
Determine what you can do to make a difference in someone’s life while we go through this coronavirus pandemic. Do you any talents or resources that others could benefit from?
Has your social media and streaming time increased since the self-distancing mandate?
Would setting intervals and reminders help to shift your focus on something you can do for others? Is there something else you can implement?
Feel free to respond in the comments section… and share this story with someone in your life that could use the encouragement.
Follow Destined 4 the Dub for the Inspiration you need each week as you journey through the highs and lows of life!