Lately, I’ve been thinking about the ten plagues in Egypt in the time of Moses and can’t help but wonder if there is a lesson in that story that relates to what we are going through now.
There have been catastrophes across the country, unlike anything many of us have seen in our lifetime. An unprecedented number of forest fires burning through the Northwest, a record-breaking number of hurricanes causing widespread damage and flooding, and sightings of murder hornets and spotted lanternflies – each threatening our already delicate eco-system, to name a few.
We are also in the midst of a bitter election where sides have been drawn, friendships and families torn apart, and our country is divided by severe racial tensions boiling over after years of inequal and unjust policies and practices.
How did we get here? After a week of major sporting event cancellations, I remember waking up with a strong pull to go straight to the grocery story on March 13. Feeling that this was the Holy Spirit directing me, I headed out and went aisle by aisle to get food and supplies to last us through a couple of weeks. By the time I completed the last row, my cart was full, and I had to keep one hand on the top to keep items from falling out, while struggling with the other hand to steer the cart.
Later that evening, we received word that the schools were closing down for a few days. We cancelled all plans for that weekend, which included attending my sister-in-law’s bridal shower.
I’ve always described myself as having low-risk tolerance, meaning I’m not willing to take risks that most others wouldn’t even consider risky. That makes me a great project manager at work, but not so popular with family and friends as many thought I was being over-protective and over-cautious by my behavior.
Eventually our state, along with some others implemented curfews to keep people safe at home. The roads were clear, people were home with their families, spending time together like they never have before.
In my home, it was a reconnection that was long overdue. Every night brought an interesting discussion and sometimes a game at the dinner table, which hadn’t ever happened before COVID-19. Previously, dinner had usually been eaten individually and sometimes on the go as we rushed off to our separate activities.
As I contemplated what was going on around me, I continued to seek God for the purpose in halting and rearranging my life. Was there a lesson here? Was there something I was supposed to do? What did I need to change?
In those initial months it seemed like many areas had settled down and were just waiting. Reports showed that the atmosphere was cleaner due a to significant reduction in pollution. Social media showed new recipes being attempted, home projects being completed, and new ventures being started. Some people were using this life interruption to bring out positive changes.
But after a while, fatigue seemed to set in. Even though the threat of a COVID-19 infection didn’t decrease, the general tone of society gradually changed. I heard on more than one occasion, “I have to live my life” or “We just can’t stop living because of this virus.”
Every time I heard that, my mental response was always, “Yes, but what does God want us to do?” I’ve found myself wondering exactly how long did those ten plagues last? Each new plague occurred because the previous old one didn’t cause Pharaoh to change his heart.
What if God is trying to change us, but instead we are stubbornly trying to hold on to our pre-COVID life?
Throughout this pandemic, I’ve really tried to look at the bigger picture. God – what are you trying to teach us? What should I be turning from? What should I be turning toward? In which direction should I be going?
I’ll admit, sometimes I feel lost, but yet secure. I don’t know what’s going on, or what the future holds, but I do know God has it all planned out. So daily I just ask Him to order my steps, to show me what I should be doing.
For someone who is used to constantly planning her life – usually months and months ahead, to be living day to day is a new experience. But that is bringing out a new dependency on God. Instead of forging ahead until I get stuck and then asking Him to guide me from there, I’m first looking for guidance before I take a step.
This is a strange place to be in, but it is probably the most peaceful space that I’ve ever been in. So, I’m gonna keep leaning on God, seeking Him, and drawing upon His strength as I continue through this unpredictable season. And looking for the lesson along the way.
How has your life been interrupted in 2020? What are you doing in response? Are you seeking God or your own convenience? Are there any ways you want to change your 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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