We all see life changing now. Places that used to be full of life, now empty and dark. The people we love kept at a distance because we want to protect them. Even the everyday rhythm of life, has halted. The rushed rhythm has now become slow and quiet. We see the news filled with new measures on how to protect us, while reminding us of the lives that have been lost to the Coronavirus. The news is a mix of greed and disappointment, dashed with the reminder of the goodness and love of people that are going the extra mile. Emotions are everywhere, as plans have quickly come to nothing. We miss connection and basic socialisation. The messages sent to friends remind us of how loved we are but how distanced we are. We all try to find our rhythm again; try to find how we use our time. Maybe, instead of trying to fill our time with loads of activity to keep our minds off everything happening. It truly is a time to slow down.
Slowing down, is certainly something we are not very used to. Some of us may argue, I always use one day to rest. However, I am sure, like me, your mind is normally racing ahead with all the things that are to come next. Many us love to have a proactive and a productive life. We love to constantly be doing something and we want to know what is coming next. The past few days have shown us, that we do not know what will come next. Speaking from the perspective of living in the UK, everything is closing or is closed. Our government is bringing in new measures daily, to stop the rapid spread of the Coronavirus. It means that life as we know it, has come to a halt.
While we can look on this situation negatively, I do pray that we would not lose our hope. That we would be people who constantly lift each other up in prayer and surround each other in love. Even through a phone call or a message. I hope that when we see plans having to be cancelled or rearranged, that we would not be angry or frustrated for long. That we would always know, life is more than all things that we grasp at. It is about learning to be present and intentional with the day that we have. I hope you take time to slow down. To prioritise what is important and to let go of what can wait. I hope that you will do some of the things that you are passionate about, that you have left neglected as the rush of life took over. I hope that even when everything may make you anxious, that you will be encountered by peace and rest. Knowing that, there are things that you can control but most of life you cannot. That is okay, because we will all learn to walk through life one step at a time.
May we all be encouraged that the faithfulness of God is and always will be present through it all. We all know someone or an organisation that is going the extra mile, to make sure people do not go without. We can think of the men and women who work tirelessly in hospitals and medical centres, to care and help those who are suffering not only with the Coronavirus but the many other ailments of life. We think of the many scientists, etc who are working so hard to find a cure to this. Knowing it will be a long process. May we remember to lift all this in prayer, with thankfulness and gratitude for the people who work in these fields. Praying that they will be met with strength and rest as they need it. May we all pray especially for our governments, we are all so quick to criticise. May we pray that the voices of wisdom and truth would be the loudest in their hearts and minds; that they would make decisions to support and strengthen our countries even in this time and in the future. Prayer is vital.
For many of us it may and is a time to reconnect with the Lord. To spend some intentional time praying and meditating on his word. To soak and rest in his presence, to be at peace not rushing away. For many of us we quickly become depleted because we run on empty, giving out so much of ourselves to the people around us and our workplace. We do not allow ourselves to be filled with the living water that we desperately need. In Mark 6, we see the Lord caring for the disciples needs even when he could see that there was still more work that needed to be done. (6v31-32) ‘Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.’ If you continue reading the passage you do see the crowd runs ahead to meet them before they are even docked. However, Jesus does care about who we are and about our needs. He loves us and wants us to spend time with him. If you know that you have been running on empty for so long and you need to be in his presence. I pray that you would use this time for that and build it into something that is so necessary for your life. That when the rush of life starts to come again, you know to come first and foremost to the feet of Jesus. It is important as churches close now, that we allow ourselves to be ministered to. That we keep in contact with friends and church community. Making time to worship and listen to sermons. There is so much online, may we not allow our faith to grow dim.
Lastly, may you not feel guilty for resting. Catch up with the TV shows or films that you have been wanting to watch for a while. Read the books that have been getting dusty on your shelves. Make and create what you have been longing for the time to do. Eat good food and care for you needs. Keep loving those around you and allow time to not rush you anymore. Allow yourself to breathe, to be at peace. Let everything take its time.
1 Corinthians 13v13 ‘And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.’
‘I’m finally learning to rest my body and my mind in loving and peaceful ways. I’m learning that it matters.’ (Shauna Niequist)
May you know that you are loved and cherished and prayed for. God bless, Victoria. xx