Life in lockdown

Church bulletin:

I am fed up with it as much as anyone. I don’t think I have ever felt as weary as I presently do. Although there are less demands in terms of going out, in mind and body I am struggling for energy. We are told that problems related to mental health have sky-rocketed – suicides, domestic violence, self-harm, depression, substance abuse, etc. While the lockdown does not excuse sinful behaviour, clearly it has had a negative effect on many people. Christians are not immune to the struggles experienced in the broader community. As Christians though, we do have greater recourses to draw upon. “My grace is sufficient in weakness” said the Lord God. The apostle Paul was able to rejoice while imprisoned in Rome and facing a possible death sentence.

Phil 4:4-13, Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! (5) Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.  (6)  Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; (7) and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (8) Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (9) The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. (10) But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. (11) Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: (12) I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. (13) I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Hopefully restrictions will ease a great deal more come mid-October. Nevertheless, we should seek to make the most of every providence. Who knows what else may happen in the future to hinder our lives – illness, old-age, financial constraints, relational problems.

* Be thankful – not just with lip-service, but from the heart. As basic as it sounds and even child-like, count your blessings day by day. Consider what you have, not what you don’t have and praise God for it. The unthankful person is restless and spiritually impoverished. It is always important to be thankful, but especially when life is not as we would like it.

* Be patient – God blesses those who quietly endure and wait on Him. Patience doesn’t mean we have to like what we are going through. It means that we humbly submit to His will. It means we recognize that God has a purpose in all things and through prayer and scripture we seek to honour Him and cultivate Christlikeness.

* Be generous – the self-orientated person is a selfish person. Selfishness robs us of joy, and it withholds blessings from others. Use this time to message people to see how they are and what you can pray for, organize Zoom meetings to catch-up, send a gift to someone.

* Be creative – don’t spend all your down time on the internet or in front of the TV. Journal your observations from scripture, read something out of the ordinary, get into the garden, go on daily walks, try activities such as drawing, sewing, cooking, building, photographing, writing – perhaps things you haven’t done before or haven’t done for a long time. God has provided a world of creative possibilities.

Difficult days will knock us around, but they will only overtake us if we allow them to.