Fog. That’s all I could see this morning as I headed off to work. Dense and deep, like a haze of white and gray matter, my driving became slow and steady, my eyes on hyper-alert. I knew the way, but knowing the way isn’t always enough. Sight is necessary when navigating to a destination. So there I drove, slow and steady, trusting my instincts and hoping my reflexes were sharp enough to detect the need for a sudden halt if necessary.
Isn’t that what it feels like right now. In our current climate that is wrecked with viral plague. This Covid-19 virus has us all navigating new territory. So many on hyper-alert, fear-wrecked, and out of focus.
But isn’t this the time when we put our faith into practice? Isn’t this the time when, as believers, what we say we know and understand about God becomes actionable? Shouldn’t we be putting feet to faith, by living what we believe to be true about God? Shouldn’t we, like the sun, rise above the fog?
Read these words from Scripture:
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
God’s Word has more than prepared us for trials and tribulations. He has given us instruction. And He is not at all surprised by our current situation.
Knowing this, what should our response be in these trying times? Here are just a few suggestions.
Read God’s Word:
- Every morning we should get up and go to God’s Word, asking Him to prepare us for the battle we are facing. A warrior needs armor so let’s put on the Armor of God, shall we. Read Ephesians 6:10-20 out loud daily and put that armor on friends.
- Ask the Lord to focus your thinking for the day and give you a spirit, not of fear but of power, love, and self-control. (2 Timothy 1:7)
- Ask God to help you speak in love and walk in love today. (Ephesians 4:15, Ephesians 5:1-2)
- Ask God for protection over you and those whom you love. (Psalm 91:1-4)
- Ask God to help others through this time of uncertainty and to give you opportunities to share the hope of Christ along this journey. (1 Peter 1:3-6)
As I continued my journey to work, I noticed the sun. A giant, perfect ball of fire, piercing through the fog, illuminating the way.
Isn’t that what God, through His Son, Jesus, does? He pierces through the darkness, through the distractions, through the discouragement, through fear and helplessness.
But we must look for Him throughout our day, remembering to catch glimpses of His glory in whatever places and spaces we find ourselves in.
He is our Waymaker, Miracle Worker, Promise-keeper, Light in the darkness. That is who He is. (Excerpted from the song Waymaker by Osinachi Joseph)
Let’s remember who He is. Let’s choose to focus on the light, not the fog. The enemy wishes to take our eyes off of Jesus. He would rather we waste our time worrying, wandering, and waiting in hopelessness. But we need not fear or walk in aimless distraction as those without hope.
Now is the time to rise above the fog, to rise above the fear, to operate in faith. That is what faith is—believing without seeing. Praising without understanding. Thanking amidst the chaos. Moving forward without all the answers.
I can’t even begin to comprehend how the Lord may use this time in our homes with our families to build up broken relationships, to slow down busy mommas and daddys, to teach teens (well really all of us) to live without instant gratification or entitlement.
Could this plague be God’s way of bringing His people back to their first love?
Several years ago I found myself praying through a situation in which I had no control. I went into our church’s Prayer Room and found a handwritten note (BTW—I had asked the Lord to give me the “handwriting on the wall” when He answered me, so I would know it was Him.) Well, He didn’t’ write on the wall, but He did write on paper (or should I say this is what He prompted someone to write and leave in the Prayer Room.)
Maybe I need to allow His Spirit to pray for me, allow Jesus to intercede for me. Just as Jesus prayed in the garden, “Thy will be done.” Just maybe when I pray I don’t have full knowledge of all of the circumstances in my life. Just maybe I have been praying for “things” or “outcomes” outside of His will. Just maybe the desires of my heart are not His perfect will for my life. So please Lord, help me move over and allow you to take control of my life.
Maybe we are migrating through a fog we’ve never seen before, but guess what? God knows the way.
Maybe you are stuck in places or spaces that we don’t want to be in, but guess what? God placed you there.
Maybe we are faced with a change in plans that wasn’t on our schedule, but guess what? God is the ultimate plan-maker.
Maybe God is calling us to navigate through this plague, but He’s calling us to do so with eyes fixed on His Son and not our circumstances, fears, or finances.
Maybe He’s calling us to navigate through this plague, but He has provided us with all we need, if we choose to look to Him rather than our worldly resources.
Maybe He wants us to learn to hold onto our plans with a loose grip, and hold on to our faith in Jesus with both hands, firm and fervent.
Maybe, just maybe God is asking us to rise above the fog and catch a glimpse of His glory.
Trusting & Praying …
Jennifer Jones says
That is beautiful and spot on!
I am so thankful that I do not live my life in fear. Now more than ever, we need to be sharing Jesus, our hope, with others.
Praying for you and your family.
Jacqueline Heider says
Very well said, Jennifer. Our hope is anchored in Jesus!
Shelia Brown says
I really needed to read this today. With the Covid-19, I have been so confused. I was upset because I felt my plate just could not hold anymore issues. Then, we close our church….my safe haven, the place I get my strength. I understand why…yet…I yelled Why now… I need to be in church around positive thinkers. I need my church family.
I also know God says he WILL Not give me more than I can handle. Well, God my plate is full….
I seek His word daily and I put on The Armour of God daily. Some days I think I may leave a peace or two in my closet…but for the most part I wear most of it daily. I have learned that Not a Day goes by that I do not need God in my life. As you said maybe I need to rise above my potty party and REALLY SEE GOD.
Jacqueline Heider says
I am so grateful you read this, and it encouraged your heart. Be sure and check out my newest study, Rest in His Refuge. You will love it! It’s all about learning to rest in God in the midst of fear, chaos, and uncertainty. Thanks again for reading! -J
Elizabeth Nottingham says
Beautifully said Jaqueline, thank you.
Jacqueline Heider says
Thank you for reading! So glad it encouraged you today!