Unprecedented Times


Ya’ll, to quote my Pastor, Kim Poer, this quarantine situation is unprecedented.

You are going to feel anxious. You are going to feel afraid, and overwrought, and even worn out. You just are.

This does not mean there is anything wrong with you, it just means we are all in a season that is, again, unprecedented. I am getting ready to launch something new. There’s a lot of unknowns, and simultaneously a lot of work to be done. Not “unprecedented” because others have done Virtual Schooling in the past. But certainly this is new to me. My oldest son did online schooling (with me overseeing) during a year when he was in and out of the hospital constantly. So, I know how it works, but it is a totally different thing to set it up and create a Virtual Schooling opportunity from scratch.

I’d be tempted to think that I have to figure everything out myself, and DO IT ALL IMMEDIATELY but ya’ll, that’s just NOT true. That is the enemy of my soul trying to overwhelm me and keep me from a new opportunity God has placed in my heart. The enemy wants to keep me so bound up with fear and perfectionism and urgency that I can’t accomplish what God has called me to. Seriously. So…what is your enemy telling you? What lies is he shouting through the media or into your mind to rob you of the wholeness and wellness God intends for you? Does your enemy say that you should be anxious and afraid because people are going nuts and hoarding basic supplies? That we are not safe because of COVID-19? That the precious offspring that you love is going to be the end of your sanity if you are stuck in the house with them ONE. MORE. DAY…???

This is not a call to feel guilty if you’ve thought or felt these things. Guilt is of the enemy too.
The truth is:
Change is scary. Being stuck in your house with a whole passel of children (big or little) is stressful. Not being able to find basic items like toilet paper or milk is very frustrating. Having a medical condition or low immunity is an added risk. These are normal feelings. Now is the time to ask ourselves: What is the enemy saying to you to try to keep you bound up?

I say- “Be wise and be careful” but don’t be a slave to fear. Listen; this “New Opportunity” I’m spearheading holds a lot of unknowns. So does the future. But over and over, every single devotional I’ve read since this whole thing started says (over and over and over):
“You are not alone in this.
Come to Me.
Let me help you through this.
I know you are anxious but trust in my plan, and my provision.
Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid…
Pray at all times” and as a certain missionary in prison wrote, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.
Aill thngs. Even survive without toilet paper. The writer of that assertion certainly did. His learning opportunity was “to be content” despite terrible circumstances. I’m reading through God Calling, not chronologically by date, but jumping around a bit as the Spirit leads. The devotional was written by two anonymous women, roommates of a sort, who heard God speaking in their hearts when they gathered to pray. Two women who lived in extreme poverty, even destitution, and one of which battled continual sickness. They had both known gaping loss, deep pain, and one dealt with thoughts of suicide.
Jesus. That is the name by which you conquer Not as cringing supplicants but as those recognizing a Friend. Say my Name– Jesus.”
And then… they began to pray and seek God.
The devotional book grew out of their journey through another very difficult time in history- the early 1930s –remember the Great Depression? They began to seek God in prayer in 1932 and a little devotional I find incredibly compelling grew out of thier decision.
So what did these Journeyers who had little food, less resources, and many challenges hear? From the December 31 reading-
“Jesus is our deliverer! He saves us from ourselves. From our own worst fears. ‘There is no other name by which you can be saved’- Jesus. Say it often. Claim the power it brings.'” ~God Calling
When I was a stay at home mom, my boys knew I was at the end of my rope when I would say, under my breath, “Dear Jesus, help me!” The youngest once said to the eldest, “Mom’s talking to Jesus again. We better go play in our rooms.”
Another time, before a 5K on a frigid night, I got stuck in one of my MANY layers of exercise gear, while trying to get out of my vehicle. Without even realizing it I breathed out, “Dear Jesus, help me!” Half under my breath. Another 5K participant immediately came over and helped me get untangled.
Embarrassed by my (albeit, quiet) outburst, I rushed to explain, “I was praying for God’s help.” “He sent me,” she said. Not what I was expecting.
Another devotional from God Calling contains this gem- “Your need IS His call.
He is there with us before we even ask. The calling is for our benefit, not His. The calling is the vehicle, the catalyst bringing about our choice to remember we are not alone and surrender to His helping.
From today’s reading, March 18- “Listen, listen, I am your Lord. Before me there is none other. Just trust me in everything. Help is here all the time.”
In difficult times we have the opportunity to learn and grow, and the learning and growing we need the very most is how to create the habit of reaching out to our Loving Heavenly father who longs to pour out His provision, which very often is more of Himself over and in and through us.”
So today, this moment, let us cry out- Jesus help us! He absolutely will, as we respond in obedience and allow Him to. Prayer: Dearest Father God, We pray for help in these unprecedented times. We pray for you to turn our eyes towards truth. We pray for reminders that we are not alone and You are here to help us through whatever challenges we face. Let us see how you are reaching out for us even now.
How you have provided for us.
How you long to give us more of You to help us through.
We invite you in to this experience.
Equip us for every challenge we face, especially the ones that leave us quaking in our boots.
Show us the way forward and give us courage to try new things. Guide us every step of the way.
May our plans be according to Your will and your way.
Grant us understanding and courage, and Jesus, take the wheel.
Calm our hearts. Let us breathe out your name whenever we feel ourselves growing anxious.
Teach us to recognize the lies of the enemy and speak Your truth out loud to chase away the lies.
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