These past few weeks have been absolutely bonkers for me and probably for you reading this as well. The reasoning for all this craziness in my life is not just because of COVID-19, but also because of what God has been teaching me and what He has been doing in my heart. What I’m learning and what’s happening in this world with COVID-19 goes hand in hand and I felt called to write about it.
A few weeks ago, I went on a surf trip on the Oregon Coast. On the way there I decided to stop in Portland to see my friend. Mike’s always been a mentor to me, by encouraging and challenging me to grow in my faith. As per usual, we started reflecting on our lives and what God has been teaching us.
I just finished my college career and haven’t really figured out what’s next. Mike is in the same boat. He starts talking about “perfect peace” and what the bible says about it. I defined it as a condition of freedom from disturbance within the soul; perfect harmony reigning within. Isaiah 26:3 nails it on the head. “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” It’s the whole idea of being a son/daughter of God and having complete trust and confidence in His word and will for our lives.
This is a heavy thing to do that is yet so practical. Since I am still learning what this means, I’ve just been asking God each day “what is your will for me today?” By doing this I have noticed two major things that are changing in my heart: an absence of fear and the presence of the spirit. Philippians 2:13 says “For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” My fear is gone. I am no longer having anxiety and being worried about my future. Whatever happens, whatever I do, whatever I go through, it is going to be good. Listening to the Spirit is new for me as well. Once I started understanding “perfect peace”, I’ve noticed that I have more room for the Spirit to move in me. I have been able to receive words from the Lord for myself and others
As I enter into this new chapter of my life, I decided to just give it all to God and take it day by day–listening to His spirit and asking Him to show me His will for my life. With this step of faith, I have found both hope and love. I will never fully understand what God’s “perfect peace” is but I am committing myself to unpack its outgrowth in my life and I encourage you to do the same. It all starts with a little ask and God will answer in a big way.
While I’ve been contemplating the concept of “perfect peace”, COVID-19 slams into us like a crashing wave. While there is a lot to be said, it is important to note that nothing is too big or too gnarly for God. This pandemic has brought on a lot of fear and uncertainty to our world. I’m reminded of one of my favorite stories in the Bible where Jesus calms the storm.
This story is such a good example of what is going on today. Instead of putting all our energy into being scared of this virus, as Christians, we are called to put our energy into trusting Him. Romans 8:18-28 says, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us… and we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.” I believe that he is working through this virus and wants to change people’s hearts. A lot of people’s hearts are empty and hopeless. This opens up so much opportunity for His glory to be revealed His peace to conquer all. He wants to infect people with His freely given love. I’m praying heavily for it.
So, what can we do? Pray! Pray for the hearts of the hopeless to be impacted by Jesus. Pray for leaders that they make good decisions. Pray for churches to keep impacting their communities. Pray for health. Our God is a healing God. Pray for people that have lost their jobs during this time. Pray for God’s provision in financial situations. We are also missing out on our normal spring activities, so be praying for our mental health as well.
A lot of us weren’t expecting to end our season so soon. How can we still be involved in reaching people? Here are some ideas that you guys can be doing. If you are sick, PLEASE stay home and rest! Dive into the word. Call your friends and family. Check-in on them and pray with them. If you’re healthy, go ski touring with one or two friends an maintain social distancing (6ft space and washing hands). Spend time in God’s creation while getting a good workout. Dust off the bike and start pedaling with a couple of friends, that’s what I’ve been doing. Support your local businesses. Be kind to the people working to be open even though their businesses are being unconventionally limited. It’s a bummer that the end of the season didn’t go as planned but there are still plenty of opportunities to love on people. Jesus works in quick interactions too. Ministry never stops. We can all be seeking out alternative ways to build the kingdom.
I painted this lighthouse about to be taken over by a wave. Lighthouses are built to withstand gnarly swells and storms. No matter how crazy the storms are, it’s always going to be guiding ships home. Yet, even the wind and the seas obey Him.
God’s working through this. God’s got this! We got this!