How are you doing?
This question has become the loaded question we are asking each other these days as we journey through what has never happened in our lifetimes. Some will answer the question truthfully if they feel the one asking is trustworthy enough to hear their answer. Others will answer, thinking in terms of physical provisions. Less people will answer in spiritual terms.
Are you doing okay as we go through this extreme change in our lives?
Now the question dives deeper into our personal lives as we question how we are coping given the present circumstances that rarely happens in life to so many people at once around the world. How do we typically respond? “Doing okay”. However, we are honestly thinking, “I’m not okay”. A voice in our head shouts, “when will this be over”?! Surely this won’t last forever. So, some of us live in a “limbo” state of mind.
How’s it going?
In answering this question we nonchalantly and simply respond with, “I’m fine”. “We’re getting through it.” “We’re surviving.” “It could be worse.” But inside there is a longing to get to the other side of this and live more “normal” lives, meaning getting back to routines that require no thinking on our part. Most of us just want to do life without thinking so much about life and consequences.
Before the quarantine we got up each morning to face the responsibilities that the day demanded. We slept at night so we could get up the next day and do it all again. We took on life, as it was, for granted. We went to church on Sunday to get our “God-fix” by praising Him as we normally do while getting our “social-fix” with being with friends we loved hanging around. We grumbled, “I just want to go to church”.
In quarantine we were told to stop everything we knew about life and stay inside our homes…unless your work was “essential”. In quarantine, as God’s meticulously, created humans we began to pull out abilities to adapt that we didn’t know or realize was in us. We began to do all of life from home. We do church at home. School is done at home. Shopping for supplies is done from home with delivery by essential people. We now rely on the internet to stay connected more than any other provision God has provided.
As we get to the end of the quarantine I am pondering even deeper questions.
How will we reenter our AQ (after quarantine) world after two months of forming new habits and routines in the BQ (before quarantine)? (Smiling. I guess DQ now stands for DURING quarantine.) Will we venture out with fearful trepidation, like cavemen coming out of their hiding place after a battle? Will we take the new skills we have learned and merge them with what we knew BQ? Or did nothing change before, during or after? No big deal? Some think that, too. “Nothing changed for me”, I’ve heard some people say.
Will our family members be eager to go back to separate lives of school, work, and other activities rather than being forced together in one location? What did we learn about each other in isolation?
Will we quickly go back to a rushed busy normal of unthinking routines? Will one of those routines be going to meet God at another building rather than at home? Have we used the “stay at home” order to get closer or to God? Did we get closer to family or farther away from them? What did God do in us? What did God do in our family life? Did we discover more meaning to life…or less? Did we thrive or merely survive?
I stop and wonder, did we pray for this? Did we pray for rest, a more simple way of life, less distractions and more of God? When we received what we prayed for, how did we respond? With grumbling or gratitude?
God has used this situation for our good and for His glory to those who believe in Him. He ALWAYS does. Question is, do we see what He has done in and for us? Do we realize and see God at work daily?
TRUTH: The Answer worth living for…
We are on God’s mind continually. He knows us by name. He loves us so much He sent His Son to pay for our sins and set us right with Him. Why? Because He longs to have a sincere, loving relationship with us. He has a specific purpose for our lives here and later with Him in eternity. We are created to praise God. We are created with purpose to glorify God. We are at perfect peace when we realize and live with God and His purposes on OUR minds. He is God and we are not. The world does not revolve around us nor does it care as deeply for us as God does. The earth was created by Him for our present, temporary residence as we prepare for our eternal home with Him forever.
“You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your Book!”
Psalm 139:16 (LB)
“God decided to give us life through the word of truth so we might be the most important of all the things he made.”
James 1:18, (NCV)
“I have carried you since you were born. Even when you are old, I will be the same. Even when your hair has turned gray, I will take care of you. I made you and will take care of you.”
Isaiah 46:3-4 (NCV)
Take comfort and assurance in knowing, without a doubt, that there IS a God. God made us for a reason. Our lives have profound meaning. We are special to God. We can only realize this when we accept the full extent and depth of His love for us. We discover meaning and purpose ONLY when we make God the reference point of our lives. The Message paraphrase of Romans 12:3 says, “The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us.
What will be our new normal?
Will our lives have more meaning as we discover our purpose?
It will depend on what we decide about Jesus, God’s Son.
It will depend on what we think about God and our relationship with Him.
Dear Heavenly Father,
You have my attention. Speak to my heart all day long and into the night of your care and purpose, love and mercy, and the grace given freely to me because Jesus. You are my Savior. I want you to be Lord of my life forever.
In Jesus Name, Amen