Just A Thought
I know most of us are home these days unless we have the misfortune of being a doctor, nurse, or other clinicians in a hospital during these chaotic times.
If you are somewhat or completely idled and are confined to home, either voluntarily or mandatorily, you might be inclined to look ahead to figure out what is coming so that you can prepare for it, whether you think the immediate future looks bright or cloudy. Depending on your unique set of skills and what career or life stage you are in, you may see things differently than I do. Or you may agree wholeheartedly.
If you see the future as dark, you may be more likely to go with my solution, which is to trust the Lord and not lean on my incomplete understanding of the situation.
If you pray to Him, pour out your concerns, your fears, your dismal expectations and leave them with Him, He will help you make a way, no matter what. It may not be easy, or fun, but if you trust Him and follow Him, you will reach a good place.
If you see the future as bright, you may be less inclined to pray. After all, you are expecting good things. If you're not worried or afraid, why pray to God?
For one thing, God loves to hear from you in good times and bad. He loves you extravagantly, whether you are ASKING for something or THANKING HIM for something.
For another thing, your assessment may turn out to be wrong. Things may get uglier. Your prayers may not stop the ugliness. We're urged to give thanks to the Lord in good times and bad, not because we enjoy the bad times, but because He will use troubles to help mold our character and bring us closer to Him.
Certainly, He wants you to obey Him. That is part of accepting him as the Lord and Savior of your life. But He also wants you to trust Him.
As you are praying today, tonight, or tomorrow, ask for insight, discernment, and wisdom. You probably don't know what the future holds, but you can let the Lord know that you're confidence is in Him and not in any worldly leader or institution.
Let Him know you love Him and remember that the Lord works all things out for the good of those who love Him and are called to His purpose.
In addition, my recommendation as received from Paul, the apostle, is to focus on your salvation and not your current, worldly problems. In the context of your eternal life, this pandemic is barely a coffee break, even if it drags on for months or longer. Here on earth, times come and times go, good or bad or somewhere in between. Time marches on, as they say.
Lastly, I've heard about a lot of people who are taking this opportunity to take classes online, read one or more books, and enhance their overall knowledge. If that idea makes sense to you, seek to establish and grow your relationship with God. Practical steps you can take now to get started:
1. Pray daily. If you are new to it, try The Lord's Prayer, which came directly from Jesus. It's not fancy or long or complicated. And it lets the Lord know that you are thinking of Him. Once you make this a habit, you will look forward to it.
2. Read the Bible. If you haven't read it before, I recommend starting with Luke's Gospel. Any of the 4 Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and John wrote the others) give you a good overview of Jesus's life and ministry. Luke is more detailed in his account, in my opinion, which is why I recommend reading it first.
The Bible is a collection of books, so style, time and circumstances differ from book to book. It all matters, so you won't read anything irrelevant, I am just trying to steer new readers to something that may be easier to digest.
Don't feel required to read a set amount. Set a goal if you want, but the important thing is the habit.
3. Consider a podcast that discusses faith matters. My first one was 'Daily Hope with Rick Warren.' Another is 'Drive Time Devotions with Tom Holliday.' Both of these give excellent Biblically-based teaching that de-mystifies and interprets scripture in a user-friendly way.
If you commit to even one of these steps and make it a habit, you will be on your way to a fulfilling, comforting faith and hope for the future. If you do all of them you will multiply your growth and faith in an inspiring way.
If you accomplish that, you will have accomplished something life-changing that will pay you back manifold for the rest of your life.
God bless you. Stay healthy, stay safe, stay home.
Jim Donaher is a writer, blogger, and author of the soon to be published, "Call Him, He's Home: Learning Prayer to Start and Grow Your Relationship with God" Read an excerpt by clicking on this link.
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