If you are like me, these words bring to mind the story of Esther, and my favorite way to study Esther was with a great group of ladies from my church as we gathered to do a Beth Moore study together. I remember one of the phrases we used in our study was, "It is tough being a woman who...." and there were several ways we completed that sentence through the study. The first one was, "It's tough being a woman who lives in a world where beauty is treatment." I am thinking that right now it is tough being a woman who is stuck at home (unable to connect with others).
We are living in unprecedented times, aren't we? For some of us being stuck at home is merely an inconvenience, though for others it is the biggest challenge we may ever have faced. There are so many aspects of our lives impacted by this microscopic organism we cannot even see. Even after weeks, there is still so much we do not know about this virus and how it will continue to effect us. All around the globe scientists are trying to figure out how to keep us safe. Parents are trying to figure out how to teach their children at home. Pastors are trying to figure out how to lead their flocks with digital services. Many are trying to figure out how to trust God with such a global issue.
How about you? What is God saying to you about all of this? What is God leading you to do and to be as we navigate these uncharted waters? God put Esther in exactly the right place at exactly the right time to save her people from certain death, but her decision to do what God wanted her to do could have cost her her own life in the process. How did she know what to do? She fasted and prayed. And she asked her people to do the same. Then, she stepped out in faith and obeyed the Lord. We know how that story worked out. God was faithful. God made a way.
I am confident that in this current situation, God is in control. He knows the way through, and He will lead us as we seek Him. I believe that He wants to do more than we can imagine, but that doesn't mean it isn't going to be a challenge. It is hard to see so many people dying every day. It is hard to feel like we have no control over this situation. It is difficult to remain positive when there is so much negative around us. So what are you doing to keep positive? What are you doing with what you can control? How can you connect with others when you need to keep distant?
Here are a few things that are helping me:
· Be productive: Ask God what you can do to make a difference. One of the things I’ve done was to use this unplanned time to get this website updated—what a blessing to actually have the time to be creative! This could include: spring cleaning, get ready for a yard sale when this is over, do a puzzle or two, work on sorting your photographs and scrapbooking, etc.
· Be positive: Spend time in worship and the Word. The Holy Spirit will uplift your spirit as you spend time with Him. Watch uplifting movies. We took time to watch the Sight and Sound videos of JESUS and JONAH this week that were available on TBN. It was entertaining and uplifting. There are many YouTube worship videos to encourage you.
· Be connected: Facetime friends and family, make phone calls to check on neighbors and friends. Write notes of encouragement to whomever the Lord brings to mind. This works in email too. Use Zoom or Skype to gather for Bible Study and/or prayer with the ladies of your church family.
· Be equipping: There are opportunities out there to be learning. Take an online course. Check out what is available through Winebrenner Seminary. Lifeway Women has online Bible studies available. Many universities are making courses available for free. I started a course through MTI on Tuesday with Linda Rosenberry about the minor prophets. I am excited to be learning as well as connecting with other believers and making new friends! Perhaps God is calling you to lead an online Bible study!
What have you been doing to keep positive and productive? Please share in the comments below to encourage someone else. If you attended The Flourish Conference this year and would like to join with a group of other women to study Journey to Trust, the Bible study workbook that Robyn Dykstra made available to everyone, please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I'll send you information about how to connect.
God has given us this time to be set apart. I am praying for you as you seek God about how to be using this time. Remember you are never alone. God is with us. He is for us. And He will guide us as we look to Him.