As I write, Gov. Tate Reeves has replaced his shelter-in-place order with a more lenient safer-at-home directive. We aren’t being told to self-quarantine, but we’re being urged to do so as much as possible for the next … little bit.
We’re in limbo. Still not back to “normal,” but starting to plan for what that will look like.
I personally hope I don’t go back to my pre-quarantine “normal.” This time at home has taught me a couple things.
Seek God above all else. This is true all the time, of course. It’s not that I need Him more when I’m isolated. It’s that I see my need for Him more. This will be easy to forget when I’m busier, but it’s during the busyness that we really need to seek Him, because otherwise we lose sight of Him altogether.
If you’re not taking time to read scripture and pray on a regular basis, or if your time with God has become rote, quiet yourself and ask Him for wisdom, or for whatever He wants to say. You’ll be amazed how quickly He draws near.
That being said, sometimes God is silent to our ears, even while standing right beside us. That doesn’t mean He doesn’t love us, and it doesn’t mean we quit seeking Him or trusting Him. Keep praying, keep reading. Sing a hymn or a worship song in the stillness of your bedroom, before the to-do list takes over.
Intentionally seek out frequent Christian fellowship. Again, this is true pretty much all the time. My small Bible study group at church had recently disbanded because we were no longer able to meet regularly. I thought I was fine. “I’m pretty busy. Maybe I’ll take a break this summer and then join another group later.” Then we got quarantined. I was not fine.
I’ve video chatted with a few women from that disbanded small group a couple of times over the past few weeks, and it has been so refreshing and encouraging. I’ve since decided I need to join another group ASAP, quarantine or no.
If you’re not getting poured into by other Christians — even beyond your immediate family, I would say — you should seek out community. Sometimes it’s hard to see the ways we need to grow (or the ways we are growing!) until we voice things aloud to other believers and listen to what they have to say.
We also are meant to pour into others. Sometimes that means meeting with someone every week or every month — whether physically or not — as a mentor. Other times, it’s as simple as sending a text. Do you know a believer who is probably struggling? Reach out! You don’t have to embarrass them. Just say, “Hey, I’m thinking of you. Hope you’re well! Let me know if I can pray for you in any way.” Aren’t you grateful when someone sends you that kind of message?
The slowed-down life isn’t so bad. I don’t know that I’ll be able to make my life as “slow” post-quarantine as it has been over the past month. How many meetings and activities are necessary? How many are fluff? How many add to my stress without drawing me any closer to God or His purposes for me?
Now might be a good time to think through your “normal,” non-quarantined workweek and see if anything should be deleted — before you get sucked right back into it.
‘Must-reads’ in this issue
• Our feature on Belhaven University alumnus Tanya Weaver and her work fighting AIDS in Africa
• Our cover story on Mississippi legislator Jill Ford
• Kellye Smith’s “This Is My Story” column about dealing with a medical mystery (nope, it’s not COVID-19)
A book recommendation
“Get Out of Your Head,” by Jennie Allen. Perfect for times when we’re alone with our thoughts!
More ways to connect with MCL
If you didn’t know, MCL has a monthly podcast! It’s called “A Closer Walk,” and you can find it at bit.ly/mclpodcast (or by searching “Mississippi Christian Living” on Apple Podcasts or Spotify). We’ll release our fifth episode around the time this issue publishes.
We also have an e-digest! Twice a month, we send out an email with a short devotional and other fun stuff. You can visit bit.ly/april28eblast to read our latest e-digest and click “Subscribe” in the top left corner. Or, just email email@example.com and we’ll add you!