By now, we’ve heard the numbers from around the world and are making adjustments to our new normal. Some of us are very concerned about getting sick, others are confident that God will protect them . Some are dealing with true financial hardship and others are in situations where their income is basically unchanged.
But two things, no doubt, feel very new and strange to most of us: shuttered businesses and home confinement. Not surprisingly families forced to stay in one small space are experiencing stress. Maybe you heard the confession of eight year-old Ben Kennedy, who is forced to stay home since his school closed. After his mom, Candice, took over the “homed [sic] school” responsibilities he wrote this in his journal on March sixteenth:
Did Ben mention that it wasn’t “going good?” I laughed out loud when I saw this on the news (if you are a homeschool mom you may not be laughing). We can see the humor through the eyes of an eight year-old, but we also know that this mother and son probably experienced some real frustration and hurt feelings.
This is what I want to draw your attention to.
This epidemic has taken thousands of lives and will, no doubt, effect our economy for years to come. All this is serious stuff. But could we be missing something? Could it be that families, forced together with nowhere else to go, is not an accident? Could God be using this, and if so, to what purpose?
Many of us, if we are honest, might say, “It is not going good!” Or, maybe for you it’s not as bad as all that. But perhaps this forced closeness is starting to reveal cracks, and Jesus is trying to reveal some things to you.
You don’t have to deal with them, you can continue to binge watch NETFLIX. Or, you can spend more time on Facebook, YouTube or Instagram. There are dozens of ways you can practice “relational distancing” with your own family if you want to. Or here’s a thought:
Don’t miss this opportunity.
If things are coming between you and your spouse, and you’re thinking, “Oh great, here we go again with that!” Maybe it’s time to talk about “that.” You may be scared to talk about that (a friend of mine calls them “no fly zones” in her marriage). You may think it will just erupt in the same old fight. What if it does? Would that be the end of you as a couple? Perhaps. Or maybe you could skip the name-calling, get some things off your chest and get to what you’re really needing to say.
Why do you think our Master said that he didn’t come to bring peace to families but a sword (Mat. 10:34-39)? Do you really think he came to tear families apart? Of course not. But Jesus knows something most of us don’t know—we never experience true peace until we honestly face the issues that are blocking it. And facing those issues (at first) usually feels like war. If it’s intense and scary that doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong.
If you and your spouse need to talk about old wounds, finances, sex, in-laws—you name it, God is giving you the time. If there is a long-standing pattern of dysfunction in how you interact with your children, now is the time to read, pray and seek counsel about what to do with that. Because, it’s not just going away by itself.
If you are single, divorced or widowed and have struggled with loneliness you might be facing a level of loneliness now that is seems unbearable. You have options, there are still ways to connect. But you can’t be passive and expect things to change (what is that saying about expecting a different result but doing the same things?).
Here’s the deal, we will eventually make it through this epidemic. It may take a long time but our economy will ultimately return to normal. At some point we will be able to jump in our cars and go to movies, eat at restaurants and do all the things we used to do. Once we emerge from our isolation and return to business as usual, will we have benefitted from the time we’re in now? Will we take more authentic relationships with us into that next season or will we continue to distract ourselves like we do now?
At New Creation Ministries we want to help you seize the moment. If you know God is working in your life, or you want him to be, we would love to encourage you.
We are still counseling during this challenging time using the Zoom platform (it’s like Skype or FaceTime but better). To get started, contact us using the button below and we will send you the information you need to join us from your phone or computer.
We are also working on other online options including discussions, Q & A’s, teachings, video presentations, and more. Once we have your e-mail address we can let you know about these opportunities as well. You don’t want to miss out!