Amidst the uncertainty and chaos COVID-19 has brought to our world, my one prayer has been this: that my time of quarantine and shelter-at-home would not be wasted. Over the past several weeks, I’ve prayed this prayer countless times. Because I know that even in the uncertainty, God is faithful. He is moving. He is working all things for His good- even in the tragedy of the coronavirus. And while it’s tempting to give into the desires of my flesh- to spend my time at home binge-watching Netflix, snacking endlessly, and vegging on the couch- even more so, I don’t want to miss out on what God has in store for me during this time. Don’t get me wrong- there’s nothing inherently wrong with Netflix-watching and ice cream-eating (trust me, we’ve enjoyed many of those moments over the past two weeks, too), but I’m also confident that there is more to this uncomfortable and uncertain season.
After reading my Bible and journaling this morning, I felt prompted to continue journaling in a different way- to share my prayers and thoughts, here. Lately, I’ve used my blog to solely share nutrition and food-related posts and recipes. But, this morning, my heart was called to something new. Well, not new (because I’ve shared what-could-be-called “spiritual” posts before), but distinct and purposeful- to write something that would not be wasted.
Before we dive into the nitty gritty of this post, I want to share that I’ve been majorly inspired by my cousin- who during this time, has courageously and obediently followed the Lord’s promptings to share live worship sessions on Facebook. Her love for Jesus gives me chills! And I thought to myself: “Jesus, I want you to use me during this time, too.” If you’ve heard me sing or attempt to play an instrument, you know that music is not my strong suit. Although, I have a great appreciation and admiration for those who have musical talent. However, I believe God has given each and everyone of us a talent of our own. While music is not mine, I think God has gifted me with a passion for writing. Through writing, I have the ability to share my thoughts in ways I can’t often verbalize. So, I want to challenge you to explore your talents and passions. How can you use them during this time to inspire and encourage those around you? You never know who needs to hear, see, or experience your gifts!
As we dive in, my hope is that as Jesus reveals new things to me, He reveals new things to you, too. I pray that Jesus would open our hearts during this quarantine and make our time purposeful!
4 Ways to Seek Out Jesus
During my own time of social isolation, I’ve sought out Jesus in these 4 ways. Do I practice them every day? While I’d love to say yes, the honest answer is no. But, here’s the good news: that’s not what Jesus cares about. He’s more concerned with our hearts, than our works. Let me say it again: Jesus cares more about our hearts, than our works. He wants us to want to connect with Him. He doesn’t just want us to simply go through the motions because we feel inclined to. Isn’t that the best news you’ve ever heard? I don’t know who needs to hear this: but, this my friend, is the message of the Gospel. This is the good, amazing, and miraculous news of Jesus.
When I truly think about what this good news means, I literally feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I am free, saved, and loved because of Jesus. You are free, saved, and loved because of Jesus.
Here are the practical ways that I’ve personally been able to deepen my relationship with Jesus and connect with Him on a new level during this quarantine:
Given my introverted, homebody spirit, being cooped up inside day-after-day has been more challenging than I expected. So, I’ve really enjoyed getting outside for walks several times a day- typically, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. While strolling around our apartment complex, I’ve committed to intentionally using this time to re-connect with Jesus. Sometimes, I’ll leave my phone behind so I’m not tempted to distract myself on email, social media, or text messages. Other times, I’ll use my phone to play worship music. Either way, my goal has been to use this short, 5 minute stroll to re-focus my attention on Jesus- to drown out the world, including all the fear and anxiety that it brings. You can use a prayer walk to talk to Jesus, be still and listen, or worship Him.
What to do: Take a 5 minute walk outside twice a day. Use this time to pray and talk to Jesus or simply be quiet and listen.
Worship Work Breaks
They say that sitting at a desk all day is bad for your health, in more ways than one. But, studies have shown that taking a 2-minute break every hour to stand and move can drastically reduce the negative affects of a sedentary lifestyle. Since I sit at my laptop all day long, I do my best to take a break every hour to stand, stretch, walk, bust out bodyweight squats, or dance (lol). And when I do this consistently, I really do feel my best, physically and mentally.
Now, consider this.. If an hourly break results in better physical health, imagine if we applied this same practice to our spiritual lives. Here’s an idea: let’s take a 2 minute, hourly break to worship Jesus. I encourage you to listen to a worship song during your 2 minutes of stretching, squatting, or dancing. But, here’s the catch: the goal isn’t to just stream some background music. Nope. I want you to listen. Hear the words and let them sink in. If you feel so inclined, join them in worshipping. Sing your heart out! Talk about a sure-fire way to reconnect with Jesus during the mundane, every day, work hustle.
What to do: Take a physical and mental work break every hour. Spend 2 minutes listening to a worship song while stretching and moving your body.
I recently started reading the book “The Power of Communion,” by Beni Johnson. Beni does a phenomenal job explaining the literal power of communion. Despite popular belief, we don’t have to wait for church on Sunday mornings to take communion. Communion is a personal act. It’s the act of declaring Jesus’ power over your life. It’s in no way, shape, or form confined to walls of a church building! Beni shares that communion is “the prophetic act of remembrance, worship, warfare, and healing.” At the Last Supper, Jesus took communion with the twelve disciples. And, who better to learn from than Jesus, himself? I want to encourage you to think about what communion means to you. Whether you’re in a season of warfare or triumph, the act of communion is a powerful one.
FYI.. You don’t need a loaf of bread or glass of wine to take communion. You can use grape juice and a cracker. Heck, you can even use coffee and muffin. Whatever you have readily available at home will work just fine. Remember, Jesus cares more about our hearts than the logistics- even in communion. Whether you use juice, milk, wine, or coffee, Jesus is simply thrilled we’re claiming His power in our lives.
What to do: Take communion at home, weekly, daily, or as often as you want. You can do it by yourself or with your family. Use communion as a proclamation of Jesus’ power and authority over your life.
Reading the Bible is an essential part of every believer’s spiritual life. But, let’s take it step further. What if we intentionally memorized the Word of God? Ephesians 6:10-18 talks about the armor of God. Arguably, the most important piece of armor is the Word of God, which is our sword. Knowing, understanding, and claiming Scripture over your life is hands down the most powerful tool you have in your tool belt. When we memorize Scripture, we carry our sword ready for battle. We are armed to fight any war. And, as if you needed more reason to memorize Scripture, the enemy cringes at the sound of it. What better way to claim our victory in Jesus?
What to do: Write down a verse that stands out to you. Tape it your bathroom mirror. When you wash your hands, brush your teeth, or dry your hair, repeat your verse out loud.
Quarantine, social isolation, and shelter-in-home mandates sure do sound scary, and let’s face it, boring. But, with Jesus, they don’t have to be! Will you join me in making the best possible use of this uncertain, crazy time in history? How will you intentionally seek out Jesus this week?