There is a new norm in our world today. It is a quietness in society. The stadiums, streets, concert halls, restaurants, etc., all have a resounding silence that is unknown to this generation. Yet it is not the first time in history that a society has been brought to an almost complete halt. So as a believer, how do we make sense of what is happening around us? We get locked in with Him and see what HE wants to speak to our hearts individually.
I find it interesting that this modern event is happening during the same weeks leading up to Jewish calendar holidays of Passover and Pentecost. The parallels of today and that first Passover are not lost to me as I once again study those passages. The people were ready to be set free from their bondage but that deliverance kept being delayed while God dealt with the people of Egypt. So what did they need to do during this time? Wait patiently for Him to complete His work. I can imagine the disappointment after each event when they thought, "This time we will be released!" Only to be given an even heavy workload after the crisis was past.
What was it God wanted out of His own people anyway? A heart completely after Him. A people fully prepared to follow Him to the Promised Land. One that would not be desiring to return to the old way of bondage with the first step into the heat of the desert. And to get their hearts ready for that took patiently waiting on Him.
James 1:2-3 talks about the work of patience in our lives. "My brothers, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."
Count it joy. That's a hard one. Our world right now seems to be tilting WAY off its axis! And He wants us to walk in His joy? It's recognizing that the joy is not BECAUSE of the trial. Instead, it's the KNOWING that He is at work IN the trial for a result we will see AFTER the trial.
This time last year I was picking strawberries with my granddaughter, Ellie. She lived one street over from me and I treasured every moment with her. Last June, my son and his family moved to Calgary, Alberta. This picture of her eating strawberries was taken just last week. To see how much she has grown since our strawberry adventure last year brings both joy and longing. Joy to watch her grow. Longing to BE THERE to watch her grow. Part of me wants to say, "Slow down! Stop growing so fast!! Take time to enjoy life!"
That's what I hear the Spirit whispering to my heart. He seems to be telling me, "Slow down, baby girl, and get back to the main focus of life. I have silenced the gods of this world so my people can slow down and rest. So they will be shut in with Me and hear My voice once again." How like Him to remind me to get my focus back on Him - not on me and my circumstances, but on Him and my heart - so when this is over, I can walk more closely with Him through the new world that we will see on the other side of this event.
We all are ready to get out of our homes and get back to 'business as usual'. I know I am! Yet that still small voice keeps reminding me that, ".....in quietness and trust in your strength." That's how I need to focus my thoughts. He wants me not to long for the noise of the world - the business of life. But to seek out His voice in the midst of the silent days. To be patient and let Him work in my heart. Let Him lead me to wise decisions in this time. Maybe there is someone who needs an encouraging phone call or text. He is ready to whisper their name to me. Maybe there is a message He wants me to share on social media to bring a smile or some comfort to a hurting world. He wants to nudge me in that direction.
No matter where you are in this unprecedented event - whether surrounded by family or alone or praying for someone who is fighting for their life - He sees you in this silent time. He is waiting with arms open to speak words of comfort and encouragement. And He has promised to be at work in the midst of this sheltered waiting time.