It’s rush hour; the streets are vacant. A faint breeze moves along the roadside, weaving in and out of listless signs, battering against the empty windows of restaurants. Grocery stores are struggling to stay afloat; rows and rows of food are missing. Toilet paper is a rare sight. People huddle in their houses, wary to go outside, fearful they’ll catch the virus.
It seems like something taken from an apocalyptic novel. Reality has taken a turn for the worse. How are we supposed to adjust to it?
There’s no easy way to adapt to something so sudden and so strange. Things like this don’t happen often and, when they do, molding our lives to fit is no easy feat. It’s like another bout of insomnia; but this time the entire world is sleeping, and we’re left awake.
All I see is panic. Fear. Anxiety. Hopelessness.
Part of me wants to join in; to participate in the fear because the world has fallen into disarray and I can’t control it. Yet, a greater part of me is at peace because I know Who holds the future.
When we can do little else, God asks us to turn to Him in prayer. It can be difficult to pray in times like these; your mind feels numb, no words seem to suffice, and you keep stumbling over words, asking for health or safety. We blunder in our prayers, not sure what to ask. When fear controls us, we forget the power of the One who hears us.
Though it may seem like a small act, prayer is extremely important. Here are six we should use to equip our future days in isolation.
“God, give me peace.”
It can be easy to feel overwhelmed, uncertain, and scared. The world has a tendency to be dramatic and let fear shadow reality. God commands us to be courageous (Joshua 1:9) and begs us to have faith in His purposes. I suffer from anxiety; I know what it feels like to be so scared I can hardly breathe, but God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear. He has given us a spirit of power and love. He has equipped us with hearts of wisdom. All we have to do is turn to Him and pray for His peace; it will come. This peace, then, will reflect in the rest of our lives, and we’ll be able to use it to share His story. People are scared; they’re going to want your peace.
“God, give me joy.”
Everything has been cancelled. School. Church. You can’t even go to a movie theater anymore. When things change so suddenly, it can be easy to lose sight of joy. After all, what’s so good about being in isolation for weeks?
We have to remind ourselves, over and over, that happiness and joy aren’t the same thing. Happiness is fleeting; God’s joy lasts forever. Just because the current state of things has ruffled your happy-feathers doesn’t mean that God’s joy is obsolete. It might be harder to find, but it’s definitely there. We must seek it out and use it. The joy of the Lord is our strength, and what better way to fight a battle we cannot see?
“God, give me thanksgiving.”
When it’s difficult to pray, it’s difficult to praise.
When my entire future was rocked and the things I had invested in dissipated with the news of the virus, I struggled to praise God. I tried to sing, and no words came out. I knew it was going to be a struggle to praise God, but I also knew it was so important.
God is the God of the good and bad; so when our lives are going downhill, we shouldn’t leave Him behind. The praise that’s lifted when the heart is heavy is a sacrifice, one that God has called us to make. When everything is going wrong, remember that He wants to stand alongside you.
“God, give me selflessness.”
Let’s return to the toilet paper. We bought toilet paper only because we knew others would hoard it. Yet, because we bought toilet paper, we contributed to the lack of toilet paper. It’s a paradox that’s hilariously complex, but it’s also an analogy. What are we going to do in times like these? Allow the fear to get the better of us and hide away with our own personal Jesus? Or are we going to go out and share Him?
We need to be selfless with our time in order to be content in our circumstances. God has called us to serve the sick and the elderly, but also the fearful and terrified. People are scared because they don’t know where they’re going if they die; we know. We need to be the place where fear ends and where selflessness begins. We need to be ready to share our hope.
“God, give me hope.”
Hope. It seems like a word from a fairytale. Though the world often forgets, hope is a constant in our lives. Sometimes we can’t feel it, but it’s always there. When the world is telling you there is none, it becomes more important to seek it out.
God didn’t promise to pull us out of the fire, but He promised He’d be there every step of the way. He exists in every conference room, hospital room, with every nurse and doctor as they work, and is actively working alongside them. God has asked us to take heart because there is hope, because He has overcome the world. He holds the world in His hand and He’s begging us to recognize that, when everything feels like it’s shattering, He’s using the broken pieces of glass to reflect His glory.
“God, remind me of your victory.”
Hope and victory often go hand in hand. It is important we have hope that we will get through this, but it is also important we remember that even if we don’t, God still wins. He has conquered death. He has supplemented the chill in our bones for a beating heart and has granted us eternity with Him. When you think of that, then, doesn’t everything else we may suffer here feel so minuscule? We have God’s everlasting promise.
The God we serve isn’t a God of last-minute changes, and He isn’t a God of mistakes. He knew the virus was coming; He knew how mankind would panic, and He knows how this will end. It is important we remember, because this is how we get our hope. This is how we emerge victorious; because we serve a God whose eyes are wide open.
As the world descends into chaos, we must remain on our knees. God has called us to give reason for the hope within, and what better time to do that? But, to be a light, we need His presence and promises. Make things right in your soul, then go out and be the light. Now more than ever. Let fear end with you.
“Count it all joy, my brothers,when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4
K.E. Stanton (known by the general populace as Kiki) is a Jesus-enthusiast, family-girl, actor and author. Ordinarily, she can be found baking healthy treats, going on another adventure, or writing her novels which, most always, tend to be trilogies. You can find her on Twitter or at kestanton.com
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