Frightened, bewildered, and shut away—the hallmarks of this quarantined season.
I don’t understand why we’ve been engulfed in a pandemic and why so many people suffered the loss of loved ones and livelihood. The following verse has challenged me:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,and lean not on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5 NKJV)
“Trust me,” God says. Do I trust nothing bad will happen? Bad things happen to good people, even God’s people. But I don’t place my trust in my circumstances. I trust in the God who walks with me through all my seasons, including brokenness.
As we emerge from quarantine, I wonder, were we truly isolated? Maybe we’ve been hidden.
Sequestered away, I felt God had wrapped me in a cocoon, hiding me, sheltering me, drawing me to himself. But the cocoon was not a place of inactivity. Deep within, hidden, God was at work transforming me.
Maybe he has been transforming all of us—stripping away stinky mindsets, attitudes, and trappings. Replacing dead works with his truth and love.
How we emerge from our cocoons, spun by the hand of God in response to the crisis, will depend upon the nourishment we received while hidden in him. Nourishment that comes from his word and his presence—healing and recreating us into his image. Restoring our identity in Christ.
While we were hidden away, what qualities did God cultivate in our hearts?
1. Faith. Our faith increased as our hearts responded to God’s love and his goodness. We became confident he is for us and not against us.
2. Peace. We focused on Christ and his word, calming our hearts in the face of fear and anxiety.
3. Trust.We grew in trust, as we experienced God’s faithfulness even when we didn’t understand the whys of our circumstances.
4. Love. God continually reached out to us and drew us to himself by his love, a love that never changes despite our weaknesses and failures.
5. Hope. We know God moved on our behalf even when we couldn’t see any evidence of change. He promised us a future filled with hope.
6. Humility. We recognized the situation we faced was out of our control and we couldn’t fix it. Only the God who created the universe could bring order out of this chaos.
Like butterflies, we can’t remain in the chrysalis forever. We must also emerge, changed and transformed. But our beauty reflects the image of Christ.
What aspects of God might we manifest as we emerge from a season hidden in Christ?
1.Compassion. During our confinement, we learned to listen to God’s heart, his love and compassion for a hurting world.
2. Grace. God softened our hearts, reminding us everyone has a story. He enables us to extend grace to those whose viewpoints and feelings are different than our own. I like John Stott’s definition of grace, “Grace is love that stoops and rescues.”
3. Joy. The joy we experienced in the presence of the Lord will flow through us to others. This joy will strengthen us as we move forward to fulfill our purpose and destiny.
God is looking for vessels transformed by his love, ready to minister to a hurting world. We go forth with the compassion, grace, and joy he instilled in us while we were sequestered away with him.
We will be able to proclaim along with David:
He put a new song in my mouth,a hymn of praise to our God.Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him. (Psalm 40:3 NIV)
What transformation have you experienced during this season of confinement?