The Secret Ingredient to Get Us Through This Quarantine
“I keep coming back to the promise that we are secure in the Lord. In all this chaos, He is steady. In all this despair, He is hope. In all this judgment and hatred, He is love. In all this insecurity, He is our rock.”
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I’m going to tell you, the quarantine break was pretty nice, I won’t lie, but I’m ready to get back to it. How about you? It’s starting to feel like a bad dream that eventually I’ll wake up from. But I guess I’ll never wake up from it because it’s our reality. Can you relate?
It’s starting to feel lonely.
You can only do so many Zoom hang outs along with work calls and workouts until your head begins to spin. I had to buy some really attractive blue light blocking glasses because my eyes have been on a screen so much more than normal! And when I say attractive, I mean, they’re half the size of my head!
It’s starting to feel hopeless, like things will never go back to normal, and I know normal will look differently now, but it even feels like we’ll never be able to just sit in our favorite restaurant and enjoy the company of our friends again! I miss my friends. I may just even miss hugs! I’m kind of not a hugger. I have a little bubble, and I like my bubble. I’m only a hugger if that person is a hugger. I adapt well. But if I don’t have to hug you, I won’t. However, now, just because I can’t do it, I just kind of want to hug everyone I see!
Today I’m going to tell you the secret ingredient we need to get us through the quarantine.
I’m sure you’re pretty curious as to what that may be. It’s an age-old, tried and true recipe. Simplistic, yet complicated. Apostle Paul knew the secret. He learned to be content with plenty and content with nothing. He would have found contentment in this moment. That’s the secret. Contentment.
Content means you’re satisfied and happy. That seems rather hard to do right now, doesn’t it? But to live life contently means living it with peaceful satisfaction. It’s the peace word! When we are truly content, we have peace in our circumstances. Peace trumps fear. Peace overcomes anxiety.
Man, being content is hard. I just told you how I’ve been feeling this past week, and I’m not the only one missing things. The boys miss their friends. They miss their sport, as it’s a huge part of their livelihood. It is a part of their well-being. Not only that, but we were supposed to be on a nice, long family vacation right now, and it was to be the highlight of our year! We were looking forward to it, and it was actually the boys’ main Christmas present. I feel like parent of the year for that …
I know I’m not alone. I’m guessing you can relate to these sentiments too.
We all had things we had to let go of. We all have our own trials we are facing. We are all in this together, though I feel like social media and the news are our enemies right now and are tearing us against each other.
I tend to sway to one extreme, but one thing I don’t do is condemn those who sway the other way. The last thing we need to be doing is judging each other for where we each land on the spectrum. Can’t we have empathy for each other? Can’t we walk in each other’s shoes and realize that everyone is going through something and has lost something in all of this chaos?
That protestor may be out there because she’s losing her livelihood. Her business is tanking because she’s not allowed to have her doors open. That woman over there may not be wearing a mask because she physically and medically can’t have something covering her face. That child outside may just want to play and accidentally got too close to someone and was given the evil eye.
That woman over there may be staying inside because she’s protecting her child who is very immune compromised. That person in front of you who seems to not care may have been working overtime to ensure your health and safety and is just physically exhausted and run down. That neighbor next to you may be quarantining with another friend or neighbor because she needs help with her kids or emotionally needs the support right now because she’s doing it all alone.
Do you see what’s going on?
We are all too busy looking through the lens of self to take the time to see through the lens of others. What would happen if we each just stopped and took a moment to do just that?
You know, this past week hit me hard. It’s been about six weeks of quarantine and very un-normal practices, and it got to me. I’m feeling it. I think many others are too. The first couple of weeks seemed like a vacation. The second couple of weeks were fine too. But these last couple of weeks have been something else. Maybe you are in a similar boat with how you’re feeling.
But in all of this, I keep coming back to the promise that we are secure in the Lord. In all this chaos, He is steady. In all this despair, He is hope. In all this judgment and hatred, He is love. In all this insecurity, He is our rock.
My encouragement for you today is that this too shall pass. God doesn’t promise us that every day will be sunshine and rainbows, but He promises to step into the fire with us and lead us through it.
Are you familiar with the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego?
The famous Bible story of the fiery furnace. I think it’s the perfect analogy to what we may be experiencing right now. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego would not follow the law that King Nebuchadnezzar set forth throughout the land, which was to bow to a statue erected in his name and declare their loyalty.
When asked why they wouldn’t bow, they retorted that they only bow to the one true God. In his anger, King Nebuchadnezzar ordered them to be bound and thrown into the fiery furnace. But that wasn’t enough! He ordered the furnace be turned up seven times hotter than it already was, and did you know, because of how hot the furnace was, it killed the guards who threw the men into the fire?
All of a sudden, as King Nebuchadnezzar gazed into the fire, he was shocked and asked if they only threw three men into the fire because he now saw four!
“He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” (Daniel 3:25).
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were not alone! God allowed them to step into the fire, but he didn’t leave them there to die. He used their pain for his glory. King Nebuchadnezzar ordered these men be released from the fire and praised the God who saved them.
Sometimes we’re called into the fire. Sometimes it’s painful. Sometimes it’s unfair.
But what do we do if we’re called there?If we’re caught in the line of fire? We endure. And that’s what we’ll do now. We will endure. We will rise above our circumstances. We will learn all we can through them, and we will come out stronger than ever. Why? Because that’s what winners do, and, you, my friend, are a winner.
Be encouraged today. I know this season is hard. I’m right there with you. But like Paul has learned the art of contentment, the secret ingredient, we can too. Choose joy. Choose gratitude. Look at what you do have rather than what’s been taken away. Do you have your health still? Do you have your work, or if you don’t, do you have the unemployment to tide you over? Do you have more family time right now? Do you get the opportunity to teach your kids through e-learning? Do you have your friends just a phone call away? Do you have the ability to give to someone in need?
Take the time to think about it.
What do you still have? One of the best ways to be blessed is to be a blessing. We may be quarantined, and there may seem like there’s no end in sight, but we still have the opportunity to be a positive influence wherever we go.
Take your shoes off for a moment, and put someone else’s on. Choose kindness. Choose grace. Choose love. Be willing to step into that fire just like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did. Allow God to carry you through, and you will come out that much stronger. I believe in you.
Step into the fire and come out stronger!
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