In the last few weeks I have been asking myself questions like “how do I stay strong in this fear driven world?” And “what if I get this virus?” And even “what if my income is affected by this shaky economy?” I’m sure you have found yourself asking the same questions. There is so much unknown and the ‘what ifs’ are constantly on my mind.
This is when talking to myself becomes a healthy thing to do.
I remind myself of other seasons of uncertainty that I have lived through (and survived) and have seen God provide for me and my family in miraculous ways. The Bible is full of these kinds of stories but they are even more real when they are your own and come out of real-life experiences.
When I was 16 I lived in war-torn Nigeria with my missionary parents and three brothers. We were in our third term when we found ourselves caught in the middle of civil war. There was a time when our area was taken over and we were cut off from all communication with the outside world for 6 weeks. (This was before computers and cell phones, so being cut off was really that.) Our families back home didn’t know if we were dead or alive. Altogether there were three families, consisting of 6 children (the youngest being four years old) and 8 adults. Stores were closed and food was scarce as there were no trucks bringing in supplies. The roads out of the area were blocked so we had no other recourse but to stay put.
My dad and several of the men decided to drive 30 miles into the nearest town. We knew there were some American oil bases in the area and we hoped that some of their people had remained to watch over their equipment.
When they arrived at the American oil base a large man in his Texan hat came out to greet them. When it was explained that we lived 30 miles away and there were children and more adults the man said: “If you guys are staying around then you need to come with me.” They got in his Land Rover and he drove them to a huge warehouse. As they drove up my dad said: “This is the warehouse I saw in my dream last night!”
Long story short, we were given as much food as we wanted and also given a movie projector and movies to watch (that was well before home movies were even heard of). I remember eating canned pie filling and steaks, food that was fit for a king (in my mind)!
Not only did God provide but He provided more than we needed. It was a miracle provision I WILL NEVER FORGET!!!
As a young adult, this made a huge impression on my life. I can honestly say that I have never doubted that the God I serve will ever let me down. I know He loves me and cares not only for my needs but goes above and beyond my needs to take care of me. He is a miracle-working God and it’s during seasons like we are living in that He shines. If we can trust Him and depend on Him and remind ourselves that He will take care of us, I believe we will see and hear miraculous stories of provision and healing come out of this season. The scripture below challenged me today.
PS. I would love to hear some of your stories of God’s goodness during this season of quarantine and self-distancing as we share with each other in the comments. Look for the good and let’s encourage each other!
Being able to bring things into focus is difficult when your world is suddenly turned topsy turvy as all of us are experiencing with the Corona-Virus. You don’t know where to focus first. The things that were so routine have become non-essential. All of a sudden all you want to do is eat and watch the news and worry about what you might have missed buying at the grocery store because you know they are probably out of that very item!! Everything is out of focus, so to speak. My life hasn’t really changed that much yet it seems like it has because every conversation I have with anyone else is centered around urgency and worry and concern for what might be coming next. AND IT IS ALL HAPPENING GLOBALLY!!!!
Well, I just want to add a word of encouragement along with all the other bloggers and YouTubers and Instagramers and FaceBookers…… This is a season when we need to remember what is important in our lives and not let our minds get caught up in thinking too much. Thinking too much is exactly what it means, thinking too much. This will prevent us from taking action. It consumes our energy, disables our ability to make decisions, and puts you on a loop of thinking and thinking over and again. And that’s why you feel like you are going in circles! I don’t know about you but if I were to let my mind go to the fear of the unknown I will find myself in a place that won’t be of any good to me or anyone else.
When I am feeling overwhelmed I make sure I am doing certain things; exercise every day, read my Bible, pray and do something I enjoy to fill my mind with good thoughts. (Right now I’m reading a good book and enjoying the scenery around me.)
Yesterday while reading in Genesis about Joseph I found myself identifying with him on a couple of levels. First, he was just going about doing something good when suddenly he found himself thrown into a pit and then sold as a slave. He went from a favorite son to a slave. And that was only the beginning. I KNOW HE HAD TO WONDER IF GOD HAD ABANDONED HIM, LET ALONE HIS WHOLE FAMILY TURNING AGAINST HIM.
As I read this story I began to see that Joseph’s situation is similar to what we are experiencing now. In the middle of it all he had to keep focused so as not to allow his mind to be filled with fear and worry. All began to become clear when Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams and said: “Can we find anyone else like this man so obviously filled with the spirit of God?”
Pharaoh saw Joseph as God’s provision for a time of difficulty.
God had a plan all along. He needed to get Joseph into a certain place so He could use Him to save his nation. We are all in places of some kind of influence and I believe now is a good time to focus our eyes on what God is saying to us in the middle of all this chaos of the Corona-Virus. Every one of us has been affected by it on some level and if we ask God I believe He will show us how to be Joseph’s to our world. Your Joseph moment might be when you have a chance to speak to your kids and interact with them in a time when you have their full attention. You may be able to help a neighbor that hasn’t been open to you before but they need help now. This might be the time to get serious about doing certain things you have been putting off such as getting your finances in order or building a reserve of food in your home. I saw one Instagrammer with a large family putting in a garden. Maybe you have time to talk to your mom (hint, hint to my kids) or call grandma more.
Joseph saved his nation but there is no way he would have been able to do that without God placing him in just the right place. While he was going through prison and slavery and being wrongly accused I know Joseph didn’t really understand what God was doing. But He kept focused. He kept God first and knew he was going to be ok because God was in control of His life.
This virus is not from God but just like Joseph said at the end of Genesis, “What the enemy meant for evil, God has used for good.” Stay safe and healthy and remember…..this too shall pass!