I’m spending a larger chunk of time at home these days. By larger chunk I mean all but a couple hours have been spent inside my house. Not everyone is as tethered to the inside of their home right now. Some of us are still going to a workspace. Others are navigating the loss of what Starbucks calls the “3rd place.” Many of our favorite restaurants, coffee shops and bars are closing up for a season.
Some of us are dealing with fear surrounding health issues, whether it be our own health or the health of a loved one. Others are experiencing whiplash as their financial stability has been completely fractured over the course of the last 7-10 days. While there is no need for fear to rule within us, for many this season comes with anxiety, concern and questions.
In the middle of isolation, social distancing and the growing affects of a pandemic I have found myself looking for true north. If you were to find yourself lost in the middle of nowhere one of the most helpful things you can do is identify true north. When you know which way is up and which way is down you have a better chance of figuring out where you are and where you need to go.
I found myself rereading the words of Jesus this week found in Matthew 5. A crowd had gathered to hear the words and ideas that Jesus wanted to share. His words were both powerful, beautiful and confusing for some. He said:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
The common thread of these “blessed” statements is the fact that they are written to people whose world has been turned upside down. Perhaps you can relate.
As I reflect on these words of Jesus I’ve found 3 truths to hang onto in the middle of this global pandemic.
- My feelings/concerns are valid– It’s helpful to remember that my feelings and concerns are real. The people Jesus referenced (the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger for righteousness) were experiencing very real and valid feelings. They had valid questions and concerns. So do we. It is helpful to acknowledge and validate those feelings and emotions – we just cannot let them take control of us.
- I am not alone – our personal pressure often makes us feel alone. Isolation leads to loneliness. In seasons when we experience physical distance we must intentionally remember we are in this together. Jesus didn’t use singular language. He wasn’t referencing a person who mourns or an individual who was meek. His language reminds us that there is community found in the pressure of this season.
- God is in control – He is Kind, Loving and Gracious. In the middle of our questions, concerns and anxiety He offers hope. He offers redemption. He gives us perspective to see there is something more beautiful and worthwhile on the other side of our current situation. He is in control even when life feels out of control.
I don’t know how you are navigating through this season. Each of us have our ways of dealing with the pressure. In the middle of this unique season I’d love to encourage you to hang on to these 3 truths.