This is raw writing, unedited. However it comes out, it will be published from the heart. It is a combination of my personal mental, emotional and spiritual reaction to the COVID19 pandemic and subsequent effects of social distancing. It is not intended to be political, but personal.
My backstory briefly is that I was unemployed for two 1/2 years, and underemployed (not earning a living wage) for the past two 1/2 years. That to say that I have been seeking God’s leading in basic provisions of life for the past five years. I was not put in this position by the pandemic. My general attitude has been one of hopeful expectation of God’s provision, though at times I have been discouraged.
But it’s not always about material provisions, nor is it ever all about me.
Here’s what is on my heart. Recently I wrote about Five Ways I See the Hand of God in COVID-19 . I don’t have another list this time, rather more general ways of thinking which I believe are from reading God’s Word and being more open to His ways than my own.
The stay at home order has not provided me with more time. I have the same amount of time, and less uninterrupted as everyone is now at home. So I’ve had to work harder to focus. It hasn’t come easily. I spent weeks being distracted, with an ever-shortening attention span, keeping one eye on the COVID19 updates and half the energy on taking care of myself. I have to admit I let the whole thing get to me, as well as feeding off the emotions of others in the house. When I should have been praying.
I was praying, but I was also listening to a lot of news. Some of it was necessary to wrap my brain around this new thing, and to figure out with my family what our response would be. The long and short of which is that God has gone through that process with me, and hopefully we are coming out the other side. Not that the pandemic is over, but that life will continue and God is still in control.
The other factor in all this was that two of our friends died (non COVID deaths) a month ago. The number of deaths and praying for so many families dealing with grief was overwhelming for awhile. I am sleeping better now I think. The thing I am learning about grief is that by going through it praying for others, God is able to strengthen me to keep on where I thought it impossible. That is such a neat lesson to learn.
Now what about something(s) new?
This week my thinking was directed toward beginning new things. I set up an Instagram account @mercyjoypeace, and am getting a new blog ready on which I plan to communicate Scripture and thoughts from particular words or ideas in the Bible. No formal Bible study, just quick ideas to inspire your own study. I have found this helpful during this stay at home time, and God put the idea in my mind to do the same for others.
Another new thing is learning how to do a podcast, and doing video posts. Something I would never have imagined myself doing before these last two months! Whereas before I clung to familiarity and routine (which has been so difficult during this time), God is showing me that I can be comfortable in new things when I trust Him.
Another perspective of looking at new things is whether or not I have forgiven myself (God certainly has) for past sins, which can hinder moving on with new things. I have had difficulty with this in the past. God is showing me how as we speak.
So I thought I’d start here with a few verses about NEW THINGS.
- This verse is rather drastic, but it’s definitely about a new thing. Numbers 16:30 But if the LORD make a NEW thing, and the earth open her mouth and swallow them up with all that appertains unto them and they go down alive into sheol; then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the LORD. (After which the earth swallowed them up, the sons of Korah.)
- Solomon says there is no NEW thing under the sun in Ecclesiastes 1:9. What is not new to mankind may very well be new to me though.
- Lamentations 3:22-23 It is because of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are NEW every morning; great is thy faithfulness.
- Matthew 9:16; Mark 2:21; Luke 5:36, NEW cloth to old garment not a fix
- Matthew 13:52 — Then said he unto them, Therefore, every scribe who is instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a man that is an householder, who bringeth forth out of his treasure things NEW and old.
- 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a NEW creation; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become NEW. This is likely the best verse for this topic.
- Galatians 6:15 is similar to #6. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision availeth anything, but a NEW creature.
- Ephesians 2:15 speaks of Jews and Gentiles becoming one in Christ, certainly a new concept.
- Ephesians 4:22-24 That ye put off concerning the former manner of life the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the NEW man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
- And similarly, Colossians 3:10 And have put on the NEW man, that is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him. This whole passage expands on this idea (5-17) in practical ways.
- The entire book of Hebrews is about better things, a better way, being through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Hebrews 10:20 By a NEW and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh.
- Revelation 2:17 and 3:12 speak of a NEW name.
- Revelation 21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things NEW. And he said unto me, Write; for these words are true and faithful.
- John 3:3 and 1 Peter 1:23 speak of being born again, not using the word but certainly speaking of a NEW birth.
- Missed verses speaking of the NEW heaven and NEW earth. 2 Peter 3:13 is one. Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for NEW heavens and a NEW earth, in which dwelleth righteousness.
This is not an exhaustive list, but gets the idea across and hopefully sparks an interest in NEW things through which God may be glorified. I challenge you to see what new things God will teach you during this time of global pandemic. I know of no better help in trouble than to go to God in prayer and to read and study His Word (and memorize it). God bless you, my friend.