I’ve been drifting in and out of discouragement over the last few days and each day, God has been faithful to send someone to encourage me. This morning, though, I received a text from a friend requesting prayer and it was clear that discouragement had made a stop to her house, too. Thus, I felt led to get up and post something that I hope will encourage not only her but anyone else that may have received a visit from this unwelcome guest.
I haven’t been watching the news much lately but I am aware that the rates of depression, domestic and child abuse and divorce are all up as a result of this very pervasive and persistent pandemic. Surprising to no one, the rate of suicide is also up. People are feeling hopeless these days and while the natural eye would convince them that they have every reason to feel that way, I want to remind them – and you – that even though the events taking place in your life don’t make complete sense, it is not always for us to understand and our inability to comprehend doesn’t relieve us of our obligation to trust. This statement is repetitive because I’m sure I’ve said something along these lines at least once or twice on my blog before but it seems we continue to need to be reminded that because Jesus won, we win.
People are wading through this crisis in lots of different ways but mentally, most individuals have taken on one of two prominent mindsets. Some believe that this thing will never end – that all hope is lost and there is nothing in store for them beyond COVID-19. This virus has wreaked havoc on their lives and they don’t see themselves ever recovering from the damage. Then there are those that are of the mindset that God is at work in this season. They wholeheartedly believe that while He may or may not be responsible for bringing this virus about, He is absolutely giving all of us an opportunity to draw closer to Him and to return to our First Love. To know Him in a way that we haven’t had the time – or weren’t willing to make the time – to know Him before. The latter group, no matter how dire their circumstances are, is faring much better than the first, both mentally and emotionally. Which group are you in?
If life has overwhelmed you and you feel as though you are drowning in defeat, know that regardless of what your flesh – or even the enemy – is telling you, victory can still be yours. It lies at the feet of your Father and is waiting to be retrieved by you. Run to Him, kneel before Him, cry out to Him. He knows you, He sees you and He loves you. He’s been waiting for you.
I’ve written about the following scripture before so I won’t expound on it too much but when the Israelites were being held captive in Babylon and received word that they would be there for 70 years, they were distraught. In letting them know that this wasn’t it for them, God said, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:11-13). Our Father hides from no one and He can easily be found by anyone that is willing to exert the energy and sincerity of heart that it takes to seek Him out.
The peace we’ve been longing for comes when we release our desire for answers and choose to rest in Him in the absence of those answers, allowing ourselves to be comforted by the knowledge that even in the midst of a pandemic, God is yet present and He is yet for us.