In this extended period of quarantine due to the COVID19 virus, many of us struggle with what to do. This pandemic is separating many of us from life as we knew and expected it. The “seek safe shelter” mandates are removing us from the usual noisy and distracting hustle and bustle of life. So, what do we do while waiting? If you’re like me, waiting isn’t a strength.
We all have our home “to do” lists. There are movies to watch, books to read. Some people are catching up on their sleep while others put puzzles together. Family gatherings can be good or bad depending on the dynamics, yet it is still time spent together. Yet, there is a sense of increasing restlessness as we fail at quietly waiting.
The Saturday between the crucifixion and the resurrection was a period of quiet waiting. As the Lord’s body lay in repose in the silence of the tomb, His Spirit was busy elsewhere. The disciples and other Christ followers waited quietly in fear of attack and disappointment of the death of their friend and promised Messiah. The entire universe held its breath anticipating what would come next.
When God gives us individual visions of what He would have us do, sometimes we resist, discount, or out rightly disbelieve Him. Then, when we do accept His purpose and are ready to launch toward it, we resist His times of waiting. Just as the disciples may have been ready to usher in the Kingdom of God on earth, we are often ready to rush forward with whatever ministry opportunity God impresses on our hearts.
And yet, there are the Saturdays of life.
So, do we recoil in fear of the raging environment outside our homes? Do we curl up and do absolutely nothing? Do we impatiently endure this “lockdown” period while anxiously awaiting life to return to normal? Or do we find different ways to heed the Master’s call: “Occupy until I come” [Luke 19:13, KJV]. The word occupy means to do business, stay busy, or be about the master’s business.
What can we do without placing ourselves at risk with the virus or local government?
Thank you for asking.
Back to Basics
Here are three friendly “back to basics” suggestions:
- Spend quiet quality time reading God’s Word. Choose a particular book of the Bible, then go online and buy a commentary on it. “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” [2 Timothy 2:15]. If you have kids at home, read it to them – or at least share what you are learning. Instead of wasting this time digesting the world’s movies, books, and articles, saturate yourself with God’s eternal Word
- Spend quiet quality time praying. Choose an early time when others in the household are still asleep to get on your knees before God and surrender the day, yourself, your family, your situation, your cares to Him. “O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water” [Psalm 63:1]. How descriptive of our current situation – and how necessary our time spent in solitude with our Heavenly Father. Instead of filling the time with mundane busyness, deliberately set aside time for eternal things.
- Spend quiet quality time engaging with family and friends. We are the hands and feet of Jesus. Although the environment has changed, our mission has not. Granted, we may need to try new methods but such is the spice of life. Spend quality time connecting with old friends or talking with family. Discover what is happening in the lives of others instead of settling for the superficiality of previous conversations. Expand your social network. Start an online Bible study. As Jesus said when He was twelve years old: “I must be about My Father’s business” [Luke 2:49].
All throughout Scripture, waiting usually involved preparation. Abraham waited for Issac. David waited years for the throne. Moses, John the Baptist, and Paul spent time alone in the wilderness preparing for what came next. The quiet time in Saturday’s tomb is a time of preparation for what comes next!
Sunday is coming – during this Saturday season may we prepare ourselves for the next season God has planned.