Stuck at home series:2
As I was going through the pages of my bible journal I noticed that God had been speaking to me ahead of time, before this virus started in the UK, about some things that in retrospect are very important to me.
On the 6th of February I wrote down: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but hope restored makes the heart sing “(The first bit is from Proverbs 13:12, the second bit is me). I felt Father God telling me that as I was waiting for Him to move in my life, He would make my heart sing again. How I need to hold on to that truth at the moment.
In this season of Coronavirus quarantine it may look pretty hopeless. The antidote I feel for this hopelessness, is to rely on Father God and not on myself. This week that worked well on the days that I leaned into Him and prayed for myself and my children, but didn’t go so well when I relied on my own strength. Can anyone relate?
This stuck at home situation isn’t easy on anyone, I think, and I have definitely felt it this week. This week was a bit of a rollercoaster of emotions, to be honest. Some moments I felt truly grateful, other moments I was full of joy, but then I also have felt sad, was missing church, going places, missing meeting up with people in real life. Not on Zoom only.
In my journal I wrote down a famous scripture from 2 Corintians where Paul talks about God’s grace being sufficient for us. Grace here means His loving kindness and His favour. Let me share the whole scripture with you:
My grace is sufficient for you:
9 but He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you [My lovingkindness and My mercy are more than enough—always available—regardless of the situation]; for [My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.” Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ [may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me. 10 So I am well pleased with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, and with difficulties, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak [in human strength], then I am strong [truly able, truly powerful, truly drawing from God’s strength].2 Corinthians 12:9-10 Amplified Bible (AMP)
This is a great scripture and it really speaks about where my true power comes from. It doesn’t come from me. It doesn’t have to. As I quickly discovered again in the last two weeks of Homeschooling and working remotely, being stuck at home with 4 children and a husband is sometimes a bit much for this introvert. I like my quiet times, in silence. The commodity I cannot buy. I like to read my books and ponder about what I’m reading, no time for pondering now. Feels like my head is about to explode sometimes, so much noise and chatter and things that need to be done immediately and all at once.
But God the Father is calling me back to Him. Whispering:
“Hide, in My Presence (Psalm 91) and I will restore your hope (Isaiah 61)“.
As I found some rare time last week to read in my book by N.T. Wright (The day the Revolution began), studying the book of Romans, I came across the word hope again.
Hope in the things unseen
As it says in this scripture:
So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.2 Corinthians 4:18 NLT
I need to keep my focus on Jesus. I need to keep my focus on the promises of God. That He has a future for me and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11).
As I was reading about what Jesus has accomplished for us on the cross and how this gives us hope, I stumbled upon this lifegiving bible verse. The passion translation says it so beautifully and paints a picture for us:
What incredible joy bursts forth within us as we keep on celebrating our hope of experiencing God’s glory! But that’s not all! Even in times of trouble we have a joyful confidence, knowing that our pressures will develop in us patient endurance. 4 And patient endurance will refine our character, and proven character leads us back to hope. 5 And this hope is not a disappointing fantasy, because we can now experience the endless love of God cascading into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who lives in us!Romans 5:1-5 TPT
What an amazing scripture this is. But also… Ouch…
I always found this a rather grim scripture before I read it in the Passion Translation, because really, who wants to this kind of character training anyway? Pressures leading us to patient endurance anyone? Not really. Thanks.
But then, in the light of this coronavirus and where I am at in life right now, the Holy Spirit breathed on it and it came to life in my heart. Yes, I can now see what this bible verse is talking about, it’s not talking about hardship only, but hardship producing hope. And how we need this now.
Again, like in the scripture I mentioned earlier, we don’t have to produce this in ourselves, no. It’s the Holy Spirit who does this work, deep inside of us as we trust Him. He will take this season of character forming and let the love of God cascade (like a waterfall) into our hearts. This indeed is causing me to be full of joy and hope.
Last Sunday we worshipped together with the children in our living room. I played the guitar and we all joined in, singing as loudly as we dared to do with a baby sleeping upstairs (who slept through the worship as he usually does haha).
I asked everyone which songs they wanted to sing and we came up with a pretty nice spontaneous setlist: Raise a Halleluja by Jonathan and Melissa Helser, Tremble by Mosaic and My Lighthouse by Rend Collective Collection. I love it when the Holy Spirit speaks to us so clearly, because all those songs spoke of our hope in Jesus and how we need to praise in the midst of our storms!
A few words jumped out of the song ‘Tremble’ that we then used to pray over our neighbourhood, family and the people suffering from Coronovirus. These were the words:
Peace, bringing it all to peace
The storm surrounding me
Let it break at Your name
Jesus, Jesus, You make the darkness tremble
Jesus, Jesus, You silence fear
Breathe, then call these bones to live
Call these lungs to sing
Once again, I will praise
Here’s the video of Tremble: I recommend listening to this as it speaks truth to our troubled hearts. Peace be with you,