A Full Life Under Lockdown
With church services online, all events cancelled, and households isolated from each other, life these days is quite different. So what does it look like to keep our hearts engaged and alive in this unique season?
Here are five suggestions for living life to full under lockdown.
Engage with Jesus Personally
One of the greatest opportunities provided by the lockdown is to pause from the standard flurry of activity and to simply sit at Jesus’ feet.
It is all too easy to become distracted from Jesus in our everyday routines, even when serving others. Luke 10 provides an example of this. There Jesus reminds us through His interaction with Mary and Martha that sitting and listening at His feet is all that is necessary.
38 Now as they were traveling along, He [Jesus] entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; 42 but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:38-42; NASB).
Let’s use this season of cancellations and confinement to reset our attention and rekindle our affection for Jesus. I encourage you to pause and allow God to speak to you personally. Allow Him to remind you of His love. Truly let your heart delight in Him and in the salvation that He has accomplished for you. Let the hope that is yours as a believer sink deep into your heart. Let it be “as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure” (Hebrews 6:19; NIV), holding you amidst this heightened threat of sickness and death.
Let us not go through this season and yet miss the one thing that is necessary.
Establish Life-Giving Rhythms
On the other hand, one of the greatest challenges of this lockdown season is adjusting to the disruption of life as we once knew it. With much of our daily routine coming to a halt and everything else in our lives blending together, it is easy to forget what day it is.
This makes establishing life-giving rhythms in our new day-to-day essential. Without intentionally structuring our days, our time can easily get consumed by the trivial and our hearts distracted from what is truly life. Whether it be following a constant bombardment of news briefings, finally taking on projects around the house, starting new hobbies, or unwinding to entertainment, it can be easy to drift through this season without ever really engaging with Jesus.
To fight this tendency, let us consider what it might look like to live in what is truly life, to rest in what is truly restorative, and to love and serve those to whom we are most committed. Consider the things that need to be given priority and organize your day around them. Along with scheduling set times for things such as prayer, you may also want to consider limiting other activities to certain portions of the day.
Let God’s Invitation Be Your Motivation
In all of this, our motivation is not to earn God’s approval but to experience all that He has for us in this unique time. We come to God to delight in His goodness, not to show off our own. We come to Him thirsty and in need, acknowledging He alone can satisfy. Let us use this season to take God up on His invitation in Isaiah 55:1-2.
“Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
2 Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and you will delight in the richest of fare“ (NIV).
God’s offer of life to the full is free. It’s not something we produce; it is something we receive. The question is this: are we coming to Him or turning to other things to satisfy our hunger and thirst?
May receiving God’s free invitation be our motivation. Let us run to Jesus and drink deeply from Him as the spring of life and not waste our time on that which does not satisfy.
Give Your Cares to the One Who Cares
As a result of the current pandemic, many of us now face very real burdens: millions have recently lost their jobs; some have lost friends or family members to COVID-19; others face strained relationships or the stress of managing their children’s schooling while also working from home. Whatever you are facing, Jesus invites you to bring it to Him.
Peter writes, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” (1 Peter 5:7; NLT). God sees all that you are going through, and He loves you. Peter reasons that God’s care for you is a motivation for prayer.
Psalm 68:19 says, “Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens” (Psalm 68:19; NIV). Or as the NLT translates it, “For each day he carries us in his arms.” Don’t try to carry your burdens alone. Bring your burdens to God and trust Him \o carry you through this difficult season.
Cultivate Compassion over Complacency
Lastly, be aware of the tendency to grow complacent as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. As you engage with the news and talk with others, ask God for His perspective and His heart. Ask Him to fill you with His compassion for those who are hurting. Rather than growing indifferent, intercede for those who are suffering. Ask God how you can show His love and compassion in tangible ways to those around you. It may involve donating food to your local food bank or giving extra to your church as it supports those in need. Whatever it is, I pray you experience the joy of joining in God’s heart for those around you.
In this unique season of lockdown, may we make full use of this change of pace to reset our attention and affection on Jesus. Let us set new life-giving rhythms to guard against distractions so we can delight in that which truly satisfies. As those who have been redeemed solely by grace through faith, let us not get tripped up into thinking we need to earn God’s approval through these things. Rather, let us pursue them as a response to God’s invitation to freely eat and drink of His goodness. As many of us face great hardship, let us not lose sight of God’s care and desire to carry us through this season. May we as the church allow God’s heart to animate us as His hands and feet in this world.