Pandemic or Opportunity? Making the Most of Quarantine
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to limit travel and other activities, people grow increasingly frustrated. While such restrictions certainly challenged our daily lives, God calls us to make the most of every opportunity. How can we make the most of the COVID-19 crisis?
Colossians 4:2-6 offers an insightful look at the approach God desires for our lives. While under house arrest in Rome, Paul continued to proclaim the good news of Jesus. He wrote:
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
A close observation of this passage offers four insights relevant to our culture today.
First, Quarantine Offers Time for Extended Prayer
Paul began his request by asking his readers to, “Devote yourselves to prayer.” Believers have always been called to pray. However, times of quarantine, such as Paul’s house arrest or the current coronavirus pandemic, demand a more serious devotion to prayer.
How should we pray? Prayer can include interceding for the sick or for the loved ones of those who have lost their lives to COVID-19. However, Paul also emphasized prayer for other reasons. These include:
- Open doors of ministry
- Wisdom among unbelievers
We pray for those suffering from sickness or grief. However, we also pray for the spiritual needs in our lives and the lives of others, asking God to intervene during difficult situations to draw hearts to Him.
Second, Quarantine Reminds Us to Be Thankful
Paul also emphasized prayer to be thankful. Why thankfulness? Difficult times of isolation can quickly lead to periods of complaining. We can easily focus on how negative our life is, how bad our problems are, and how dire the world has become. Yet God’s desire is for us to use difficult times to turn to Him.
Yet God wants us to be thankful. When we praise the Lord during trials, we acknowledge His control and remember His goodness. When God is in control, the world is not falling apart; it is falling into place.
Third, Quarantine Provides Unique Evangelism Opportunities
Paul prayed for opportunities to share the gospel while under house arrest! Despite years in prison, a shipwreck, and appealing to the highest court of his time, Paul wanted to reach people for Christ.
How many times have you prayed to reach someone for Christ since the coronavirus pandemic began? Let God use this time to direct your heart to lost loved ones, neighbors, coworkers, and others who have yet to believe in Christ. Don’t just pray for the lost; share your faith with someone.
Fourth, Quarantine Causes People to Seek for Spiritual Answers
The end of this passage notes Paul asking for his conversation to be seasoned with salt so he would have the right answer for everyone. This applied not only for unbelievers, but for all people! He wanted God to work through him to provide spiritual truth to those seeking answers during times of struggle.
Consider your own journey. Who is God placing in your life during this time? What questions do they have? What challenges do they face? Ask the Lord for help in prayer, yet also actively study to help respond to the needs others face.
We may be limited in location, but not in power. With the Lord’s strength, we can share our faith with unbelievers and even equip God’s people when we pray and seek ways to change lives.
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