It’s been two-weeks. Two-weeks of the quarantine life. Two-weeks of the social distancing life. And maybe you’ve about had it. You’re ready to get back to your “old” life, your “old” routines.
As I’ve scrolled through social media, here are some of the words I’ve read from people concerning this new way of life:
- This is depressing.
- This is hard.
- I’m struggling.
- I’m missing my former life.
- I’m missing my community.
- It all feels so lonely.
- It all feels so uncertain.
- It’s been a heavy day.
- I miss people.
- I miss hugs.
- I took so much for granted.
- All the plans I had have been canceled.
- I keep feeling stress sneak into my bones.
- I keep having small moments of panic.
- I don’t know what to feel.
This morning during my quiet time, my Bible just happened to be opened to Romans 12 (MSG), and I couldn’t help but think how perfectly timed this passage of Scripture is for me and maybe you too.
Right now, I think many are feeling a loss of identity. With everything being up in the air and everything being “unknown,” we too have started to question who we are and where we belong. If we’re honest, we feel like we’ve lost a part of ourselves. And if we’re not careful, we will find ourselves seeking affirmation and identity through our social media feeds.
During this unsettling time of uncertainty, I want to share a few verses from Romans 12 that stood out to me and spoke to me:
- Place Your Life Before God
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.” ~ Romans 12:1 (MSG)
Right now, life may feel a bit purposeless. It may feel a bit chaotic. It may even feel ordinary. Regardless of how life feels right now, God longs for you to place your body, your entire being, before him as an offering. What does this mean? It means that God longs for you to surrender to Him. God wants all of you. When you give your body to something, you are giving your all. And this, this is what God longs from us too, our entire being, our full commitment.
Life, as you know it right now, maybe hard. The stress has kicked in. The loss of identity is overwhelming. The unknown is causing fears to rise back up, fears that you thought you had overcome. God wants access to it all, to every part of your life, right now.
What does God need access to in your life today? What have you been holding onto for far too long?
- Transform Your Mind
“Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.” ~ Romans 12:2
I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve had to cut back on my news watching. Why? Because it was getting the best of me. I’d watch the news, and my worries, fears, and anxieties would rise. I’d start thinking of the worst, not the best. What I soon realized is that I was becoming so well-adjusted to the culture without even thinking about it. I started carrying the doom and gloom, worries, and fears that the culture was feeding me, nonstop.
So, how do we place our lives before God? How do we fully surrender and commit to Him? It’s through the transforming of our minds. How do we transform our minds? By fixing our attention on God.
“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.” ~ Philippians 4:8 (MSG)
What excellent and praiseworthy things can you think about?
- Recognize Your Gifts
“…let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.” ~ Romans 12:6
In this time of social distancing, many of us are finding ourselves working from home, or possibly on the brink of losing our jobs. And for many, part (if not all) of our identity is found in what we do, vocationally. All of a sudden, we find ourselves feeling less than. I know, I can relate. Years ago, I was sitting at a table, crying my eyes out. Words were said that stung. In an instant, I lost a big part of me. The next day I woke up not knowing what to do. My schedule was all of a sudden open and free, and I didn’t know what to do with myself. I was worried about the future. Everything had changed in an instant.
Maybe you, too, are feeling this way today. If so, let me encourage you to stay off of social media as much as possible. If we’re not careful, we will soon find ourselves scrolling through our newsfeeds, “enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other.” We will start wondering why our lives don’t look like their lives, why our life feels so much harder. And before we know it, we find ourselves trying to be something we are not.
Know this: What you do matters today. Even if things feel shaky and unknown, what you do matters today. You have specific gifts that God has given you, and no matter where you are today, you can use those gifts to impact those around you. Don’t try to be someone you are not. Don’t fall for the next shiny opportunity you see on social media. Don’t let the supposed “fear of missing out” move you to be someone you are not. Lean into God and lean into who He has created you to be.
What gifts has God given explicitly to you, and how can you use those gifts, right now, in this season of life, to positively impact the lives of others?
In closing, let me share this Scripture with you: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” ~ John 14:27 (NIV)
May you feel the peace of God today.