(TT) OK GOD, YOU HAVE MY ATTENTION

Faith in the midst of Covid-19…

As we find ourselves in the midst of  the Coronavirus, which seems to be taking over our world; we sit glued to the TV News or Social media feeds.  How easily we could let anxiety start to rise within us trying to shake our faith and allow fear to take root in our hearts & minds.  

In the midst of praying over this exact thing, I felt the Spirit of God speak to me, prompting me to share from my current prayer journal writings in our Covid 19 world.  Therefore, I’ve decided that once a week I will jump forward from my regular Journey for Jesus posts, and share what Jesus is teaching me at this time.  Maybe in some way my journey will intersect with yours and we can navigate Covid 19 together…

So what are we supposed to do now?

Have you ever had one of those years that feels like you’re caught in a tornado, that just won’t drop you down?  Well, that’s what 2020 feels like to me.  To explain… let me recap a little bit of the journey we have been on thus far.

In the last year, both my 91 year old Mother, my favourite uncle and my 58 year old sister in law, all went to be with the Lord… each of these losses took a huge toll on my emotional health, and I had to work through the mounds of grief that would come at me relentlessly out of nowhere. ( Needless to say, this has been a very difficult year and I’ll come back to these journeys another time and another post on my regular blog…)

Due to our financial situation, after the loss of our business (thanks to the tanking of the Alberta economy), we moved into a rental property that was actually a converted 4 car garage on an acreage an hour from the city.  ( yup complete with overhead glass garage doors). More on this another time too…

Then we finally had some good news… my youngest daughter gave birth to her first child.  To say the least, I was one excited Gramma and could hardly contain myself until I could go and see them.  I loved every moment holding this precious child and when it was time for me to leave 2 weeks later it was almost unbearable.  I discovered that all the loss this past year had taken its toll on me, and I cried and prayed for hours as I drove the 8 hour trip back home.

I’m so thankful for all the Grief courses that I have taken during my Chaplain training… otherwise, I might have thought I was losing my mind.  In reality, I was just processing all of the highs and lows this past year has held. I was discovering my ‘new normal’.

Anyways, I arrived back home and started settling back into work… and then the real craziness kicked in…Covid 19.  The Coronavirus pandemic was upon us. As we watched the news in unbelief, we saw everything we knew to be normal change before our very eyes.

Every day there was something new shutting down… new procedures to follow… more deaths being announced from the virus.  We watched in stunned silence as it moved into Italy, Spain, USA and all around the world.  We heard projected numbers of possible deaths that our brains could not even compute accurately…. what was going on?

At work, part of my role was to call donors within the organization and thank them for their support and partnership.  In no time at all those calls shifted from mere thank you calls to full on ministry and prayer times, as people grappled to come to terms with new language like self- isolation and social distancing.  Calm assurance in life was being replaced by fear and the unknown.

Mike’s work, as a renovation contractor dried up immediately, and jobs that were in progress came to a screeching halt, suddenly with social distancing and everyone working from home, he could no longer get in the homes to get the work done.  My income was minimal but at least we could keep food on the table.

As I struggled with my own ability to comprehend all that was happening around me, I called out to the Lord… I read the word and I prayed… and I continued to trust as I put one foot in front of the other, so thankful that my job was still secure… at least for the moment.

Journal Entry – April 1, 2020

“At times I might shut up the heavens so that no rain falls, or command grasshoppers to devour your crops, or send plagues among you. Then if my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.  2 Chronicles 7: 13-14 NLT

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for your word.  In your word all our answers for life can be found.  We can learn through those that have gone before us, both those that did right and those that did wrong.  We can hear from Jesus himself who said we were to;  “Seek you – repent – turn- and trust in the God who created ALL things”.  

Lord God, you have been laying these verses heavily upon my heart as we are now in the midst of this Covid 19 Crisis.  As I break them down I see multiple things;  In this 21st century, we much prefer to focus on the God of Grace.  And I am personally so thankful for that gift of Grace, of which I am ever grateful recipient.

But your word shows us that you are also a God that CAN and WILL send repercussions for our actions and or inactions. Time and time again, as your children got stubborn and rebellious you sent difficulties into their lives as a way to draw them back to you… the One True God.  

You warned your children that you were a jealous God and would not tolerate man made idols in our lives.  Over and over again, we read the numerous ways you used calamity to draw them away from their self- sufficiency and pride, back to you, their only real safety and source of strength.  

These very words above were Gods answer to Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the Temple. ” At times I might shut up the heavens so that no rain falls, or command grasshoppers to devour your crops, or send plagues among you”.  

If it is true that You God, are the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, which I believe it is… then I believe we are not immune from Your repercussions and You CAN and WILL, impose judgement upon our lands.  

Whenever we see this happening in your word Lord, it is because your people… your children… have turned away from you in rebellion, or fear & anxiety, or other idols of this world.  

In this passage you were speaking to your Hebrew Children that you rescued and redeemed as your chosen people.  Yet, thanks to Jesus and His Death & Resurrection, ALL people who believe and receive Him are now heirs and Children of God.  Thank you Lord for such a sacrifice made for us. 

Yet, as I look at our world around us, are we really any different today than the days of this Hebrew nation.  We still turn away from you, desiring to live life our way.  When bad things happen we allow fear & anxiety to overtake us, thereby believing the lies from the enemy that ” you God are not in this circumstance”.  

As well, when we look at the results of this pandemic and self- isolation what do we see?  We see Sports teams stop playing, Theatres  close, Restaurants and gathering places close, and even our very Churches having to close their doors.  Where now would we put our time and attention?… its suddenly not so difficult to see the many Idols that we have allowed access into our lives.  

Forgive us Lord Jesus, Forgive us for not even recognizing the Idols for what they were.  We lived life thinking they were merely pastimes … how easily we were blinded to the truth.

Forgive us your Children Lord, for our foolishness.  Forgive us for allowing the lies and the temptations this world offers to cause us to inadvertently turn our backs on You God, in Rebellion.  

As I look at your words Lord, I am recalling conversations I have had recently in my prayer calls.  I have been told about droughts in Saskatchewan over the last three years, leaving local farmers in despair.  This past year we were informed of Plagues of Grasshoppers ravaging the land and now Covid 19.  

This Plague has become the great equalizer among nations around our world.  The wealthy and the poor both die.  Those with medical and those without.  It doesn’t discriminate by race, region or religion… all can be affected.  So what are we to do?  

The world scrambles to find a cure.  Hoping and Praying that they can Self-isolate enough so that they will be protected from the virus.  Some, even selfishly hoarding supplies in the hopes that they can take care of themselves and survive this crisis. 

Yet, as Your children and Your heirs, this is not what you call us to do.  You desire the same things today as you did in the past.  You desire us to Seek your face.  How do we do that?  Through your word, praying and spending time with you.  

Time, the commodity that in our busy world we never seem to have enough of, is suddenly, ALL we have, as we are locked down in our homes away from the busyness of day to day life. 

As well Lord, many have lost their income due to businesses being shut down.  Its easy to allow worry & fear to overtake our thoughts.  Yet you clearly tell us “Not to worry”, rather, You call us to lean into You. So when I read the passage above particularly vs. 14, it jumped off the page at me, as to what WE, as Your children, are to do in the midst of this crisis.  

We (those who are children of the living God), who are called by His name ( the name of Jesus), will humble themselves and pray and seek His face and turn from our wicked ways, He will hear from heaven, and forgive our sins and restore our land. 

Thank you Heavenly Father, that I believe you are showing me, that this decree is just as important for us today, as it was for the people in the days of Solomon.  You are still Creator and Controller of this universe.  

Its pretty easy now to see all the ways, we your children, have gone astray – loving this world and the things of this world more than You – Forgive us Lord! 

Giving our time and our energy into things that are solely about our pleasures and desires- Forgive us Lord!

We have become people (at least here in the Western World) that have lofty expectations of the things we ‘believe we deserve’ :  Comfort… Food… nice Homes… nice Cars…nice Clothes…nice Furniture…fancy Restaurants… and Entertainment of every possible kind- Forgive us Lord!

My Prayer to you Lord, is that You will use this “Plague upon our Land”, to bring us to our knees and cause our faces to look up to you in repentance and awe.  Draw your children back to you Lord.. our first Love.  Draw us into a new dependance upon You and the ways You would have us live. Draw us into a deeper relationship with You our God & Saviour.  Help us to look at the original Church… those first generation of Jesus followers… and learn from them, and do as You called us to do.  Draw us into prayer and seeking more of you Lord, because only then will You know our hearts are true and focused on You again.  

God in Heaven, will You hear our prayers, forgive our sins, and restore our land.

 In Jesus Name❤️ Amen

 

 

My Final Thoughts & Encouragement…

As you read these words, did you feel a pull or a twinge in your heart?  Maybe the Lord is calling you to a 2 Chronicles prayer as well.  I would encourage you to evaluate the Idols that have been inadvertently placed in your heart that get in the way of your Relationship with Jesus.  He promises that if we put Him First… He will then give us the desires of our Heart.  He does this by changing the desires of our hearts to be more in line with His.  As the one who created me and designed me with His gifts and plans for my future, I’m pretty confident that His ways will always be best…

Today chose to live your life in a new way… putting Jesus in the right place He deserves, on the Throne of your heart.  Surrender your will to Him and see the wonderful ways that He will restore you and give you peace… in this Covid 19 world and beyond!

 

       Do you know Jesus ? He’s waiting for you… ( click the link to learn more) 

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Blessings❤️ Janet  Journey4Jesus

{ If this benefited you in any way, I’d love to hear from you and I would be thrilled if you would share or invite more people to be encouraged. }

 

 

 

 

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