At the end of February, my friend and I ministered a dance at church to Richard Smallwood’s “Angels.” Her young son joined us at the end of the dance to help us act out the scene described below:
A mother takes her son to the doctor; he wears a medical mask as they slowly walk to learn his fate. The doctor meets them, checks out the young boy and delivers them bad news regarding his illness. The mother, bent over in tears, walks her son to the middle of the stage where they both fall to their knees. The young boy clasps his hands together in prayer. The mother covers her son with one arm and raises the other in worship, while the tears stream from her face. It was authentic. It was moving. It was not planned. Her tears were not rehearsed. Her worship was not rehearsed. Her son praying was not rehearsed.
In that moment – God Was Moving!
We ministered this dance on a Sunday and the two weeks to follow were somewhat crazy. Two days later my daughter was diagnosed with the flu. I remember thinking how ironic this was considering the scene we had acted out in the dance. The week after that my dance partner and her entire family fell ill and I remember thinking of the irony once again. Then, a week or so after that – A NATIONAL PANDEMIC!!!
You have got to be kidding me!!!! I began thinking that maybe we had “jinxed” ourselves, thinking that I should have chosen some other visual presentation for that dance. But I knew that I had prayed over that dance and that I had moved in the direction that God wanted me to go.
A little over a week ago, my dear friend lost her son due to heart complications. When it came time to plan a service for him, I remember being frustrated, sad and angry. Because of the pandemic, he would not receive the homegoing celebration that he deserved. Her family and friends could not surround her and physically love on her and console her because of a “Shelter In Place” order. She had to bury her 16 year old son in another state because that was the easiest thing to do and her friends had to watch via a Zoom meeting. My heart hurt for her and I was at a loss for words.
So, recently the dance video somehow popped up on YouTube. I began wondering what was the message that God wanted me to receive? What was the message that he wanted us to deliver to those we ministered to?
In spite of the calamity – HE…IS…HERE
In the midst of sickness, disease, death, depression, unemployment, uncertainty, anxiety, anger, frustration, loss, suffering, abandonment – HE…IS..HERE
I know that this is a very simple declaration and it may be hard for some to make in a time like this. I know that this is a season where almost all things may seem out of control. Some are fearful. Some are anxious. Some are angry. Some are mourning. Some are fighting for their life. Some are recovering. Some are praying like never before. Some are trying to grasp the concept of faith. Some are trying to encourage and empower others while trying to stay encouraged themselves. Some are trying to feed their families. Some are working on the front line and praying they make it home to their families virus free. Churches are closed. Jobs are shut down. Bills are still due. Children have needs. People are trying to hold on.
This is a season where the things around us all seem out of control. We are a nation in distress. This is a time where even those who are upright can get a little uptight. What was good and solid has been uprooted. What was consistent and flowing is now all over the place. A once peaceful home is now full of noise and chaos. A mind that was set is now reconsidering, rethinking, analyzing and constantly going.
How do we weather this season with distance in between us and limited interaction? We place our hope and our trust in God. We seek his peace through prayer, scripture and meditation. We exercise our faith in any and all areas of our lives. We worship him like we never have before.
I encourage you all to try these things:
- Be Honest With God – He listens to your heart and he desires to connect with you on all levels. Nothing you have to say to him will shock him to his core. His love for you is never-ending and he will never stop listening to you. Remember, he already knows what you are feeling so there is no reason why you cannot be authentic and raw in your conversations with him.
- Deep Dive Into His Word (already deep diving? Work on consistency) – There is no better time than now to get into the Word! How do you trust God with your whole hearts if you know little to nothing about his character and his attributes? How do you walk upright in these trying times? How do you exercise your faith for the world to see? Now is the time that you know God’s word for yourself and share it with the world.
- Worship – Yes, the churches are closed and corporate worship, in a physical sense, is out the window. Churches with the capability are having services online, but I’d have to admit, it’s definitely not the same. It’s all about you now and your worship at this point. It doesn’t matter if you can’t sing, if you can’t dance, if you have no musical talent at all… worship him with everything that is within you – from the depths of your soul. Put on your favorite worship playlist and sing along or worship him acapella. However you choose, you will experience the benefits of inviting the presence of God into where you are. Worship brings victory, redirects the feelings of depression, anxiety and frustration, brings freedom and joy, helps to strengthen your faith and will bring you closer to God in that moment.
He is speaking to you – Are you listening? He is reaching out four your hand – Will you put yours in his? He is calling out to your hearts – Are you responding? He is blessing you with time – What will you do with it?