While there have been a lot of changes in my life due to COVID, there was one change that surprised me more than all the others. It was a change of thought.
Each Sunday morning, I wake up between 4 and 5 AM while the rest of my family is still sleeping. I drink a glass of water and make myself a mug of hot coffee. It’s a delicious time of day for me because I’ve always loved my time alone with God before jumping into a new day. The quiet helps me pay closer attention to inner thoughts and feelings. And especially to God’s still small voice.
Like every other morning, I begin my routine with Bible reading. Getting up this early didn't come naturally to me. Necessity nudged me into this practice. When one of my sons needed help with his newborn, I helped. Helping him required me to get up earlier so I wouldn’t miss my quiet time. Time with God is my source of sanity, serenity, and strength. It’s a habit I began way back while I was recovering from eating disorders.
It’s a must I’m happy to muster time for.
Normally on Sundays (before COVID), I would finish my extra-long quiet time and then get ready to attend the early service at the church across town. It’s my favorite church because the sermons are steeped in the Scriptures. God’s word is spoken there. Not people’s opinions. Not politics. Just truth.
But when rumors of a strange and potentially deadly disease reached Canadian shores, I stayed home. I suspected there may be people who wouldn’t take it seriously and therefore I didn’t want to fall victim to the incautiousness of others. Since the Bible warned there would be pestilences during end times, I took it seriously.
What I didn’t expect to happen happened. I enjoyed having church at home. I loved hearing sermons online. Who knew?
It’s not that I didn’t miss normal church. I didn’t miss it as much as I thought I would. God topped up my joy with an extra serving to make up for not feeling safe to attend in person. When I tried to figure out what this meant, I wondered if it was because I needed to find a new church where I might find more kindred spirits. The church I attend happens to have some wonderful people in it, but it also has a reputation for being hard to fit into. Having been warned of this when I first started attending almost 14 years ago, it has proven to be true. But as an introvert who doesn’t enjoy crowds or parties, I’m largely okay with that. I appreciate the handful of acquaintances I’ve gotten to know.
If we’re heeding the Holy Spirit’s guidance about when and where He wants us to be involved, He will comfort us and fill us with joy. Before the pandemic started, I hated to miss church because forsaking fellowship is a joy robber. However, attending online services doesn’t steal my peace nor rob my joy since this isn’t a season of my making. It’s a temporary trial the Lord’s helping us endure.
God doesn’t inhabit a building. He inhabits the praises of His people. He inhabits our hearts as we come to Him with a hunger for His Word and Spirit.
COVID can’t steal our joy in the Lord. Nothing can.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 NIV
I’m nosy-to-know if you’ve experienced a similar revelation during this pandemic?
P.S. Recently I sensed a nudge from the Lord that’s it’s time for me to attend in person again. I look forward to it with joyful anticipation.
Thanks for sharing your experiences Wendy. I commend you - and anyone - who is a morning person. I'm a wanna-be morning person, but in truth I'm a night owl. :)ReplyDelete
I'm smiling, dear Tracy, because if my family were to become early birds, I'd need to become a night owl instead. Writers do what works best for words to be written. :) I need solitude before mine can flow.Delete
Blessings ~ Wendy Mac
Thank you for sharing your experience, Wendy. We have found church at home to be enjoyable and fulfilling, too, and we tend to talk about the words we've heard more as we turn off the television, rather than be distracted by visiting with others after the service.ReplyDelete
We have begun returning to in-person church services - twice now! It is lovely to sing and pray with others. As you've said, God dwells with his people, not in a building.
"To sing and pray with others" is like sunshine after a storm. Thank you, dear Lorrie.Delete
Blessings ~ Wendy Mac
I don't like crowds either. Neither do I like kids dashing in front of me. It's why online church is such a boon. We get the Word without all the idle chatter afterward.Delete
I live in faith, not fear. Once data came in about who actually dies from this bad flu bug, I stopped being fearful. But our politicians kept us locked down for two long years. The drug companies also made a ton of money. And since our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, I refused to take the gene therapy vaccine. I've never needed the regular flu shot either. God has blessed me with good health.ReplyDelete
We're so blessed to live in a free country where we're allowed to believe as our hearts are prompted to believe.Delete
I love Canada. 🇨🇦
May we remain "glorious and free" for God's glory.
Blessings - Wendy Mac 🙏
Thanks for reminding us of the importance of in-person worship services. I sensed God's grace to watch online during lockdown, but after we could have in-person services, I was grateful to attend.ReplyDelete
God's grace brings flowers to our desert places. He's so good to us.Delete
Thank you for this peek into your insights on your life in the midst of Covid, Wendy. I enjoyed how you perhaps reluctantly adjusted to the disruption of the pandemic.ReplyDelete
Our church endured church via Zoom and I embraced as best I could under the unprecedented circumstances. Orthodox Christian liturgies, however, are best experienced in person where we can receive the eucharist as it is meant to be. Online or Zoom services just don't cut it at all. I agree with you it was something we had to endure for a season. I for one, am glad, at least for the most part. the season is over. :)
Thank you, Alan.Delete
May a season of peace descend upon our planet as a foretaste of what's to come for peacemakers. Only love cuts the perfect piece of cake.
Introverts unite! Loved the line - "It’s not that I didn’t miss normal church. I didn’t miss it as much as I thought I would."ReplyDelete
Thank you, Bob. Several times during lock downs I heard people say that introverts have been preparing for this for years. Although they weren't serious, I suspect introverts suffered the least.Delete
Thanks, Wendy for your insightful thoughts. I whole heartedly agree with that 'God doesn't inhabit a building. He inhabits the praises of His people.' I remind myself of this often as I hear stories of evil's reign of terror and look for where God is working instead for 'where sin abounded, grace abounded all the more.'ReplyDelete
Thank you, dear Sharon. I've been wondering how many people are turning to faith in Christ during the present situation threatening the world. I'm also praying for peace to return and for souls to turn to Jesus.Delete