Hey friends! Bear with me on this post -it has evolved over several days of thoughts. It begins fairly light hearted and then gets pretty serious. Thank you for reading along and please sign up to follow the blog. Take extra good care of yourselves during this time of isolation!
I love clothes, shoes, & accessories. Just the other day I was telling Brad (as I strive to live in the light) that I wanted to make a purchase. I wanted two things from a local boutique. He said “why?” I said “I don’t know, I just need
the one item & really want the other” He said you don’t need
either of them & the fact that you want them so badly is proof that you don’t “need” them.” He is a tough sell folks.
Later in the day, I tried again & told him that I needed to do my part to support local businesses so I needed to make that purchase. He was not impressed & a little put off that I was still thinking about those material things.
That led us to start talking about this pandemic that we & the rest of the nation are currently experiencing. If nothing else, doesn’t it make us realize what is most important? When everything is stripped away is often when we find out what truly matters. We experienced that when our family was separated in 2013. We lost our normal then & now everyone has lost what has always been normal. Brad was in quarantine then & we are all in quarantine now. Sporting events, shopping, eating out, going to plays, going to the movies, even going to church.
There is nothing to do & nowhere to go so it doesn’t really matter what is in my closet. Right now, the latest fashions don’t matter, the events that we endlessly run to & post about don’t matter, what is left? People are left. Our spouses, children, parents, & friends but even those can be lost. We can only cling to the one thing that can never be lost & that is our relationship with Jesus Christ.
I think this might make us all realize that we can do with so much less stuff. My kids & their generation need to know that, I still need to be reminded of that.
I keep telling my kids that this is a historical time & one they will be telling their grandchildren about it. Think about it. When have we ever not been able to go & do what we want to do? Even if we are low on funds, we have always been able to go browse through stores or catch a matinee or sit down in a restaurant & now all of that is gone. So, what remains? It is such a good time for self reflection & to think about how we self medicate. We all do it.
In our work at Cross Roads Recovery, we help men who have self medicated with drugs or alcohol but for the rest of us it might be shopping, working, our kids, or eating. We all have some feel good that we turn to when our dopamine drops & we need a high.
For me, a new pair of shoes, cute top, or pair of jeans makes me higher than Mount Everest. Some people go to the bar to feel good, some go to the fridge, some go to the gym, some go to their offices & bury themselves in work. For a whole lot of people, they bury themselves in social media. We are all looking to numb anything that feels uncomfortable so we find what is effective for us. Hopefully you will discover what your medication is during this quarantine & when you know what it is, that is half the battle! You can overcome it & find freedom!
We have literally been forced to slow down. We can not sign our kids (or ourselves) up for one million activities & in our non-stop culture that has been unsettling. I read the other day that if the Planned Parenthood offices close for this curve flattening period then more lives will actually be saved than lost during this pandemic.
I have been thinking a lot about the story of Moses and how he was called to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. It is one of my all time favorite bible stories because it show’s the power of God so clearly. When Pharaoh refused to heed the Lord’s instructions, the Lord acted & sent plagues all across the land. Do you remember them?
First there was the plague of the blood. All the water in the Nile was turned to blood, the fish died, there was an awful smell and the Egyptians could no longer drink of its water. Pharaoh was undeterred so the Lord sent the second plague – the plague of frogs. Frogs were literally everywhere and covered the land. This one got Pharaohs attention for a minute. He asked Moses to ask the Lord to rid the land of the frogs. Moses did that, God answered and all the frogs died but when Pharaoh got relief from that, he went back to his old ways and refused to listen once again. So then God sent the third plague, the plague of gnats. Can you imagine how awful that one would be? I hate a gnat but during this plague they were everywhere. Next, there was the plague of flies. Dense swarms of flies were everywhere. There were not enough hands or swatters to get them all. By this point, Pharaoh felt like he needed the Lord’s help again so he again asked Moses to pray on his behalf and ask the Lord to take the flies. Moses did and God did but once again Pharaoh’s heart hardened and he went back to his usual life and still refused to let the Israelites go. Next, was a plague on the livestock which would be similar to our economic system being attacked or the stock market crashing because this was the livelihood of the people back then. Next up was the plague of the boils – festering boils broke out on every person and animal in the land. Then came a plague of hail, then the plague of locusts, the plague of darkness, the plague of the firstborn & then the final action – the Passover.
In this story, God kept trying to get the attention of the people but in their stubbornness, they refused to listen. Pharaoh refused to listen. When nothing worked, God sent death. The Israelites were given very specific instructions about the sacrifice of the lambs, how old the animals must be, how they must be cared for, what time they should be slaughtered, how they were to eat it, etc. Once the animal was dead, they were to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of their door frames of their homes & scripture says “On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every person and animal and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.” Exodus 12:12-13
Just as He had said, when the spirit of death swept through the land the only ones who survived were the ones with the blood of the Lamb smeared across their doors.
The blood of the lamb – May we all be found with the blood of the lamb on our doors & hearts in both uncertain times and in times of plenty.
God usually speaks in whispers but just like with my kids, when they don’t listen the first few times, I tend to get louder. I think this pandemic is God getting loud with us. It’s no longer “fix it Jesus” but “fix it people.” We have to recognize the idols in our lives, repent & put the only one true God back in the center of our lives, worshiping only Him.
Let’s move our feet, make changes, and embrace the one who longs to embrace us! Praying over each of you!