Today, I return to the basics of how to stay spiritually healthy during a time of upheaval. First and foremost, I want to “sow to please the Spirit” (Galatians 6) by spending time in God’s word, praying, and listening to encouraging sermons. This AM, I listened to “In Flickering Light” by T.D. Jakes that helped me think more about how the Lord uses discomfort and disruption. I also went back to some passages of scripture that reminded me of God’s enduring presence. Isaiah 43 brought comfort to my heart this morning. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. I realized that, instead of filling my mind with God and His truth, I was taking shelter in more data, more news, and more social media about COVID-19. I want to “take shelter in the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91) and not more news articles.
I also consulted my friends and mentor who all advised me to limit my media intake, especially before bedtime. My former therapist always told me the same thing. Some of us are simply too sensitive to media and must exercise caution when watching or reading things that foster anxiety and depression. If you are prone to both, as I am, remember to guard your mind during this time. I’d been waking up with that spirit of dread I know so well. I’d been very weepy and overwhelmed. I decided today that, when I need to know the orders from my national and local leaders, my phone will alert me. Other than this, I might diminish my intake of news because it doesn’t help me sow to please the Spirit.
I also said a prayer of surrender to the Lord that He can do whatever He wants with my physical body. I don’t want to live in fear of a virus. God is the One I am to fear, not sickness or death. Isaiah 8 tells me this: “The Lord Almighty is the one [I] am to regard as holy, he is the one [I] am to fear, he is the one [I] am to dread. And I recited Galatians 2:20 and how I am crucified already with Christ.
I also remember the astonishing truth of Romans 8 and that God can “work all things for good”–even this pandemic. I decide to dwell in hope. I will be like Jeremiah in Lamentations 3 who famously says: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”
Sow to please the Spirit. Surrender. Dwell in hope. This is how I’m learning to stay spiritually healthy right now.
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