There’s no sugarcoating it…times have been tough lately. It seems like everywhere you turn, there’s more bad news. Stocks are plummeting, schools are closed, and record number of people are out of work. It’s easy to get weighed down with all the bad news. However, I want you to take a moment to think about what you have learned during these past few weeks in quarantine.
Hebrews 12:11 says, “Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” I’m not saying that our current situation is a punishment from God, but I do want us to consider the idea of the verse in light of what we’re going through. Of course we aren’t enjoying being stuck at home with no jobs, no school, no friends, and (if you have kids) no sanity. Things are hard economically, socially, financially, and maybe even spiritually for many people. But as the Hebrew writer said, “afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
So, what “fruit” will come out of your current situation? What are some lessons you’ve learned so far? I want to share a few things I have come to learn and appreciate over the last several weeks.
- Family time is important – many of us get wrapped up in our work and forget to focus on our families. We’ve been gifted time at home. Some people may see that as a curse, but try to enjoy it. Make memories. Play games, go fishing, take a walk, teach your child a new skill, practice ball, make dinner together, etc. Family time is important.
- Spiritual family time is important – I miss my church family. I have been driving to an empty building for four weeks to do a Facebook Live stream on Sunday mornings. It’s weird being at a church building on a Sunday morning and have no one in the building with you. It’s normally a place of love and laughter. It’s normally a place of worship and praise. Instead…it’s been quiet. I can’t wait to have a full building again.
- It nice having a church family – Not only is it important to spend time with your church family, but just having a church family is important. I have witnessed love and care from churches all over the country. Although we can’t worship together in person, I have watched Christians from all over the country support one another during this difficult time.
- Heaven will be worth it – It seems like every year around New Years, people will say something along the lines of “this year was horrible…maybe next year will be better.” It seems like every year is horrible. It seems like there are always people who die too soon, wildfires, suicides, overdoses, car accidents, sickness, financial troubles…and this year, a worldwide pandemic. Bad things happen. Which reminds me Heaven will be worth it. As the song goes, “Just one glimpse of Him in glory will the toils of life repay.”
- Some honorable mentions – I have come to appreciate endless chips and salsa, full shelves at the grocery stores, teachers, medical personnel, and streaming services (Netflix and Disney+ have been lifesavers).
I hope I can look back on my time in quarantine and say that I have grown stronger spiritually. I hope I have become more appreciative of what we have in life, even though it might not be much right now. I hope that these difficult times can bear some fruit.