Feelings & Longings During the Pandemic

“There is nothing new under the sun!” the Preacher in Ecclesiastes proclaims. What we are experiencing today may be unprecedented for our generation, but it is not new to creation nor is it outside of the knowledge and care of the Creator. I would imagine that many of you like me have wrestled with a myriad of thoughts, emotions, and longings over the past few weeks related to the pandemic. What follows are a bit of a compilation of how I have been feeling the past few weeks. I have found it most helpful in difficult times to go before the Lord with the darker or harder emotions in one hand and consider a lighter emotion to complement in the other. This isn’t to replace one for the other - lament has an important place in the life of the believer, as does righteous anger. I’ve linked some passages of Scripture that seemed fitting, or perhaps a prayer or site I found helpful recently. I hope you can identify with some of these and that they are helpful for you as you read.

I’m sad that I simply can’t see many of you.

I’m glad that there are new fangled and old fashioned ways to continue connecting with one another.

3 John 13-15 (ESV)

I grieve the suffering that many are experiencing, or will experience, as a result of the current crisis.

I rejoice in hearing of God’s people ministering to one another by donating time and money, delivering food, singing “Easter Carols,” sending notes and flowers, caring for the sick, setting up emergency care facilities, and more.

1 John 3:16-18 (ESV)

I’m concerned that many are turning to addictive habits as they suffer isolation.

I hope that we can help each other realize that the fulfillment of our deepest longings is found only in the love of God.

Philippians 4:8 (ESV)

I am disheartened because in this age of information it is difficult to ascertain the truth about many important topics.

I’m hopeful that we can humbly approach sources with discernment by the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

A Prayer (Link)

I am disappointed that within the body of Christ we allow so many things to divide us.

I’m hopeful that we can recommit to unity in Christ who invites us to work towards the same goal of building his kingdom.

Philippians 1:27 (ESV)

I am afraid of losing the trust and friendship of people because of a particular stance I take or a decision I make as a leader.

I have courage in the Spirit of God who guides and the grace of God that is sufficient.

1 Corinthians 4:1-4 (ESV)

I’m doubtful that I am equipped to accomplish the tasks before me successfully.

I take courage because the Holy Spirit equips the one called by God to do the task for which one is called.

1 Corinthians 1:26-31 (ESV)

I’m afraid that I’m eating too much junk food and Cadbury eggs (not the creme ones, the mini ones) and jelly beans (JellyBelly are the best).

I’m glad that I have had some extra time to go mountain biking and get some exercise outside.

Proverbs 25:16 (ESV)

I’m sad because a long anticipated time away with Stephanie had to be cancelled.

I rejoice in the extra family time we have had - bedtime stories, exploring the woods, getting our garden ready, playing games.

Proverbs 19:21 (ESV)

I am angry at the corruption in leaders and systems of power that put people already struggling in a more vulnerable state.

I am grateful for good journalism that exposes truth and people and institutions who are committed to justice and righteousness.

Isaiah 11:1-5 (ESV)

I’m frustrated that I can't host a “Zoom” call or other such digital interaction without being concerned about privacy and “trolls.”

I’m thankful for folks who can help me navigate privacy settings and the like to help protect people we minister to.

May you be strengthened in your spirit by the love of Jesus Christ. 

Seek the Lord in prayer and in his word. Cast whatever burden you have at the foot of the cross.

Be well. Love God. Love Others.

Pastor Matt