What Do We Do Now?
Unprecedented. I have heard and used that word several times in the last few weeks to describe the present circumstances the world is experiencing in the face of the coronavirus outbreak. How do you respond to an unprecedented crisis? What should we be doing right now? Here are a few suggestions that apply especially to Christ followers.
Read, reflect, repent and pray. These things should always mark followers of Jesus, but they take on particular meaning and importance in the face of serious change and uncertainty. We believe the Bible to be inspired by God and the Bible itself declares to be profitable and a source of divine encouragement. We need to be reading it and allowing it to guide us. We need to be conversing with God, trusting in his provision, asking for his help. We need to change our selfish and sinful ways - what a time for that!
Use your time wisely. Ephesians 5:15–16 says, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” If you have extra time right now — or if you are extra busy! — use it wisely. That means that we use our time for God’s glory and the benefit of others. Consider these practical ways to spend your time:
- Don’t binge on unnecessary or ungodly media. This includes what we are reading, watching and listening to. Personal convictions and boundaries apply here, but let’s be more than careful about what we are taking into our hearts and minds. Is it godly, noble, lovely and holy?
- Minimize the amount of news you are watching, reading or listening to. Getting daily updates may be helpful, but consuming hours of information (that may or may not be reliable) can become both discouraging and distracting from what is important. There is no such thing as unbiased news, so beware and don’t obsess over the need for information.
- Be busy with your hands. Exercise, finish a project, do some crafting (guys too!), keep your house clean and organized. These activities should be part of our regular routines because they reduce stress, improve mental and emotional health and force us to focus on something other than a crisis. They are especially important now.
- Check on family members, fellow church member, neighbors and friends. One of my sons reflected on the fact that despite the “crisis” he is less stressed, less tired and more connected with his wife. Attention paid to others is so important! Keep doing it and lets not stop doing it once restrictions are removed.
Talk with your kids and grandkids. Younger children need information and helpful attention. Answer any questions they have and start conversations with them about health, government, freedom, the importance of reading and learning and especially the sovereignty of God. The belief that God is in control is not a crutch — it is our solid hope. We need that and so do children.
Prepare for what’s next. I believe we need to be thinking now about how we will respond to changes in our economy, industries and social settings. We need to be prepared to assist people who have been or will be negatively impacted by the crisis. We need to be ready to meet as Christ-followers, not just for the sake of meeting together once again, but especially because we are God’s salt and light in a dying and dark world. We must strengthen ourselves in the Spirit and be ready to be faithful followers who live for God’s glory and for the sake of the gospel. How do we get ready? Go back to the beginning of this post and start doing these things…