Okay, this is hard because we are all used to coming and going at will, mostly going of course. So being told to stay home to avoid becoming contaminated with the coronavirus or spreading it to someone else is a necessity. Why? People don’t always obey. We have only to read the Bible to find numerous accounts of willful disobedience. Reading the Bible reveals that people don’t like being told “NO!”.
So how do we deal with having our freedom to come and go taken from us?
One of my favorite hymns is called “Trust and Obey” written by John H. Sammis with the music written by Daniel B. Towner. It’s an old hymn that is familiar to most church goers. Written around the turn of the 20th century, it is timeless, with a message still applicable to today. The overall message is to trust our Lord and obey His commands if you want true happiness in Jesus.
For some of us trusting and obeying is difficult. Maybe it’s because the people in your life have not proven themselves trustworthy. Maybe you’re just a control freak whose comfort zone has to be sure things are done right, and of course you’re the only one who can do that. We can learn from the words of the song that when we trust and obey God, He will never let us down.
While we may not trust the wisdom and judgment of others, we can trust our Lord. He keeps his Word and his promises. Another key word here is the “obey” part. If someone tells you what you need to do to be happy and safe, then trust is a critical element. God is always faithful. We can trust Him to do what He deems best because He says He can be trusted. He is perfect so He can’t make mistakes. Plus, the Bible tells us to trust Him:
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes” fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel and marrow to thy bones.” Proverbs 3:5-8
Most of us don’t think about verse eight when we think of this classic direction. Think about how relevant and insightful this is to real life. When life is out of sync with our expectations or when trials come, doesn’t your stomach knot up? Aren’t there times when you want to stay in bed under the cover because of an upset? Getting out of bed to face a difficulty is like having weak knees. It’s a struggle! How apropos this verse is to real life today!
Once we get the reasoning behind staying at home in this health crisis, it’s easier to comply. We can always trust that God is still in control. We can also trust that He is not silent in times of crisis, but is directing behind the scenes.
Take direction, don’t rely on what you think. You may not have the facts. You don’t know the reasoning behind a particular decision. Trust God to help you and to help the ones making the decisions. They need our prayers!
Do all you can on your side to obey. This may need some forethought on planning for supplies. You may need to make some adjustments on when and how you do things. Plan ahead and expect the unexpected is a cliché, but it does make sense. Pray for guidance and for the right heart attitude.
Getting your mind off your own worries is a good idea. The best way to do this is to consider the needs of others. There are those who will need someone to shop for them or who need a ride. Our elderly are the most vulnerable, so come alongside an elderly friend to offer your help and support. Television news can be distressing, so make sure you keep in touch with those who might become anxious and fearful. Offer encouragement through prayer. Be prepared to share some fun stories of your current experience during this time. Laughing at some of the inconveniences and their outcome can help someone else realize they don’t have it so bad.
Remember God isn’t out of control. He knows what’s going on. Let’s pray for wisdom, good judgment, and help in time of need.