This time last week the possibility of sitting at a desk in our walk-in wardrobe was not remotely on my radar, yet here we are! It is an interesting coincidence that we are also in the traditional season of Lent which runs from March until about the middle of April. It serves as a time of sacrifice where we can choose to give up certain comforts and devote time to prayer and fasting, in preparation to celebrate the death and Resurrection of Christ at Easter.
On the 24 March Valma Craig sent me a photo of her daily devotional. It was as if the author of the devotional had known that on the 24th March, we would be facing nationwide lockdown! This is the essence of what it said:
This is a time in your life when you must learn to let go: of loved ones, of possessions, of control. In order to let go… you need to rest in God’s presence, where you are complete… You can feel secure, even in the midst of cataclysmic changes, through awareness of God’s continual presence. (Matt 28:20) The One who never leaves you is the same one who never changes. (Heb 13:8) As you release more and more things into God’s care, remember that God will never let go of your hand.(Isa 41:13, John 10: 28, 29) Herein lies your security, which no one and no circumstance can take from you.
Talk about inspired writing! It certainly got me thinking about this lockdown, especially since March and April are the traditional time for Lent. What am I being called to give up at this time? Often people give up things like chocolate, or coffee and you may indeed have to give those up, depending on how much is in your secret stash! I know for me, giving up my deeply entrenched need to be in control is a far bigger challenge.
In the current situation I find myself needing to let go of:
All my carefully thought out plans for March and April.
The enjoyment I get from finding a bargain at the mall.
My preference for a tidy house (Joel, Jess and Caleb had started to shift into their new place but didn’t quite make it so are staying with us for the lockdown period)
My need for a decent haircut (its already overdue!)
My desire to fly up to Auckland and be there for our son Joshua and his family, should he become unwell. (Josh is our son who has multiple medical issues)
And so the list goes on…
The reality is there is a lot at the moment that is outside of our control and a lot of things we need to sacrifice. Bigger and better than all that though is the invitation to grow in our willingness and ability to trust our heavenly Father. May we say and believe, as did David of old,