For a Time Such as This
A new season is upon all of us and it’s foreign in every way. Our office is at home, we have become teachers to our children, our meetings are 100% done by video conferencing, we are with our spouses 24/7, perhaps income has been cut in half, confusion abounds over whether we should actually make a trip to the grocery store or order them to be delivered.
The phrase “normal routines” went out the window weeks ago. Whatever stressors we had before COVID-19 are now amplified and multiplied as we shelter in place, practice social distancing, and wash our hands more than ever in the history of our lives.
Whether you feel the stress or not, it’s likely there. Some of us wear our hearts on our sleeves and it doesn’t take much for us and others to see the anxiety. Others of us internalize our anxiety and stress responses, allowing them to build up without knowing it. We feel fine, but we’re not. This is a time to reflect on the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
Each of us needs to engage in stress relief measures on a daily basis. Make it part of your routine. If you don’t have a routine, implement one. That’s the first step to less stress. If you’re teaching your children, extend them and yourself a little extra grace during this time. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to be rigid. Relax, do the best you can, and recognize this too shall pass. The fruits of the Holy Spirit apply to every activity we do. With each item on your to-do list, consider which fruit of the Spirit can be applied.
If you can manage it, take a short walk each day. Start each day with a scripture that you can meditate on when things get stressful. End each day by journaling what went well and what you’d like to improve on for tomorrow. Try to eat as healthy as possible and let the sunlight into your home.
It’s imperative to give children the opportunity to share their thoughts about things, too. Their world has also turned upside down and they will need a way to manage stress. Outside time for them, times of rest and doing activities they enjoy will help immensely.
Rest and grace are paramount to this season we are in, as they are the two things that will re-set our responses to others and replenish our energy stores. Undoubtedly, there is wisdom in scripture that will help us in many ways. These one-word “fruits” plant seeds within us that will strengthen us season after season.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Published on Sunday, April 19, 2020 @ 4:30 PM EDT