To say that we’re lingering in unprecedented times here is an understatement. But you don’t need me to tell you that…
…we’re lingering in this unprecedented time together.
Nearly every aspect of our “normal” lives have changed in response to COVID-19. Most of us are now having to work from home or not at all. All of our non-essential forms of extracurricular activities have been shut down. There is no school. Churches are going digital. It’s nearly impossible to find toilet paper at the grocery store.
While it’s easy for us to look at all the ways that we have had to alter life and grow anxious or heavy-hearted, I want to remind you that there is a pretty clear silver lining amidst all of this. There is a blessing that God is offering up on a platter here for those who choose to receive it.
God is giving us an opportunity to slow down.
We’ve been told to press pause on life and to do less. For most of us, this is a completely foreign concept! Think about it–we spend most of our days running back and forth from work, taking the kids to school, taking them to sports, going to church, and that’s not to mention all the time we spend going grocery shopping, working around the house, or taking regular trips to all our favorite “non-essentials.” Our lives move at NASCAR speed but now we’re going no faster than a snail’s pace.
This is a good thing!
And the more I thought about it this week, the more I realized that there is one area in particular that has the potential to be all the better when this is all said and done. While we’re all practicing social distancing and staying at home, we have been given the unprecedented opportunity to spend more time with our families. There has never been a time like this. There is no school. There may be no work. There is no social living outside of the house. I’ll repeat:
This is a good thing!
God is giving us the opportunity to slow down and spend more time with our families.
For some us, we have become our child’s teacher. Some of us have had the opportunity to go on more walks or to play catch outside. Without having to wake up early for work or school, every night offers up the opportunity to be a family movie night. In the wake of COVID-19 we have all been given the glorious blessing of being able to spend intentional and purposeful time with our families.
My prayer is we take that blessing off of the platter in which God has presented it on. My prayer is that we do not take this opportunity for granted.
Let’s not waste this!
We’ve been given an unprecedented opportunity in an unprecedented time to be better parents and spouses. Not only have we been given the opportunity to spend intentional and purposeful time with our families, we’ve also been given an enormous platform on which we can use to influence them. More time equals more exposure which means the ceiling has been lifted.
For all you parents, grandparents, and guardians, listen to the words of Solomon:

Proverbs 22:6
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
If you haven’t figured it out by now–our children are watching. They see how we react when things don’t go our way. They listen to how we speak to our spouse. They read what we post on social media. They are not blind, deaf, or ignorant to what we do. In fact, they are the complete opposite. They are sponges that soak it all in. It’s like Solomon says–we are given the influence to teach our children and they will use that influence to help shape their lives.
So what are you teaching your children with the way you’re living your life right now?
Living in this unprecedented time, I hope you’re taking this unprecedented opportunity to teach them one important thing: Jesus.
When there is no toilet paper on the shelf, may they see peace. When the order to stay at home has been extended, may they see grace. When you’re suffering from “cabin fever” and want to go out, may they see contentment. When they see your life, living in the shadow of COVID-19, may they see Jesus.
For all of you husbands and wives, know that Solomon’s words still apply to the influence you have on your spouse. Don’t ever stop being Jesus to the one His Father gave you as your partner. However, there are some familiar words from the apostle Paul that I want you to consider:
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Don’t use this Scripture to play defense. Most of the time we turn to Paul’s “love chapter” to remind ourselves or someone else what love looks like in the midst of one of those characteristics being forgotten. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve mentioned how love “keeps no record of wrongs” when I have made a mistake in my own marriage. However, I have to believe that this wasn’t Paul’s intent when he decided to put pen to paper all those years ago.
This is a Scripture that was meant to be used on the offensive. These are characteristics we are supposed to be developing and nurturing at all times, not just when we mess up.
So living in this unprecedented time, I hope you’re taking this unprecedented opportunity to work on your marriage–to work on your love.
Put together a puzzle. Read a book. Do a devotional. Work in the yard. Watch a movie. Be intentional and purposeful with the extra time that you have been blessed with. Use every hour and every moment to develop and nurture these characteristics of love in your most important earthly relationship.
The reality is that in this season there will be trials and tribulations within the responsibilites we shoulder in marriage. Parenting will not be without its frustrations. Finances will give you headaches. The question of “Who gets to go out and get groceries?” may even cause its own problems. Regardless of what comes up, you will be prepared to face it as you manifest Paul’s words in life and marriage.
We are lingering in unprecedented times here. We have been told to slow down, to press pause on life, and to do less.
This is a blessing.
This is a good thing!
So let’s not waste it.
–Pastor Cody

2 Responses to “Unprecedented”

  1. Marty and Ellie says:

    This is so up lifting. This brings a new look on life today for so many of us. We sometimes look at the negative in times like this, it is so easy to do. We have never seen a time like this, it is all so new to all of us but when we take the time to see the positive side of the matter, it makes life a little easier to swallow. Thank you Pastor for your insight.

  2. Rebecca Sims says:

    In this time, we are able to spend more time together while the world is social distancing. We’ve been able to enjoy family dinner at the table, and even a family game night.

    I’ve been enjoying more devotional time, both from my bible app and on Facebook. My bible is open.

    I’ve also been able to rest. Just rest. In a time where I need it.

    He knows my needs and has provided!

Leave a Reply