It was seven in the morning as we began our six–hour journey from Los Angeles to Sacramento. As we left the house, we noticed the vacant streets and an even more vacant 405 freeway. When you live in LA, mornings mean traffic and more traffic. These images were surreal!
The reason for our journey was to pick up our daughter’s belongings from the University. The campus had recently been shut down due to the new regulations as a result of Coronavirus (COVID–19) pandemic. My heart was filled with emotion, since this would mean a new way of life for our daughter who enjoyed her classes, friends and the university way of life.
After an hour or two of driving, we started to notice bold digital messaging on the freeway, with the following:
Less is more
Disinfect 2 Protect
Wash Your Hands
In support of the California Governor’s declared emergency, Caltrans was taking proactive measures to encourage the public to comply. It is believed that with time and social distancing, we will lessen the spread of the virus. So many are asking, “Well, how long?” Parents want their kids back in school; people want to gather with their friends; businesses want to be open again. How Long? What do we do when suddenly life as we know it comes to a FULL STOP?
Like the bold messages on the freeway, and the declared orders and regulations, I believe God is trying to get our attention. What we’re experiencing right now is not by accident; everything happens for a reason.
Now is the time for prayer.
Now is the time for healing.
Now is the time to turn our attention back to God.
We read in Psalm 46:10 (NIV)
“Be still and know that I am God.”
Less Is More
Less of the world, more of God. Less of the things that have come between our time with the Lord and more time in prayer and relationship with our heavenly Father. Less of me, more of Him.
“He must become greater; I must become less.” John 3:30 (NIV)
No gatherings of ten people or more. Let’s look at this differently: What a great opportunity for us to get together in our homes with our families and pray for each other. Gather together online through social media outlets for Bible studies and encouragement. Tune in on Sunday mornings for church services that will go live on Facebook and YouTube.
“So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps His word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big day approaching.”
Hebrews 10:25 The Message (MSG)
Disinfect to Protect
We know that constant cleaning of surfaces helps to prevent germs and the spread of disease. We must continue to disinfect to protect our homes and workplaces. It’s even more important for us to stop and take inventory of what’s in our hearts and minds. What unclean things still occupy these places? We read in James 1:21 (TLB), “So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.” God is asking us to remove every unclean thing and to allow Him to fill us. Psalm 63 :1a (NIV) says, “You, God, are my God, I earnestly seek you.”
Wash Your Hands
While the directive to wash your hands is not a new thing, we are again being strongly reminded of its importance. In fact, for your hands to be completely clean, you must wash them for 20 seconds.
There’s a song written by Chris Tomlin that speaks to the importance of this act in relation to our walk with Christ. “We bow our hearts, we bend our knees, Oh Spirit come make us humble. We turn our eyes from evil things; Oh Lord we cast down our idols. Give us clean hands, give us pure hearts. Let us not lift our souls to another. Oh, God let this be a generation that seeks. Who seeks Your face; Oh God of Jacob.” We read in James 4:8 (TLB), “And when you draw close to God, God will draw close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and let your hearts be filled with God alone to make them pure and true to him.”
In these trying times, let us remember that God is fully present with us. He promises He will never leave us or forsake us.
SO, FULL STOP! BE STILL! LISTEN TO HIS VOICE.