Rest, Uproot, Reveal
If you’re like me, you’re getting tired of hearing about COVID-19 and are eagerly awaiting a day when we can return to a more normal life. Yet through this unusual time, God has been teaching me some things that transcend the restrictions this virus has limited us to.
Early in the pandemic I quickly learned that to maintain a healthy outlook I needed to develop some new rhythms in my life. One of those new rhythms is participating a few times a week in a Zoom prayer call open to our district’s official workers. Through these calls, the Lord has inspired several thoughts I’ve been meditating upon that I’d like to share with you.
REST – The first thought is about the benefits of resting in Him. At the beginning of many of our calls, we are given several minutes just to quietly enter a place of rest. One day as I sought to draw near to the Lord I felt distracted, so I asked Him to help me. Soon I began picturing myself as a little girl, sitting on my Father’s lap. My head was resting on His chest and I soon realized that my ear was over His heart. What would it be like, I wondered? How would it change my life, if I took the time more often to rest on my Abba’s lap, my head on His chest and my ear next to His heart? What would I hear? I want every area of my life—my interactions with my family and others, my work as a missions mobilizer, my recreation—to be led by what my listening ear hears from my Abba’s heart, during times of rest as well as during the noise of the day’s activities.
UPROOT – For many of us the restrictions imposed on us by the pandemic have been like an uprooting. We must think twice about whether we should go somewhere and about the best ways to interact with people. The topic of our prayer call one day was “uproot.” I didn’t know that the day before, when my husband pruned and uprooted parts of a terribly overgrown forsythia bush in our yard, that the Lord was preparing me for that topic.
At first, I chafed at the idea of uprooting. I didn’t want to think about it. That day I was not happy that I couldn’t spend time with my grandchildren or that, for their sake, I was restraining myself from hugging them the rare times we were together. Although I have always worked from home in my role as a district missions mobilizer, I was surprised at the number of times I was kept from meeting with people face-to-face. I didn’t like some of the uprooting that was taking place in my life, the uprooting of my freedom to do things the way I liked.
Then as I prayed the Lord reminded me of the forsythia bush. How much more beautiful it is now that the dead and overgrown parts have been uprooted! I anticipate healthy growth to be the norm in its future. I realized that there might be some areas that had become overgrown, sapping the life out of my ministry; I needed to make the call to have them removed. The pandemic forced me to find new ways to do some things that have been surprise blessings, and I anticipate healthy growth to take place because of it.
REVEAL – A verse that was shared on one of our prayer calls captured my attention: “I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me. To a nation that did not call on my name, I said, ‘Here am I, here am I’” (Isaiah 65:1). Our God longs to reveal Himself to the lost! In this verse I can almost picture Him jumping up and down waving His arms saying, “Look! Here I am!” For those who have never even heard the name of Jesus and for those who are obstinately running from Jesus, for those who are not asking for Him or seeking to find Him, He makes a way! He sent Jesus “. . . to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).
May the Lord reveal to us the ways that we can point others to Him—in spite of, or even because of, the restrictions we are experiencing. May we persevere in prayer for the lost, whether intimate family members or peoples of distant lands. May we give generously so that people who have no access to the gospel receive it. And may we mobilize others to do the same.