Then as I looked over the situation, I called together the leaders and the people and said to them, Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your friends, your families and your homes. (Nehemiah 4:14, NLT)
March 2020 came in like a lion more than any other March in history as we know it. If you sat down and wrote out the emotions you’ve felt in the past week I bet it would look similar to those all over the world.
As humans we are experiencing a shaking like never before.
As mothers, we are experiencing a new time of uncertainty for our children. Although this uncertainty is beyond ourselves, it feels very personal.
As Christians, we are facing an opportunity to be set apart and usher in April like a lamb. In fact, we can usher in THE Lamb.
I find peace in the timing of all of this. Do not be looking to just get through the crisis. Notice that we are all experiencing this together. Many times we go through things on our own. The individual experience in this has actually become a globally shared experience. We are being connected in a way like never before.
As people are searching for purpose and identity in this time of job loss, economic downturn, and the height of fear, we can point them to the Lamb. The greatest purpose anyone can have is to live as Christ lived. Jesus came to earth to fight for us in a way that nobody has ever fought before. He was gentle, kind, loving . . . and willing to give up his own life to save all of ours.
The craziest part of it all, he hasn’t stopped fighting for us in that same way. He has gifted us with peace. This is a weapon that will demolish fear, anxiety, and panic—all of which are readily available right now. All you have to do is open your door and you can tangibly feel it in the air. The definition of peace is freedom from disturbance. Although there are many disturbing things happening all around us, we do not have to embrace them. We can enter those situations—and this situation—armed with peace.
How do we harness the power of peace that God has and is still gifting to us?
- Remain calm – Nehemiah set out to accomplish an impossible task. He remained calm in the face of opposition and was able to encourage others to remain diligent in the task at hand.
- Pray – The first step in any venture we take is to pray. When we are under God’s leading, we can dissolve the weapons coming at us even before they are formed. We do not need to grasp fear, anxiety, panic. Nehemiah instructed half of his workforce to stand guard and watch while the other half physically did the building. Even with half of his workforce not physically building, he was able to finish the wall in an impossible time frame. We are not all being called to do the same things (Nehemiah 4:15–16).
- Listen – If you have never heard from God, or haven’t in awhile, I challenge you to start with this: Ask God, “Do you love me?” and sit quietly until you hear an answer. He has a gentle prompting voice. Allow yourself to sit and take in what you are feeling. If you become distracted, focus on your breath going in and out and how your skin feels while you melt into God’s presence. The peace that will overcome you in this process will be healing.
You hold the power to overcome fear. Do not take that lightly. Recognize any fear that is minimizing your power to walk through this time. Take a deep breath and help usher in April like a lamb.
Guest Contributor, Toni Schafer is a Nationally Certified Sign Language interpreter with four children 6 and under. She has a passion to serve people with chronic disease, acute illness and mental fatigue due to past events and trauma. When walking through this life she encountered so many people who were seeking for their identity that she knew providing an honest place for them to gather would help them heal and find themselves. In the days of online meetings she has found her purpose in meeting with people anywhere and encouraging them from her computer screen. You can find more writing and personal connection with Toni at www.tonischafer.com If you want to reach out, her email is firstname.lastname@example.org