Rooted

It’s been interesting to watch the many different responses to COVID over these past few months. With no end in sight as flu season sets upon us, it will be interesting to see if those responses change.

I think we all are dealing with the same low level malaise of uncertainty and concern for our health but I can’t help but notice that some seem to be thriving while others continue to spiral out of control.

Perhaps it’s the combination of COVID and all of the other social issues that we have been faced with like politics, issues of race and wether you should wear a mask or not. It seems that we can’t navigate one highly charged moment before the next divisive or offensive moment swoops right in.

Friendships are struggling.
Marriages are struggling.
Work relationships are struggling.
Faith relationships with God are struggling, too.

One of the common denominators seems to be the thing or things that we tend to ground our faith and security in. If your security is in your spouse but now you are expected to spend 24/7 with them for months at a time, you might find that he or she isn’t quite the perfect foundation for your life that you thought they were.

If you are grounded in your work but suddenly find yourself looking for another job or unable to spend time with the work friends that you’ve come to expect in your daily life, you may find yourself growing more frustrated with life in general.

Grounding your faith in your kids can also be problematic when you find that there is no escape after days, weeks or months of close contact, not to mention trying to figure out how to help them with their homework.

Still others seem to be have grounded their faith in their own personal strength and vitality, living as if nothing has changed and ignoring the warnings and mandates because they just don’t apply to them…they think. Even with this view of life, you can’t help but notice the lack of options to actually spend time with others outside your home.

All of these (and others) seem to indicate a pattern of response based on the foundation that we place our faith and security in. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs tells us that before we can really worry about anything else in life, we must know that we are safe and secure.

If you are trusting in your spouse and now you are constantly frustrated with your spouse, you will struggle with your most basic needs and are probably struggling right now.

If you are trusting in your kids, then you are probably struggling, too.

If you are trusting in work, play, travel, success or whatever, then your foundation is shifting with no end in sight which leads to a continual feeling of chaos.

As Christians, this pandemic may be showing us that our hope and faith may have been residing in things that can’t fully support us.

Jesus would describe this as the difference between building your house on sand or on rock.

24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” Matthew 7:24–27 (ESV)

Many of the things that we place our trust in just can’t sustain us.

That may be one of the reasons that we are struggling in churches and in our own faith. If our daily routine did not include quiet times with Christ and His word, then the deafening quiet of COVID as it wrecked our schedules probably pushed us farther away.

As our relationships have loosened, we may be questioning ourselves and our own sanity as that feeling of aloneness closes in like an unwanted friend, suffocating us.

Can I encourage you to do this in a few different ways?

  • Take time to spend with Jesus everyday. If you struggle to do that in the morning, pick another time. Sit quietly, listen, pray and journal. Makes this a daily discipline.
  • Read God’s Word IN ADDITION to devotionals or social media posts or blogs. Listen to what He wants to say to you, today.
  • Don’t forsake the assembling together with believers. Come to church if you are getting out. Join online if you are not. Find ways to connect and encourage. Be a community with like minded people.
  • Choose a day to fast and pray. If fasting is new to you, there are some great tips here…

Whatever you do, focus more of your attention and and time on your relationship with the one who will never forsake us or leave us. The security that He provides transcends all of the struggles that we are currently facing…even the election and COVID!

You will likely find that getting yourself on a better foundation (or a deeper rootedness) with God will actually improve many of the other things in your life that feel like they are going wrong.

Pastor Mark

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