Lockdown is hard. I know anytime I do a talk or write a blog, I often seem to state the obvious, and maybe this takes the biscuit for that.
It’s been a funny aul year. I’m not sure if you can relate but I often get frustrated that so many prayers, talks, conversations, and thoughts are all geared towards COVID and lockdown – but it does make sense. For some of us, this is the very first big historical event that directly affects us, and we have to live through. Over the past 8 months, I have been doing a lot of reflecting and evaluating my relationship with God, where I fit into His story and the bits of my life, I invite Him into. Naturally, this has come from a shift in my home life, my job, my friendships, my mental health, and the general atmosphere around me (both locally and globally).
During the Summer, I did a Bible Study on the book of Ruth and learned so much about friendship, family, loyalty, and the character of God. The book starts after Ruth’s husband dies. Instead of returning to her own family, which was the norm, Ruth goes to Bethlehem with her Mother – in – law, Naomi. When reading this story a few times verse 14 is something that struck me every single time. “At this they wept aloud again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth clung to her.” One small and simple word yet so beautiful. Ruth clung to her. She didn’t just touch her or hold her or hug her – she clung to her. I don’t know if it was the lack of hugs over lockdown but for some reason, I found this simple word and sentence a beautiful image. It reminded me to cling to a lot of things during this period. Love, Gratefulness, Peace, those around me and a lot of Hope – all from Jesus.
“We’re not all in the same boat, but we’re all sailing the same storm.” We have all had very different and unique journeys over the past 8 months. Some working from home, some out of work, some working on the frontline, some finding themselves busier than ever, some getting creative, some feeling like they’re getting through their Netflix watch list very quickly. All very different journeys, but all very valid.
One of the hard things this year has been comparing our lockdown routine with others.
Yes, it is factual that some people have had it harder than others due to loss, grief, illness, mental struggles, a breakdown in relationships, home situations not being healthy etc but ultimately – we have all had very valid feelings, emotions and experiences. God wants us to cling to Him. He wants us to cling to Him when working with the public, when working at a desk in an office or at home or when we’re in our PJ’s on the sofa binge watching our comfort movie for the 3rd time this year.
During a Tuesday prayer meeting a few weeks ago, I got a picture of a person drowning in some quicksand, their body had gone under, but their arm was outstretched and scrambling for help. Despite its name – quicksand is slow. That’s what this year kind of feels like. It’s a slow year, and at times can feel like we’re drowning, but as always God is reaching down to pull us out. He is the hope and the light we see when looking up from the sinking sand. He wants us to cling to him. Cling to the love, hope, peace he is offering and lavishing on us. The next 4 weeks may feel like quicksand, but Jesus is always there offering us a hand to pull us out. We just need to cling to it.