What with all the recent developments with Covid19 I have found myself faced with some choices. Choices such as, should I go to the grocery store? If I go, how much should I buy? Should I go to the salon for a haircut? Get an adjustment at the Chiro? How much should I be out and about? Should we have any houseguests? Decisions, decisions!
Then there are decisions at home- how often should I disinfect my door knobs, counters, bathrooms, phone, etc.? And with what?
Our family personally has had an even bigger issue to face- Dave’s mom is dying from Alzheimer’s complications. Until yesterday, we were faced with the decision of whether to have a funeral after she passes. Now that has been decided by the “no groups larger than ten” mandate. Guess burial and memorial service will be now scheduled for later after the virus passes.
With all the information swirling about regarding Covid19, it is so easy to want to listen and watch OFTEN. What is the latest number of reported cases? Deaths? Has it reached Story County? How bad will it be? Etc. Etc. Etc. My mind and my soul can weigh heavily with the news.
The other day as I was washing my hands for twenty seconds, I was reminded that there is more than my hands that needs a good scrub. I need to wash my mind and soul as well with the pure water of the Word of God. How much time am I spending each day putting the Word into my heart? Is it at least equal to the news? Is it more?
Unlike the news that is uncertain and seemingly changing day by day, God’s Word is solid, true, and unchanging. I can bank on it! A good dose of the Bible each day will do more for my heart and soul than chicken soup or a good movie.
That being said, here are a few suggestions of how you can beef up you intake of God’s Word:
- Soap journaling- Yes!!! That’s what it is actually called! S is for Scripture, O is for observation, A is for application, and P is for Prayer. I like to do this each day, picking a verse from my Bible reading (One Year Bible in my case) and writing out what I observe from that verse and how I want to apply that to my life. I then write out a prayer.
One thing that helps me to be faithful with this, has been to have two friends that I send my Soap entry to. They in turn send theirs to me. Encouraging!!
- Memorizing Scripture- Pick a passage or even a whole book of the Bible. Then, pick times in your day that you will work on your verse. Find a partner who can memorize with you to help keep you accountable.
- Prayer walks- being outside on a walk has not yet been banned! Consider writing your verse for the day on an index card and praying over it as you walk. Pour out your fears, doubts, and concerns to the Lord as your feet hit the pavement. If you have kids, take them along and teach them how to pray!
- Sing- Dave and I decided to start singing more in our house this year. A main time that we do this is before our meals. Consider singing hymns, “camp songs,” Scripture songs… One stanza of a song can cheer your spirit and help the food digest better.
- Speaking of mealtimes, consider picking a passage from Scripture and talking about it while you eat with your family. Think about utilizing the “Soap method” verbally.
- Facetime with community group- Our community group just checked in with each other last evening through Zoom. We shared updates on our lives and Scripture to encourage. As we “social distance” ourselves, consider connecting with and encouraging one another online.
All of us are faced with all sorts of choices each day. May you be encouraged to reach for the “soap” of God’s Word and wash your mind and heart often!
As an example of a Soap Journal entry, I am including one that was sent to me by my good friend Kristen Borseth. Hope that it encourages your soul as it did mine!
Hope you are all handling the current crisis well- not sure if you have been to the grocery store lately but the crisis has come to the point of people not only buying up all of the toilet paper (not sure why) but also lots of food items. When I was at Walmart yesterday all the bread and eggs were gone, most of the milk and a lot of the meat was gone. People are panicking, I could even feel in myself a sort of panic coming to the surface as I looked at the empty shelves and I did buy some things that I didn’t need (extra meat…) just in case this panic lasts longer than expected. However, in the end I had to remind myself that God is in control and will provide for us no matter how long this continues.
Thus my verse for today from Psalm 61:2-3
“From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety, for you are my safe refuge, a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.”
Whatever ‘enemy’ I have- whether sickness, rebellious kids, the devil… I can trust God to be my fortress, he will keep me safe. Knowing I am with Him gives me confidence that I will not be overcome by anxiety, I will not go without food (God has always provided for us), even in sickness I can trust that he is watching over me. I am so thankful for this assurance during difficult times.
Lord, thank you for watching over me and giving me a firm foundation, a rock to stand on. Thank you for being a safe place where I can be sure of being protected by you. Help me to look to you every day, every minute so as to not become overwhelmed or distraught.