We are all adjusting so much in these days. Just think how different life is today than it was even a week ago. Had any of us ever used the phrase “social distancing” before?
I wanted to write this article to give some spiritual guidance during these days.
First and foremost, we can trust that God is in control. I like to remind myself that, when life feels out of control, it may simply be a reminder from God that life was never in our control in the first place. Colossians 1:16-17 says, “All things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” God is “the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End” (Revelation 21:6). Please know that God is bigger than the coronavirus and that he has good plans in these times. If you’re wondering how a good God could allow something terrible like this, I would encourage you to look into responses to the problem of evil – there are some really good answers out there.
Second, I wanted to give some tips for how to invest your time in your relationship with God. Time is an interesting thing – it can be so easy for us to get so busy. But in these days of social distancing, you may have more time on your hands than you know what to do with. So here are some tips:
1. Read the Bible. This might be a great time to get into the habit of reading God’s word on a daily basis. For those of you with kids at home, this might be a great time to read the Bible together. If you’re wondering where to start, I would suggest one of the New Testament Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke or John.
2. Read a book. Perhaps now is the time to get to that spiritual book you’ve been thinking about reading. I offer my book (“Made Known: How the God of the Universe Has Revealed Himself”) free on Cornerstone Church’s website – cornerstonechurchff.org/documents. Or you can purchase it really cheap on Amazon.
3. Phone a friend (or family member). While gathering with people may be more difficult, this could be a very good time to reach out by phone. Perhaps you can call that person you haven’t reached out to in awhile. Perhaps you can think about someone who lives alone. As you talk on the phone, don’t be afraid to discuss spiritual topics. Ask good questions and listen.
4. Find a worship service online. I usually don’t recommend this as a replacement for church attendance. But we might have to find alternative ways to have worship services for awhile. Churches will probably handle this one in different ways. I would encourage you to find your local church online and see how they are offering worship services. And be patient with us – this is new to us, too!
5. Reach out to a pastor. We pastors don’t always know when your needs arise. If you would benefit from a conversation with a spiritual leader, please let us know.
6. Pray. Please know that you can talk with God. You can worship him, pour out your soul to him, ask him questions and ask him for help in your time of need.
I pray that you will grow closer to God in these times. May we all take comfort in knowing that God loves us and, through faith in his son, Jesus Christ, we can be with him forever!
Eric Uggerud is a pastor at Cornerstone Church in Fergus Falls, as well as the president of the Fergus Falls Ministerial group.