“Hold Please”

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It seems like every business you try to call these days, has a pre-recorded message that says something like “Due to Covid-19, our call volume has increased, there may be a lengthy hold.” Every time I make a call I’m told to hold. Hold. hold, hold. It is a reminder of how much our lives have changed in just a short period of time.

That got me started thinking. What else am I putting on hold? What am I not doing because of the stay at home orders? What should I be doing at home to be a contributing member of this new society? Why am I hesitating to make decisions?

When I think I’d like to buy a newer car, get a new TV, buy a house or even just buy some new clothes, my mind says “Hold off on this till you see if you get the virus.” I seem to be putting everything on hold, refusing to make positive decisions for the future. You see, I am a senior and I have underlying health issues. Getting the virus could well be my ticket out of this lifetime. So I’m avoiding decisions of any financial impact because I don’t want to leave my daughter to have to handle a load of debt.

So you may be thinking, that’s good–makes sense. The question is how long am I going to keep avoiding making decisions? How long am I going to keep my life on hold? At this point in my life, there’s not as much time left for me to sit twiddling my thumbs.

I was fairly comfortable with my decision for several weeks, but as the pandemic keeps growing, I am wondering if I this is still the right decision. Why am I not living like a believer? I don’t mean that I should be out running around getting in people’s faces, but I certainly should not be making decisions based on my fear. I can’t continue to avoid making decisions. I need to be living a full life, even if it is from inside my apartment.

I wondered how would Jesus handle something like this? That answer didn’t take long to figure our. Jesus would keep on living and moving forward. Just as he did 2000 years ago. During Easter week, if you read the scriptures detailing the last weeks of his life, you clearly saw that. Even though he knew what was coming, he continued to move forward. In Mark 8:31 he told his disciples that he would suffer, be rejected and killed, but three days later he would arise. Then in Mark 9:31 he predicts his death for the second time. The third prediction is found in Matthew 20:17 where Jesus is heading to Jerusalem with his disciples. Jesus didn’t go sit in his room and decide whether or not to take a certain course of action. He prayed–and he continued moving forward toward his crucifixion, following his Father’s commands.

So why am I still sitting on my hands waiting for direction? I have always known that at some point I will pass on. Why is the threat of this Covid-19 stymieing my life? Maybe, its because it is right in my face. Everyday. The thought of death suddenly goes from something in the (not too distant) future, to something that could start and end in just a very few days. But that kind of thinking comes from the devil. He wants us to be afraid, he wants us hiding in our homes, he wants us scared to do anything. But he doesn’t get his way this time.

So I am doing what Jesus did. I am praying, I am talking to God about the whole situation. He assures me that no matter what, he will be with me. Joshua 1:9 says “…Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Isaiah 41:10 assures us he will hold us with his righteous right hand. Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “He (God) will not leave you or forsake you.” The list goes on and on. He is with me, I do not need to be afraid. There are more than 300 instances in the Bible where we are told to “fear not.” I need to remember that and to live life trusting in Jesus.

This is one of the reasons I keep writing these blogs. It is a way for me to continue the Lord’s work, so to speak, and yet stay within the confines of governmental shut downs. I can make decisions about the future without fear if I ask Jesus for direction on those decisions. Staying in His will provides me with the knowledge to make positive decisions during this time of being in a “holding pattern.” Reaching out to others, via this blog, via telephone calls, via letters written and though those media and social media, offering assurance, love and Christian support to all who need to hear about God’s love and who are waiting for the end of this pandemic. As the media keeps telling us, we are all in this together.

Don’t lose touch with your friends. Don’t stay in a holding pattern. Find a way to help your neighbors (both physical and metaphorical). If you can sew, make masks. If you can write, use social media to post encouraging thoughts. If you can sing, again use social media to post a video or your song. If you like writing letters, write to not only your friends but as many people as you can to offer them encouraging words. And if you can’t find something else to do to reach out, then reach out to God in prayer. Prayer is astonishingly powerful, when we pray with right motives and a contrite heart. Jesus told us there are two great commandments, “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all mind,” and “love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-40. Its tough to do those two things if we are cowering in fear. Instead lets take the attitude of what a beautiful day it is when we begin and end with prayer.

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