Our city went into lockdown in the middle of March of 2020. We knew very little about coronavirus and our city leaders said we would quarantine for two weeks. After the two weeks we’d see where we were and if things could open back up. As the coronavirus has spread around the globe it seems that the average time of quarantine, for those who get it, is two weeks……..fourteen days.
A few days ago our governor announced that we were now under a “black flag” for the first time ever. Our leaders have used flag colors to let the public know what the situation is based on number of cases, number of ICU beds filled, etc. and then what rules we need to follow under each one of those flags. Yellow flag is the mildest followed by orange, red and then black with black shutting down the city except for essential businesses.
And that’s where we are today. Our hospitals are full, schools are closed, churches are closed and Benay said she read that our cases have doubled in the last month.
I think of how damaging this vírus has been in so many different ways. People dying, people sick, businesses closing forever, loss of jobs, unable to pay bills, kids not being able to interact with friends face to face, adults also missing lots of interaction with people. We love to have people in our home. This last year has been tough for us but we are adults. We can understand and deal with this better than our kids. Our kids have been to school only four weeks in the last year. Four weeks!!
I hear of people being worried about churches and how this will affect things after the pandemic is over. What will the effects of this be for church families? I praise God that we have not worried about that here. From day one our church has been so active. Amazing online worship services every week with hundreds of families watching. Weekly online leaders meeting. Weekly small group meeting. Special online worship/praise meetings on Friday nights. New ministries starting. Eighteen worship services, on multiple weekends, when the government would only allow thirty people in at a time. Blessing families and the rehab farm with so much donated food and clothing. It’s been a blessing to be a part of an active, vibrant faith family in the middle of the chaos.
I spoke with our pastor last week and just thanked him for leading with faith and not fear over this last year. So many challenges and changes and yet the strength shown by all our pastors to remind everyone that God is in control, that the coronavirus doesn’t take anyone before God’s timing, that God knows all the days of our lives and the numbers of hairs on our head has brought a peace to the church family. God has the final word. Not man and not the coronavirus.
A couple of weeks ago, on a Friday, our governor announced that we would be entering the black flag the following Tuesday. The three worship services we had on the Sunday in between were full to the limit we were allowed…..one hundred and fifty people each. I smiled as I looked at our “full” church and how everyone was so very happy to be together praising God together. It was amazing.
This last Sunday our pastor announced that he felt led by the Spirit to begin, on Monday, a quarantine, fourteen days, of prayer. A spiritual quarantine. So every day for those fourteen days the leaders of our church are doing online prayer/worship time for an hour each morning.
If you think that the enemy isn’t involved with coronavirus, that he isn’t using every bit of it to try to steal and kill and destroy (John 10:10) God’s family then I’d like to share what happened on day ONE of the spiritual quarantine.
A link is sent out before every Sunday worship. One for people to watch on YouTube. These spiritual quarantine mornings have been no different. About fifteen minutes before the broadcast was supposed to begin we received a note saying there was no power at the building. Why? Someone had, during the night, hopped the high fence and stolen our electrical cables. Did everything get canceled? Nope. Someone grabbed a cell phone and the worship time was all done live on Instagram. I love our church family.
So many people prayed and prayed specific prayers. Our amazing worship leader led songs. It’s been powerful, it’s been uplifting, it’s been spiritual warfare.
This coronavirus hasn’t been easy on any of us. It’s been especially hard on those who have lost loved ones. Our prayer is that in the middle of it all you can still know, really know in your heart, that God is in control and that He is moving and working and bringing peace and victory.
The Bible talks of faith with action. It’s not enough for us to have faith that God will do something. He asks us to partner with Him in faith and move forward, attack the enemy territory, and praise His name no matter what. Our prayer is that you go to war against our enemy and start your own spiritual quarantine.
It’s warfare. No matter what happens, God gets the honor, glory and victory. Faith wins…..every time.