It is challenging to know what to say in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic and our reactions to it, both rational and panicked. I don’t have any answers or advice you haven’t heard elsewhere, but perhaps the Lord has something to say to you today. Here are three questions to ask yourself that may help you see where God is moving in your life in this time.
1: What is God inviting you to?
When we are knocked out of our normal, when our well-laid plans are in tatters, it is good to ask ourselves, “What is God inviting me to?” I do not believe that God has sent the pandemic to us, but I do believe “God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28, [NLT]) When we are forced to let loose of our plans and our sense of how are lives should be we can ask Jesus, “What are you inviting me to? How do you want to use this for my good?”
2: What is my temptation?
The other side of the “invitation” coin is temptation. In times like these we are easily tempted to double down on our attempts to be in control of the situation. We may be tempted to fear and anxiety, greed and self-centeredness, and isolation. Perhaps our greatest danger is that we fall into our temptations without even realizing it. We don’t sit down and say, “I think my best course of action today is to be fearful and greedy,” yet that is often where we find ourselves. By being aware of our temptations we are less likely to fall into them. It is important that we ask God, who knows you best, to show you where are being tempted.
3: What can I learn about myself?
Times of stress can be times of great learning about ourselves. Take the time to reflect on what you are feeling. What activities and attitudes are drawing you closer to God and closer to his invitations to you? What activities and attitudes are leading me to slip unknowingly into our self-destructive temptations? Keeping a journal can be a great way to reflect over time. Pray for God’s assistance in knowing yourself and showing you the paths to being the person you are meant to be.
Ask these questions prayerfully.
I have not been regularly asking myself these questions and have not been praying as I now suggest, but I am starting today. I invite you to join me in pressing into these questions in prayer. Here is how I will be praying.
Father, I am more fearful and anxious than I should be. I lay those fears and anxieties at your cross. Forgive me. Give me the grace to be kind to myself and to others in this time of stress an uncertainty. Give me the grace to see and embrace your invitation to me; to join in the good you will work in this situation. I ask also for the grace to see my temptations and for the strength and wisdom to turn away from them. Give me the grace of self-knowledge and the courage to open myself to the power of Holy Spirit to reform me in the image of Christ, in whose name I pray.