Tuesday, March 24, 2020

SHUT DOWN to START UP!

Good afternoon!

My goodness!  March marched in to a different tune, didn't it? A different form of "March Madness," like, for real!

Coronavirus/COVID-19 is at the top of the news on the hour each day.  The Internet is filled with real time updates on COVID-19. The worldwide spread of this virus has totally tilted the axis of our lives. So much is going on; however, to us who believe God and His Word,  we are not ignorant of the day we are living in.  When asked about what I think about this virus, I simply reply, "Matthew 24."  That book and chapter resonates loudly. I truly believe that we are living in "the beginning of sorrows" that Jesus states within that text.  And oddly (to most), I am at peace.

Now, that does not mean that I am not concerned; it just means that I exercise wisdom, I try to abide by the laws of the land, sanitize and pray. Michigan is officially under an executive order shutdown which started at 12:01 a.m. this morning, Tuesday, March 24th. This means "essential travel" only: grocery store, fuel, bank, going to work--just the essential tasks for life and living. Many people are working from home. We have to practice "social distancing." Even news anchors are sitting so far apart at the anchor desk.  Social distancing means not being in the immediate presence of other people, in a gathering situation.

As a result, a lot of businesses have shut down until we are in the clear, and groceries and household essentials are limited or unavailable.  I went to the store today: no toilet paper, no bleach, no flour, limited fresh meats and household cleaners.
 

Right now, there's no dining in at restaurants. Carryout only.
Unemployment office bombarded with calls because of layoffs due to COVID-19 prevention.
No casinos (God talking loudly, no judgment...).
Can't go to the local park. No beaches. No bars.
No NFL. No NBA. 2020 Olympics officially postponed.
Hospitals (Michigan) running low on medical supplies.
Restricted travel to Canada.
Schools are closed.
Also: No church services. Yep.
And so much more going on.

Sadly, the number of confirmed cases and confirmed deaths due to COVID-19 are on the rise in Michigan.  Just learned today that the relative of an old church member passed away due to COVID-19.

Talking about the Bible In Living Color!

Well, I choose to look at all things from a broader perspective. There are many things on the horizon that is, and can be, a blessing to many of us: halt on student loan payments with interest being waived, funding for small businesses, boost in income tax refund, etc. Some credit card companies are increasing credit limits to give many cardholders wiggle room. (I personally don't use credit cards anymore, but many rely upon them for various reasons). Research is underway for a medicine to help combat the virus.

Instead of living in fear, with the "Oh God, Why?" mentality, look for the blessing in the pandemic. First of all, many people need to REST. We are constantly on the go, rushing to get here and there--even to church--and we neglect the opportunity to sit still in His presence, spend quality time with God in prayer, meditation, worship. I'm guilty of that myself!
Maybe now, with virtually everything being shut down, now we have the time to give God the time He deserves...

Can you hear me now...? (God speaking, not Verizon...)

Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him...Psalm 37:7

In the midst of this shut down, now is the time to be refreshed in His presence.
Look at this as a "shut down to start up."
Start up that business idea. Start up that project you sat on the shelf months ago. You can start journaling what Holy Spirit gives you because you had no choice but to sit long enough to hear Him speak. Start up a ministry group or auxiliary at church (when we resume services at our local assemblies).
Start writing that book! (Need an editor?  No look further! #shamelessplug)
Start up a new social media account or website. Start up a new plan of action with losing weight, annihilating debt, household chore management, etc. Create a blog page or podcast.
With the shortage of household cleaners and bleach, research DIY recipes for all-natural, chemical free household all-purpose cleaners.

Now you have the time to focus on accomplishing your goals, so make the most of it.
Refuse to live in fear, stay prayed up and sanitized up! Shut down the distractions and start smashing goals!

My sister-in-love sent me this encouraging picture.  Trust God and abide in the secret place of the Most High!
                             

I pray that you were inspired,

Shairon 
"The Oily Editor"

Scripture References: Psalm 37, Psalm 91

You can order doTERRA essential oils and my book, Gathering The Fragments: The Wheel and The Kiln here!