This post is an excerpt from the Bible study Walking in Obedience: Learning to Trust God Each Step of the Way
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People across the world are “staying home” due to the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. My daughter and I have been home together for the last 17 days or so. I’m trying to work from home and also be “teacher” as I help her with the assignments from her real teacher.
An Unexpected Season of Change
As it’s been a season of unexpected change for all of us, my daughter and I are trying to manage as best as we can. I’m also trying to give grace, as we are all navigating this new sense of loss of so many things. For me, the loss of social interaction has been difficult. I’m sure she’s feeling a sense of loss as well, but may not be able to articulate it as well as I can.
I still try to keep her on a routine. It’s not perfect, but it gives us both a sense of structure and normalcy in what we are each facing. Part of that routine is spending the earlier parts of the morning doing school work. Her escape has been watching YouTube. Because it gives me time to focus on my work, I’ve allowed it. That and I recognize that we each take our mental breaks differently.
On this particular morning, I was asking her to do some schoolwork and she found a way to complain about every bit of it. I’d spent quality time with God that morning and managed to remain calm during all the whining and hysterics; however, I took her tablet from her, telling her that until she focused on what she needed to do she wasn’t getting it back.
She went back to her assignment but was still crying and playing with her fake boot (don’t ask… long story). As I told her that if she didn’t resume working and stop playing with her boot, I was going to take away anything that distracted her. I felt my heart instantly convicted and had to say out loud, “Lord have mercy.” My heart had indeed been convicted.
God Removes our Distractions
God is a jealous God and doesn’t want anything competing for our attention. I know He’s telling me that He’ll remove anything from my life that is distracting my thoughts from Him. I wonder if this is what this difficult season is about? I know I’ve been learning some lessons in Jeremiah 16, and as I’ve seen how it applies to what we’re experiencing in today’s world, I know there’s a portion that talks about God not being willing to share our attention with any other gods.
I pray I am learning this lesson.
Dear Heavenly Father, these are extremely difficult days, but I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. Father, if there are any idols in our lives, whether intentional or unintentional, I ask that you show us and remove them.
When you tell these people all this and they ask you, ‘Why has the LORD decreed such a great disaster against us? What wrong have we done? What sin have we committed against the LORD our God?’ then say to them, ‘It is because your ancestors forsook me,’ declares the LORD, ‘and followed other gods and served and worshiped them. They forsook me and did not keep my law. (Jeremiah 16: 10-11 NIV)
Thought to ponder
As you read these words, is there something or someone that comes to mind that you have been putting ahead of God?