This post is part of a soul care series dedicated to encouraging and supporting our ministry partners, youth pastors, community leaders, and summer staff preparing for this summer.
In a reality where social distancing is critical for our ministries, it’s an odd thing to have such a strong desire to help and connect with others while also recognizing the importance of limiting contact with the people we want to help.
As someone who jumps a little too easily into action, this new reality is forcing me to embrace a slower rhythm. That rhythm has forced me to realize how important it is in times like this to recognize the work God is doing in each of us, so that our eyes can be open to the work God wants us to be a part of for the sake of others.
Starting In My Own Spirit
In times of crisis, I typically act first and then dissect how I feel about it later.
And right now, there is just so much to do.
There are a million problems to solve and countless ways to solve them.
But now that I’m in a situation where I’m forced to limit my actions, I’m also forced to recognize the emotions I’m carrying. It’s an incredible amount of anxiety for my family, for the people I love, for the ministry partners we serve, and for the most vulnerable members of our neighborhood. The truth is, I can’t expect to support our neighbors, family, and ministries well if I’m not aware of what’s happening in my own spirit.
Name What Is Happening In Your Spirit
So, join me in naming what’s happening in your spirit.
- Is it anxiety?
- Is it fear?
- Is it a sense of loss?
Recognize where you carry that emotion in your body.
- Where do you feel it most?
- Is your jaw clenched?
- Are your shoulders tensed?
Start to see how it is impacting your actions.
- Does it change the way you talk to others?
- Is it shortening your fuse?
- Are you finding yourself losing patience?
Know God Is In It With You
Here’s the gospel news of it all…
Whatever you feel and wherever you feel it, God is there too.
Every pain we feel and every crisis we experience, we find a reflection of the cross of Christ.
And in that reflection, we see the presence of God, in the middle of the pain with us, working out the resurrection.
That truth is what I hear in the lyrics from the song, “Right in the Middle of It”
“…Where are You when the wildfire is taking ground?
Where are You when the wind comes and knocks us down?
Where are You when the waters rise and it looks like we’re gonna drown?
Where are You now?
…Right in the middle of it,
That’s where You’ll be found.
Right in the middle of it, deep in the center of it
That’s where You are now.
You’ll be right in the middle.”
Let That Internal Work Impact Our Actions
As we move from that internal work, recognizing the presence of God in the middle of all that we are experiencing in our own hearts and minds, we can let that fuel our external actions.
So, for today, pick one need to focus on, one person to care for, and then go in the name of God for the blessing of God.
“Thank you, Lord, for the endless ways you reveal yourself to us. We are so quick to separate heaven from earth, but you shine forth in all things created by your hand. Open our eyes to the work you are doing in each of us, as we rise to meet the needs of the most vulnerable members of our community. Teach us to praise you for the promises you keep in all times and in all areas of our lives. It’s through the cross of Christ we pray, Amen.”