It’s the first of April and we have been sheltering-in-place for weeks. We’ve been told to stay sanitized, stay apart, stay in, and stay optimistic. Morning shows have been giving creative cooking ideas, tips for homeschooling kids, how to grow family relationships, productive ways to use extra time, and at-home workout ideas. Plus, Dr. Phil is now COVID-19 focused as he tackles mental health issues that are cropping up like fear, loneliness, depression, and conflict. Even the typical talk about people having too much screen time has done a 180° as we are encouraged to make social connections through FaceBook, Instagram, etc. to alleviate feelings of isolation.
Asbury has recognized the need for connection and is offering daily devotions and prayer on FaceBook. Just go to asburytulsa.org and you will see them. They are posting stuff for kids and students as well. Having a church family takes on new meaning during times of difficulty. Our pastors and staff have been making calls to members to check on needs and offer prayer. We want you to know we are here if you need us but most importantly, that the Lord is near.
One passage in scripture where the phrase the Lord is near has extra significance during the COVID-19 crisis. Though Paul was addressing the church at Philippi, the Holy Spirit wants to highlight his words to us today:
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident
to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace
of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in
Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:4-7.
Rejoice—choose joy and look for the humorous side of things. Choose peace by taking every single bit of fear, anxiety or worry and turn it into a prayer. Lay it all out before the Lord—He is near, He hears, He answers, He gives peace. Take some extra time to be alone with the Lord as you pray, read the word, take a praise walk outside, and think through how He is at work in your life, even now when things are far from normal. Even surprise Him by dressing up for Easter Sunday Worship Service online. It may not be the first time you’ve been all dressed up with nowhere to go, but it will be the most unforgettable one!
Though our Women’s Ministry activities are all put on hold, we have created a virtual Book/Bible Study. Hope you can join us.