19th June 2020
What are you learning from lockdown? The importance of washing your hands? How to have a Zoom meeting? What social distancing means? Perhaps you’ve taken up a new hobby, or learned to bake your own bread? Maybe you’ve learned something about yourself?
Some novelists were asked what they’ve learned. Mark Haddon says that, “We can live with less … I’m more content with my life than I have been for a long while.” Anne Enright: Disaster brings out the best in children” – especially her teenaged children. Kiran Millwood Hargrave: “Lockdown … has taught me to notice … the many blessings of where I live.” But also that, “Hard lives are made harder.”
What are you learning from lockdown? What is God teaching you? After all, this hasn’t happened by accident. The Bible encourages Christians to “endure hardship as discipline.” It tells us that “God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness,” that “it produces a harvest of righteousness for those who have been trained by it.” We tend to think of discipline as punishment. Those last words help us to see it as training – painful at the time, but for our good.
What is God teaching you during lockdown? Here are some of the things I think we could learn:
Contentment. Mark Haddon’s right: “We can live with less.” The apostle Paul says, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation … through him who gives me strength.”
Humility. Coronavirus has shown us there are things we do not know, and things we cannot do. Some things are beyond us – though not beyond God, who knows everything, for whom nothing is impossible.
Patience. In our Insta-everything world, we’re not good at waiting. We pray, “Lord, make me patient … but do it now!”? As Christians, “we hope” for what God has promised, and “we wait for it patiently.”
Fellowship. It’s not good to be alone. It’s good we can meet on Zoom, but it’s not as good as meeting face-to-face. And even that makes us long for the day when there’ll no longer be any kind of separation.
Trust. Prayerfully speaking God’s word. That’s always been our task as Christians. Now, more than ever, our job is to do our job, and to trust God to do his, and make disciples of Jesus.
What are you learning from lockdown? Lord, teach us and train us, that we may share in your holiness. Amen.