It happened. This week I snapped about COVID-19 and the resulting cruddy condition of this world.
I’d been staying positive for months. I’d been writing articles, on assignment for various sites, to encourage others despite the situation. Then it took its toll on me, too. And I learned something from it.
I’d finally been selected to be on the 2020 faculty for the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference – the premier Christian writing conference on the West Coast. After it was cancelled this year, I was praising God that I would still be able to serve on its faculty when it rescheduled the same program for 2021. “God is sovereign,” I told myself and others. “He knew, even when I was contracted for this, that it wouldn’t happen this year, but next.”
Then I got an email the other night, informing me that the financial impact to Mount Hermon this past spring, and its loss of revenue this summer from having to cancel its camps, prevented it from being able to host the 51-year-old annual writers’ conference ever again. It was going away forever.
That’s when I snapped.
God, why? Don’t You care about Your children? Why are You letting this worldwide craziness mess up ministry, too? Aren’t You hearing our cries to get out of this mess? Are You going to stand by while churches, non-profits, and businesses that glorified You go under?
And then it dawned on me. Maybe God is allowing all this crud – coronavirus, economic shutdown, governmental over-reach, racial injustice, violent protests, rioting and looting, governmental passivity, mistrust of authority, divisiveness and hate – because believers like me have grown too comfortable in this world.
Prior to the Covid-19 lockdown, I enjoyed a flourishing coaching business, speaking to packed women’s conferences, ministering to others in a clean, comfortable way. But maybe I got too comfortable. Maybe I quit longing for heaven.
In John 18:36, Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” And in 1 Peter 2:11, we are called “strangers and aliens” to this world because we are citizens of heaven.
This country, this earth, this current divisive mess we are in, is not our home. We are passing through on our way to our eternal dwelling. Yet, have I been too caught up in what’s happening — or not happening — around me instead of setting my heart and mind on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God?” (Colossians 3:1-2). Scripture warns me, for the sake of my heart, to “Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory” (Colossians 3:2-4, NLT).
I think I might have forgotten that Christ – who is my life – is the One I need to continue to look toward, long for, and live for.
Even though Disneyland isn’t yet open, I can’t wear lipstick when I go out (because it will just stick to my mask!), and I can’t hug my little nephews whenever I want to, I have an inheritance that is beyond this world. Even though I can’t minister to others in the way I did before, God can shake me up and teach me a new dependence on Himself. I am not doomed to my circumstances here on earth. I am being prepared for heaven. So are you.
Lord, forgive me for my selfishness when I complain about disappointment, inconvenience, or less privileges than I had before. Return my heart to You – to a longing to be with You, and to a longing for Your justice, Your righteousness, and Your joy. Forgive me for considering the temporary pleasures and conveniences of this world as even comparable to the inexpressible joys of heaven.
Scripture assures us: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9, NLT).
The realization that I had quit longing for heaven got me to focus again on my blessings, both temporary and eternal: My daughter was finally able to move out this past Spring (to a city in So. California called Corona, ironically!) and God has kept her financially stable in spite of the economic situation all around her. My husband’s two jobs have been protected. I’ve been busier than ever as a writer and writing coach. My family, and everyone I know and love, is healthy. And, I have a home in heaven that blows the doors off of this place any old day.
Lord, keep us focused on things above where You dwell and remind us that we are citizens of heaven, not earth. And, come quickly, Lord Jesus.
What are your blessings in the midst of the crud? Or, what do you look forward to in heaven one day? Let me know in the comment section below and let’s encourage one another as the day draws near…
I am blessed that I have a job that allows me to work from home. I am blessed that we are all still healthy. We are blessed that our elderly parents are healthy and even though we cannot visit them, we are able to talk to them on the phone and send emails. This has been a challenging time for so many, and I am hoping and praying that we all are able to come through the hard times of 2020.
Thank you, Daphney. I know it helps me, too, to realize that everyone, no matter where they live, is experiencing some aspect of the effects of this. Thank you for reminding me and my readers that we are in this together. 🙂
Our home is certainly not this land. And not only you, but many of us, are very used to this hectic world. A world that, although it drives us crazy with its haste and unpleasant surprises, is a world that envelops and captures.
I have lost with COVID only material things: employment, savings, financial security. These days, I will have to leave my house to go to a place that God provided for my family at this time.
But, as you say, this life is not all we have. This world has nothing that God is not going to replace and improve for our benefit in our heavenly home.
And I know that there will be strong consequences for everyone, but I hold on to the promise that God will be with mine until the end of the world. I pray that God will keep us healthy and faithful.
I long for contentment in every situation because He won every sickness pain losses at the cross long time ago
I try so hard to keep focused on my blessings, but it is hard. My life has been a tough row for many years. I have survived cancer, but with all my stress over the past 3 years, I am sure it will come back. My husband up and quit his job and decided to retire at 63, further complicating our finances. My blessings, a beautiful grandchild, in Calif, that I don;t know when I will see her. A 2nd grandbaby, this from my son is due in October. We downsized, but that was with my husband’s job….so even though I am at peace with a smaller space, smaller town, …..I NEED TO LAY IT AT HIS FEET….I pray that each night, then get up with worry the next day. I am on a med for anxiety that has alot of side effects. I WANT to be off of it…and just trust in HIM…Thank you for letting me vent.
Laura, I appreciate your honesty. Sometimes we all need to vent. If you have a chance, I recommend you read my article on Crosswalk.com called “4 Prayers to Help You Sleep Soundly” and I believe it will help you leave things with God for good so you can finally rest. You can find the article at this link: https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/prayer/prayers-to-help-you-sleep-soundly.html
I agree with everything you’ve said.
During this crisis and topsy-turvy time the Lord has impressed on my heart to:
* Read the Word (as much as I possibly can) & He impressed on me to read the KJV! It’s been a challenge! 🙂
* To share with others the reality that this life is going to end (if not via COVID then some other way), and ask if they know where they’ll spend eternity? (I sure do and they can too!)
* To not live in fear & to encourage others to not live in fear. Our God is the Creator of Heaven and Earth and He is not suprised by anything that is happening. He tells us how it all goes down in the end (in the Book of Revelation)… read it, study it!
* To enjoy every single second of this life; every person, every creature, every meal, every single thing about His magnificent planet that He’s placed us on (during this exact moment in time).
Thank you so much for your words and perspective Cindi! I loved reading this post and reminder that we are not home yet!
You’re welcome, Caroline. Thank you for reading and leaving your response. 🙂
One blessing during this time is that we can video chat with family. We will be so happy to see family in person and give hugs.
I agree, Melissa. For the first time EVER, on Easter Sunday 2020 my entire family (and all of our kids) were on Zoom together. We realized it was the first time, and maybe the only time, all the cousins were in the “same place” at once. With a family spread out across the U.S., it was so nice to all be on the same computer screen at once. It really does make us appreciate those in-person times all the more, doesn’t it?
Thank you for speaking some sense into all the nonsense, wisdom into our anxieties, and perspective into the chaos. I don’t think I would have been prepared for 2020 had I not experienced growth and a fresh desire for heaven in 2019 as I struggled with Multiple Myeloma. We need to hear this kind of truth more often from every Christian writer.
Thank you, Dawn, and I’ve been blessed by your articles on Crosswalk in which you really put all of us into perspective when it comes to realizing how fleeting this life is…and how important it is for us to cling to Him. Thank you for being that example to all of us. You are shining brightly during this time.
GOD is good and HE has been good to me, bless HIS NAME!!! Your bio says you have “…35 years of ministering to women…” But let me tell you, I’m a guy, albeit in touch with my feminine side, and you have ministered to me! My beloved wife of 35 years has a host of medical problems, but praise GOD, her recent trips to her cardiologist, urologist, endocrinologist, et al says she’s in pretty good shape for the shape that she’s in and I confess to my shame, I’ve gotten a little too attached to all this stuff on this side of Jordan. Indeed, I have been quick to tell folks I know that to be absent from the body is to be present with the LORD, but I will settle for “second best” right now. 🙂 I thank GOD, the HOLY SPIRIT, for guiding you to write, “The Day I Snapped…”
🙂 Thank you, Howard, for your honesty and taking the time to leave a comment. Blessings to you and your precious wife.
As always, you resonated with me.
My mom (alzheimers) lockdown
Mom in law -lockdown
32 yr old daughter w autism-lockdown(that one is tough)
Haven’t seen any of them since mid march
Eldest daughter had a preemie in a pandemic and we couldn’t see him for 7 weeks. (Emmett is awesome now and have spent much time w him)
Really, Lord?? REALLY?? Least of these, and all that??
And yet…yet, He continues to keep their hearts calm. So, why not mine? He prodded me to remember that His promises never fail and have NOTHING to do with my circumstances. If i look away, i focus on my circumstances, not His blessings.
God bless you for your work. Lived the drama book. Xo amy in CA
Thank you, Amy, for your honesty. I think, like Peter who was out there on top of the water with Jesus, when we look around at our circumstances, we begin to fall into anxiety, confusion, discouragement, fear. Keep your eyes on Him and His many blessings, even during this time. And thank you for reading Drama Free. 🙂
Thank you so much for sharing your heart! What a great reminder of where to truly put my focus!
You’re welcome, Holly. Thank you for taking the time to read and leave your comment. Blessings.
Cindi, I loved the part about the town where your daughter moved. How ironic! We all need a good laugh with all this nonsense going on. It gets to me from time to time. But I guess I have decided to just go with the flow. I have had a such a different outlook on life now that I have developed a more intimate relationship with Jesus. He is the only one that deserves our focus. We will all get through this. I think this is pointing out that the world has lost their focus on Jesus. We should not fear if we trust in God and all of His promises for us.
So glad to hear you are keeping your eyes on Jesus, your First Love. Thank you for your comment, Jan.
I found your blog at an extremely hard time in my life. And the scripture and teaching you shared breathed life into me again. It pointed me back to laying everything at Jesus feet. This whole pandemic has caused me to pause, it caused me to realize how much life the word of God gives. I fell in love with scripture all over again.
Trisha, I’m thrilled to hear that. Cling to God’s Word..His living, breathing Word. It is like “a breath of fresh air” to your weary heart and soul. 🙂
Thank you for putting things back in perspective about thinking more of our heavenly home. When I get there of course I want to see my blessed Jesus first of all, then my 5 year old grandson that is now well and whole. I just want to thank the Lord for all his promises and that He loves me unconditionally. Thank You for your insights.
Good morning. We are blessed each day. When I rise give me Jesus.
This is my 3rd year in my cancer adventure.
Blessed to find such faith here.
Actually this is the week my edges were refined. “So I proclaim freedom for the captive. “He has set me free just for a time as this. His grace is sufficient.
Cindi, I agree that God’s people have gotten too cozy with the world. We have not been about The Father’s business; we have let the world influence us rather than us influencing the world by our behavior, courageous and winsome proclamation of the truth, and by our failure to vote according to the Biblical Worldview. But, God has not abandoned His people, and He is still Merciful. We are so blessed to be Americans, despite the current problems. We have the opportunity to be part of the solution in the way we serve God by serving others. You are still able to write and encourage others. Each of us can serve God by serving our fellow man in some way. And each of us possesses a powerful weapon that effects change, if only we will wield it more often: prayer. As Oswald Chambers said, “Prayer is the work.” I am blessed that my family is healthy, including my two 90+ year old parents. We are all blessed with technology that allows us to meet, pray, worship, and fellowship together (yay Zoom). Here in Florida we were blessed with an unusually long mild spring, so families could get out of doors and connect with God’s Creation. I could go on but this has been too long a comment. God bless you as you continue to encourage and exhort us to live lives worthy of our calling in Christ Jesus, pandemic or no.
I love your honesty and transparency. Actually, thank you for your honesty and transparency. ❤️
You’re welcome, Sherry. 🙂
Cindi…I found your blog this morning…..The last 4 months has been so upsetting….but I have found peace in spending more time praying…..reading God.s Word….How fast our world has changed….Being a grandmother of 8 healthy lovely children ages 3 years thru 21 years….I begin my day praying for God,s protection over their lives and their parents….God has blessed and protected me over my lifetime of 67 years….God continues to remind me that I have been given a gift …God.s love and acceptance….forgiveness…My prayer is that the Holy Spirit will give me the strength and wisdom to share the Light of God,s Love to those God brings into my life…Praying for God.s blessing on your life …🌷
Thank you, Shirley. Good to have you here and I appreciate your thoughtful comment. Blessings to you and those you love.
I am blessed that I am physically fit enough to care for my elder parents in their home and maintain the goal of keeping them in their home. It’s been a long season of 10 years now of elder care but God is good. This may sound strange to some but I look forward to being able to worship the Lord forever and the renewal of all living things, so I believe I will be with all other believers and my Beloved dogs (all ten of them) through my 60 years of life they have showed me great unconditional love , comfort & protection! God Blessed me with my dogs for he knew how much I would need them with all my caregiving since childhood, that HE would be asked of me.
The CoVid 19 has not affected me to much, I’ve been to busy to notice but I am Thankful that it has open our minds and hearts that WE are more alike than not. In this foreign land We all want toilet paper!!!! How we all have become too comfortable!
Realizing my dependence on God more and more each day with each new trial.
Thanks for your site, it gives me strength and peace.
In His Love,
Mary, it is my hope and prayer that we ALL, like you, will look forward to an ETERNITY of WORSHIP. I believe our worship of God on this earth barely scratches the surface of awe and praise for Who He is. We will have an eternity to learn how to worship Him in the way He deserves. 🙂
I thank God that He has led in every aspect of my life. In 2020 He led me to sell the family home and move into an apartment.(Husband died suddenly in 2018) During the Covid crisis, God has led me to become more of an encourager to others. I keep in touch with others by phone, text, and yes even by snail mail. This time has forced me to slow down, and in turn has helped me in my physical health as well.(Have had 2 heart attacks in the last 6 years).
God is sooo good!! I see His handiwork in everything I see around me. His timing is perfect.
Thanks for the encouragement.
Thank YOU, Sue, for letting me and my readers know about what you are doing to stay positive and be a light that shines during this time of uncertainty. 🙂
God continues to amaze me. I started out sick in Feb. but had to care for father in hospital and rehab. Try to protect my mother from family takers, abusers and bury my dad graveside because of Covid. The rest just blows me away. Praise God for fellow Christians. So many hurdles… yet I went to my moms room tonight, brought her some treats, rubbed her down with pain lotion. Talked with kindness, walked out and truly wondered, “Who was that women”? It truly was the interceding Spirit of God. This spoke volumes to me as to what God has planned for each of us. We are Shaken to our very foundations!
Thanks, Kim, for sharing your story. May Psalm 16:8 be your guide right now: “I have set the Lord always before me. Beaus He is at my right hand, I will NOT be shaken.” 🙂
Cindi, I am grateful for your honesty and transparency as always! God’s blessings abound during this virus, most of them just look different. I am extra grateful to be well, have work and slow down a bit. What do I look forward to in Heaven one day? Leaving all this crud behind! Seriously, these last years have held a lot of very painful loss, I look forward to no more of that.
Thanks, Chery, for your honesty, too. This world is NOT our home. And our home will blow the doors off of this place. As Scripture tells us, we must keep our eyes fixed on heaven and continue to encourage others all the more as the day draws near…