• Matt Beam

Pray in This Surreal & Uncomfortable Time

Updated: Apr 1, 2020

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33

Things have gotten surreal. Troublesome, yes. A little scary, yes, but also surreal. The fears and dangers of Coronavirus and Covid-19 have brought about suggestions, recommendations, and regulations that, little by little, have isolated us from one another. More and more, we are further removed from our closest friends. With every event cancellation, closing of schools, work from home mandate, and now cancelling of church services, we are a little more alone. The fear of the unknown with this new worldwide illness has brought about a surreal and uncomfortable world that most of us have never experienced.

We are losing the community around us. Even if it is for a short time, it is a frightening reality. It is an uncomfortable experience in our self-controlling lives with which we do not want to manage. We are already longing for the warm hug of good friends, a heartfelt handshake of a new acquaintance, and sitting around a room full of laughter and fellowship.

At first, we see how troubles and difficulties only affect ourselves. We seldom look around and have empathy for others that may be caught up in the same tribulations of the world around us. In uncertain times like we are experiencing, God’s grace abounds!! We may not see it or even feel it, but it is still there. Try to pray at this time. Prayer is always an endeavor that should be taken, but we rarely pursue it at first.

Pause and reflect for a moment. In the Season of Lent, we always first reflect on the beginning of Jesus ministry when he went into the wilderness. After His Baptism by John the Baptist, what did He do? He went into the wilderness and prayed. He prayed and fasted for 40 days. While this is such an uncomfortable concept that most of us could not imagine doing it, it does remind us, though, that we can always go to God in prayer. Even in the most difficult of situations, we must have faith that He listens. He may not always answer in a way we think we want, but by praying, we are able to shake away our self-centeredness. We are able to look out from ourselves and focus on the needs of those around us. Serve God by serving others.

We are blessed to live in a technological age. While we may be a little more separated, we can still connect to others in a non-physical way. So, while you are a little more separated from your community of faith in the coming weeks, take some time to pause and reflect. Go to God in prayer and find some comfort in an uncomfortable world. Then you can share. Share and serve by taking a moment to call or text a friend that is alone and maybe having a harder time with this difficult experience. Send a note with a warm message to someone that is struggling. Give a grocery store gift card to a friend who has lost their job. What to you may be just a little thing, could be a life altering gesture to someone else.

In this surreal and uncomfortable time with which we share, try to look outward from yourself. Take a moment. Pause, reflect, pray and listen. What is God calling you to do?

Oak Ridge Presbyterian Church

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