Having been in the pastoral ministry for more than fifty years, we have recently stepped down from the senior pastor ministry, and we are entering into an interim ministry for churches who are needing a pastor. The adjustment has been hard, but even harder is the new order from our state to “shelter in place.” Because of our age and health, we are obeying this order.
How does one who has been involved with people all his life react to “shelter in place.” I have asked the Lord to help me and give me wisdom during this time. I think one of our biggest problems has been not being able to communicate and see those we have served and worked with. Here are a few of the things we have done:
1. Call and check on those who are shut-in and do not have internet. Pray with them and encourage them with a Scripture.
2. Text those who are home with children to let them know you are praying for them. Encourage them to make the time at home together a memorable time. Having our children home is something we longed for; so play games with them, teach them a new craft, and continue their schooling and help them with their assignments. Teach them to cook. My granddaughter is making new recipes, i.e. homemade bread. Find ways to do things together and do not let them spend hours on their cell phones.
3. Play good music in the home. We have “Ok Google” so we stream a service that plays only Christian songs. Your genre may be different, but it should be something all can enjoy. Music helps set the atmosphere for the home, and it soothes nerves.
4. Stream sermons from pastors you don’t usually get to hear. We listened to five different pastors one day, and we would never have heard them except for the new streaming service that churches are doing now.
5. We just received word that one of our dear friend’s sons lapsed back into drugs and died from an overdose. He was in rehab, but the isolation was just too much for him. Pray for these people.
6. Pray for the medical personnel for strength, protection from the virus, and wisdom in dealing with patients. This is very personal to me as my grandson is a doctor.
Remember, God is in control and he cares about each of you. Yesterday, I played an old Al Smith song, on YouTube, entitled “Have Faith in God”. It was a reminder to praise Him for all He has done and for what He is doing in our lives. Keep focused on Scripture and his promises. I am seldom depressed, but this environment creates so much uncertainty that yesterday I awakened with a cloud of gloom in my spirit, and it continued all day. The songs helped as did the Scripture.
Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities:for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.