I recently watched an inspirational YouTube video of a father daughter duo, Savanna and Mat Shaw, who’ve used their quarantine time to sing duets together. They’ve set up an in-home studio, recorded several songs, and have become a Youtube sensation—even capturing the attention of Kelly Clarkson who has promoted them as well— and they now are blessing millions with not only their beautiful voices, but also by the deep connection they share and obvious love they have for one another. I highly recommend you listen to them if you want to receive a tremendous blessing! (One of the songs they’ve recorded and the one they so beautifully harmonized to on the video I first watched of them is ‘The Prayer’. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqFCbtRz1Z0)
They revealed during an interview that they’d only sung together a couple of times before the ‘shelter-in place restrictions’, and they only decided to record their duets because of the ‘extra time’ they’ve been able to spend together because of the quarantine we’re all under due to Covid-19. They’ve received the blessing and joy of growing closer to one another as they’ve spent so much time practicing their songs and singing together, and they’ve also blessed countless others with the beauty of their music collaboration. They chose to use their ‘gift of time’ that has been given to us all during Covid-19 for a good purpose!
I thought of other families that I know that also have grown closer together because of the cessation of so many of the ‘tyranny of the urgent’ activities that so easily isolate family members and often keep them from spending time with and truly getting to know one another. I’ve been overjoyed to see many families bicycling or going on walks in my neighborhood that I’ve never seen before. I also know of some families who have been facing extra challenges because of the ‘shelter-in-place’ restrictions that have further exacerbated strained marriages and/or domestic abuse in their home; my heart goes out to them and my prayers have been lifted up for them! I’m also aware that some families have spent the vast majority of their ‘quarantine’ time in separate rooms—or even if in the same room, totally isolated from their ‘quarantine mates’ as they were more interested in their TV/computer/phone screens than they were in spending time with their loved ones. I wonder if they will look back and think they missed an incredible opportunity to draw nearer to one another during this quarantine period. My thoughts also have been with the many single people who’ve been ‘sheltering in place’ all alone and who’ve felt acutely isolated— and perhaps depressed and even suicidal— because they’re without the benefit of in-person fellowship with family or friends.
Most of all, I thought that it is the Lord’s desire that all of us—no matter what our situation is— would choose to spend the time He has given to us on this earth to draw close to Him. He longs for us not only to know Him as our Creator, but for us to come to know Him as our Heavenly Father Who longs to protect us, to lead us, to instruct us in all truth and right living, and to shower us with His lavish love. Because of His loving kindness, He will not force Himself upon us. Yet, He calls us to draw near to Him, and He promises that when we do, He will draw near to us (James 4:8). And there is no one excluded from that promise.
Our life is comprised of the choices we make each and every day, choices that define and direct the course of our lives. Choices like: with whom we will socialize; who we’re going to trust; whom or what we’ll serve or ‘worship’; on what we’ll invest our financial resources; and how we choose to invest our time. No matter our age, gender, family situation, nationality, ethnicity, socio-economic situation, or any other distinction, we all have been given 24 hours to invest each day. The choices that we make regarding what we will do with those 24 hours determines the fruitfulness of our life and the legacy that we will leave behind when we leave this earth. During this quarantine, He has given to many of us a time perhaps like never before to, ‘be still and know that He is God’, and to realize that He will be exalted among the nations and in the earth (Psalm 46:10). PLEASE NOTE: I recognize that although many people have more ‘down time’ than before the quarantine, there are also individuals and families that have been busier than ever because they’re involved in providing essential services— like our health care workers— or because they’re now having to add home schooling of their children alongside their job responsibilities and they feel they have even less time to spend with their families and with God.
I believe God’s goal for us at all times— and definitely during this ‘Covid-19 crisis time when many people have been confronted anew with the brevity and fragility of life— is for us to draw near to Him so we can come to know Him, or to know Him even better. And we come to know Him by reading His Word; by meditating upon His Word and thinking about His character and His ways; and by spending time in prayer with Him. He knows that if we spend time with Him and come to know Him as the always trustworthy, always loving Heavenly Father that He is, then we will know that there is no need to be fearful, worried or anxious….at this time in the world when things seem to be so uncertain to us, or at any time in the future!
I remember the expression of joy Mat Shaw, the father in the video had in being in his daughter’s presence— and the delight she had in his presence—and it immediately brought to my mind the reality that the Lord delights for us to be in His Presence, where there is ‘fullness of joy’ and ‘pleasures forevermore’ (Psalm 11:16). Like the video of the father and daughter duo, the Lord also longs for us to be ‘in tune’ with Him and His will so we will be able to ‘harmonize’ with Him. And like Mat and Savanna Shaw’s singing duo that has blessed countless people, when we choose to live in harmony with God and His will, we too will be a source of encouragement and life-giving blessing to others!
How about you? How have you invested your precious time during this quarantine? Do you feel good about the choices you’ve made, or do you feel convicted to spend more time with God? Or with your family? If you’ve spent more time in God’s Word and in prayer, what has God revealed to you about His character, or about His ways? Do you sense the Lord asking you to do something that you hadn’t been doing prior to the quarantine— or to give up something that you or your family were doing before the quarantine— in order for you to spend more time drawing near to God? Or in order to spend more time with your family?
Below is a poem that a dear friend of mine, Lynn Lynch, recently wrote that I think summarizes well what the Lord laid upon my heart when He led me to write this blog. I hope it speaks to your heart as it does to mine.
We are experiencing a time that we have never seen
Learning to live the new norm of quarantine
Some of us may be finding some balance in our life
While for others the struggle is adding to their daily strife
Workloads for many are taking a toll
While for others their job loss is depleting their soul
For some of the elderly their families are reaching out more
While others are all alone living behind an empty door
Some are experiencing more of the things they like
A phone call, a walk, or riding a bike
Others are experiencing tremendous pain
Physically or emotionally searching for strength they can’t gain
Some have a safe roof and a clean bed
While others are searching for a place to lay their head
Some complain they cannot grab their favorite meal
While for others the hunger is a daily feel
Some are able to find comfort in a daily scripture
While others are in a struggle to understand the picture
Some families are enjoying this precious time they hold dear
While others may be unsafe and living in daily fear
Most of us will get through this taking with us a lesson or two
While some will not make it, and others will not know what to do
It may be worth taking a minute to think
How quickly life can change—or even pass away— in just a blink
So may we be wise regarding our priorities and the daily choices we make
Living for the purpose God put us in the world—for His, and not for our sake.
Author of Poem…Lynn Lynch
Blog written by Julie