We just saw a T.V. commercial that challenged people NOT to go back to the same old way of doing things after this crisis ends. This brings to mind the phrase, “Don’t ever waste a crisis.” And that seems to be especially appropriate at this time in our world’s history. This has been a crazy time. It’s a sad one, and a crazy one. We all long to go back to some semblance of normalcy (whatever that is)!
But it is the prayer of our hearts that we will go back better people, and better spouses than before. As we’ve heard it said, “It’s not just what you live though that’s important, but what you learn through.” And that’s especially true during this Corona crisis.
Author/blogger Debbie Salter Goodwin wrote an article titled, Waiting Without Wasting. In it she says that it would be even sadder if we went through this waiting room experience, and wasted it. And that is so true! Please don’t waste this crisis. Don’t go back to approaching your life the same old way you did previously. Ask God to show you what you can learn to improve your life, AND your marriage. There’s always room for growth.
Doing Things the Same Old Way?
And then in another article (titled, Growth in the Time of Corona and Chaos) Debbie wrote the following that can also challenge us all:
“I’ve been asking what is my part in this chaos? Most importantly, I’ve been asking, am I growing through this or just gritting my teeth and enduring it? And the BIG question: what will I take into my new normal?”
Debbie goes on to write about God speaking loudly through this pandemic time in our world’s history. She then poses the questions:
• “What does God want us to learn about ourselves, our families, how we’ve prioritized our values and activities?
• “What part of this forced withdrawal has renewed us, and restored us?”
• “What part of the chaos has a lesson with our name on it?
• “And how can we keep that part as we put the pieces of our lives back together?”
Impactful questions, aren’t they? They are if we ask ourselves these questions and then take them seriously. Perhaps you never thought about all of this before. Perhaps this pandemic has been a horrible season of pain and loss for you. And for that, we grieve with you. But that doesn’t mean that God cannot somehow redeem that pain you have suffered.
Press into Christ and ask Him to bring good out of this time of suffering. Truly, we are not trying to minimize your pain. But it would be even sadder if some good doesn’t come out of it. As difficult as it is, we often grow through painful experiences if we allow ourselves to do so.
Spiritual Growth and NOT Doing Things the Same Old Way
Here’s something that author/Pastor John Ortberg wrote (with a humorous twist) on this matter:
“People said they grew more during seasons of loss, pain, and crisis than they did at any other time. I immediately realized that, as a church, we had not put anybody in charge of pain distribution! So now we are figuring out how to create more pain per attender for maximum spiritual growth.
“Actually, the wonderful and terrible thing about crisis is that it’s the one resource we do not have to fund or staff or program. It just comes. However, pain does not automatically produce spiritual growth.” (From his article, “Don’t Waste a Crisis”)
And that is our challenge to you. Please don’t waste this crisis. Learn from it. Ask God to help you to see what you need to so you walk away from this crisis a better spouse than you were when you entered into it. If you haven’t done this up to this point, you still can!
Our Approach to Re-Entry
That’s what we’re doing. We’re asking God to show us His new plan for re-entry into life after this pandemic. We don’t ever, ever want to take a day for granted. That’s because we are not promised another one. This virus has made that point all the more clear to us than ever before.
When we entered into this time of crisis, Steve was diagnosed with cancer. He recently had surgery to hopefully remove it. (Unfortunately, we won’t know for several years if all of the cancer was removed.) However, Covid 19 made all of this, including his hospital stay, all the more complicated. Spouses all over the world have had to drop their marriage partners at the hospital door and drive away. They couldn’t even be with them after surgery to love on them and help them. How tragic!
I am one of the only ones I know where I was allowed to see Steve afterward. I/we thank God continually for this. But even then it was very complicated. My heart cries for the millions that didn’t even get that opportunity. To us, this is one (of many) of the greatest tragedies of this Covid crisis.
Embracing Each Day as We Pray
Again, may we never take each other for granted after this crisis ends! And may we embrace each day and opportunity we have to be together!
Does this mean that we won’t scrap with one another in the future? That’s not likely! It’s all part of marrying our lives together. We have to work out our differences. But it is our hope that we will find healthy ways to work these things out so we fall forward—not backward.
God has also been impressing upon us to pray for a great revival to sweep throughout this world. We pray for it to happen within individuals, marriages, families, communities, and beyond. We need a great awakening of hearts turning towards Christ. The prayer of our heart has been anchored in the scripture found in 2 Chronicles 7:14:
“If My people, who are called by My name humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
We need a mighty revival of hearts turning to Christ before we will get to that place of healing. God will heal, if we do things His way—not ours.
God’s Movements In This Crisis
There have been some small movements of this happening in different locations already. We saw a news story where different people have been ministering among crowds of protesters. They have been preaching the Bible and people have been saved. It is wonderful to see that God has been drawing people to Himself through these Christians.
God is at work in a multitude of ways. The following is another one. We received the following (edited) testimony recently here at Marriage Missions:
“God has been good to the Body of Christ here in South Africa during these days under lockdown. In many groups I am found to be, Christian families are testifying how God has been great. In my many years of marriage, I was the leader of our evening devotions. But in the middle of the lockdown, I saw my husband taking a lead. We are drawing a lot from him regarding the wisdom of God that he is sharing with us. And kids love listening to his insight. It is different from how I was leading.
“…Every Sunday since lockdown we live stream with our church. The kids take notes and we have Holy Communion as a family. The lockdown has really brought us together spiritually and physically. We really thank God as we trust Him to overcome this trying time for us as a country and the whole world.”
We hope you are as encouraged about this as we have been. God is moving! There is no doubt! Yes, there is pain. But in the midst of pain, God is redeeming the days, even though they have been evil.
Join Us in Praying
Please join us in praying that God will move within each of our households and marriages. Pray that where there is pain, He will bring comfort and healing.
Pray that God will move upon people to see that in Him, we have hope. We are told in God’s word that He “does not give us a spirit of fear.” Instead, we are to embrace the hope that He can give us as He lights the way. We are standing upon the God’s Word where it is written, “Light dawns in the darkness for the upright…” (Psalm 112:4)
Additionally, pray that God will reveal to you what He wants to teach you during this time. May we never go back to the same old way that we approached life before! As we said before, there is always room for growth. May it be so that we grow Lord; may it be so!
In our prayers for you we are “asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.” (Colossians 1:9-10)
Cindy and Steve Wright
— ADDITIONALLY —
To help you further, we give a lot of personal stories, humor, and more practical tips in our book, 7 ESSENTIALS to Grow Your Marriage. We hope you will pick up a copy for yourself. (It’s available both electronically and in print form.) Plus, it can make a great gift for someone else. It gives you the opportunity to help them grow their marriage. And who doesn’t need that? Just click on the linked title or the picture below:
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