Lockdown – A Time of Renewal

by | Mar 25, 2020

It is my fifth week at home while recuperating from my ½ knee replacement – including one week left of self-isolation. This is a time for reflection and introspection. Now, at least three more weeks of lockdown! The question I need to ask myself is, “Have I used the past five weeks constructively and – even more important – how will I use the next three to four weeks during the lockdown period?

Will I spend my time in front of the TV watching the news and eventually getting more and more depressed, or will I spend the time engaging with my family without any outside interference? Truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

I was so encouraged by the Word I have received over the past two days. It feels as if God is preparing us for something big. A new level of faith and trust.

God’s advice
“Go home, my people, and lock your doors! Hide yourselves for a little while until the LORD’s anger has passed.” (Isaiah 26:20)

God’s warning
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (James 1:22)

God’s instruction
“Do not be afraid…!” (Isaiah 54:4)

God’s promise
“We all need faith for desperate days, and the Bible is filled with accounts of such days …” Psalm 107 is filled with stories of God’s lavish love. In every story of deliverance, it was humankind coming to the point of desperation that gave God His opportunity to act. Arriving at “their wits’ end” (Ps 107:27) of desperation was the beginning of God’s power.

“Remember, our faith did not create our desperate days. Faith’s work is to sustain us through those days and to solve them.” (Streams in the Desert, LB Cowman, March 25)

As I read this devotional and the reference to Ps 107, the Holy Spirit reminded me of a year ago when we too were “at our wit’s end” (just like the sailors in verse 27) due to the poor economy, and the answer given to us in verse 28, “Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He brought them out of their distress.”

We also cried out to the Lord in prayer while at our wits’ end, and He brought us out of our distress. In fact, He gave us more during the past year than what we could have ever asked for or even imagined, notwithstanding the extremely poor economic conditions – because He knew what was to come. Blessing us, to in turn be a blessing to our staff, in a time that the whole world was going into lockdown. This reminded me of the seven “fat years” versus the seven “lean years” in Genesis 41.

Arriving at your wit’s end is the beginning of God’s power, yesterday, today and tomorrow. So I will go into this lockdown period with my eyes focused on Jesus and try and deepen my relationship with Him, and with my loved ones. A very precious once-in-a-lifetime period ahead. Let me not waste it on frivolous things, depressed and complaining, but let me come out of this period transformed … by “the renewing of my mind”. (Romans 12:2)

“…do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid!” (John 14:27b)

May God protect and guide you in these troubled times as we continue to “fight the good fight of faith”. (1 Timothy 6:12)

4 Comments

  1. Paul Parsley

    Thank you Nico_x000D_
    My wife shared Isaiah 26.20 with me recenty. What an encouragment. May we rememer again as we approach the time to remember That Passover!_x000D_
    May your knee heal super fast and I hope the physio not too painfull._x000D_
    _x000D_
    I have felt for a few days now the Lord would say to you;_x000D_
    _x000D_
    My son, I have seen your labour for Me. I have seen your heart. Look not at what is past, for what lies ahead will be greater than ANYTHING you have done so far._x000D_
    I will do it and my Right hand will uphold you._x000D_
    You will go forth in the white hot power of My Spirit._x000D_
    Stand back for no man._x000D_
    Fear no man._x000D_
    The time is short, and the harvest is waiting in the fields.

  2. Kobus van Zyl

    Thank You for the message._x000D_
    It is a confirmation and blessing to read._x000D_
    A year ago, the Lord gave my wife and I _x000D_
    Isa 32:14  Because  the palaces  shall be forsaken; the multitude  of the city  shall be left; the forts  and towers  shall be  for  dens  for ever,  a joy  of wild asses, a pasture  of flocks; _x000D_
    Isa 32:15  Until  the spirit  be poured  upon  us from on high, and the wilderness  be  a fruitful field, and the fruitful field  be counted  for a forest. _x000D_
    I got a lot of personal value from the scripture, but my wife took it literally. She was right!_x000D_
    I believe that this will lead to blessing if we hang onto the Lord’s hand and not look at the waves!

  3. Johanni Meiring

    Thank you Nico! Yes eyes fixed & hearts and minds transformed!

  4. Simon Matlhare

    Hi Nico,_x000D_
    _x000D_
    I wish you a speedy recovery on you operation. Thank you for the inspirational text. The world including South Africa is distress due to the Corona virus. I believe God is preparing something big for us and we need to be ready for that.

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