I was laying on my bed, scrolling through my phone, reading the memes about social distancing and introverts saying, “I’ve been training my whole life for this.” (I think I have laughed at every single version of this meme.) But as I sat my phone down next to me, like a heavy weight, and began to think about the world, and all the grief, and all the fear, and this deep abiding heaviness I feel in my own heart, suddenly, those words I had just read, moved out of the meme, and settled into my spirit…
“I’ve been training my whole life for this.”
I’ve been training my whole life for this.
For this pandemic. For this time at home. For what unknowingly lies ahead of me, of us.
And do you know something?
So have you.
I feel compelled to share this. I know everyone is crying out right now, Facebook has become noisy and crowded with a buffet of suddenly-free resources and helps (which I am grateful for.) And, I’m not trying to raise my voice above the rest, but there is something the Spirit is saying.
And I pray we can hear it. The One whose Voice we were made for. The One who breathes life into us.
You were born for such a time as this.
Yes. For this pandemic. This COVID-19.
And you have been training your whole life for this. Your whole life.
This time, when the world pauses together, and weeps together.
And no one knows what’s going to happen next, or how bad it’s going to get.
This grief. This fear.
This standing still.
The gasping, the panting, the reaching out…
of a dying world.
Of a people desperate for life, and desperate for rescue from someone bigger and stronger than our governments, our kingdoms and our kings. We need someone other-worldy to save us now: Jesus.
He is our only hope. Now, and forever.
He is not only the hope we need, He is the hope the world needs.
You have friends, neighbors, relatives…who do not yet know Him.
And there are specific people that no one else can speak to–but you.
You carry within you the message of hope. The message of the gospel.
And you, dear one, have been chosen by God, to be here in the world,
for such a time as this.
All those mornings when you woke up, morning by morning, to seek Him in His Living Word. Those were all preparing you, not just for then,
but for now.
As He spoke to you through His Spirit, and moved you from strength to strength, in His Spirit.
He was molding you, He was shaping you.
He was arming you. He was equipping you. He was making you ready.
Right here, in the midst of this chaos, in the midst of this despair.
You have a light to share in this darkness.
You are a light-bearer.
You hold the rope that others need to grab onto.
The good news of Jesus Christ. Who saves us from something far more deadly than any virus, or economic collapse–our sin. You know this truth, this way, this life.
And I know, I know, all you want to do is cry, and cope, and sleep. And hope this is a bad dream. Because that’s all I want to do each day. I want to just make it all go away, and make things “go back to normal.”
You have been chosen, you have been set apart with Kingdom purpose for this time.
Before the foundations of the world, God has prepared good works for us to do (Ephesians 2:10) that we should walk in them.
And you are needed, for such a time as this.
You could have been born at ANY moment in history. Think about that.
But He wanted you to be alive, here, right now, in 2020, at the exact age you are, in the exact house, yes, the exact residence you are in
–for such a time as this.
The exact address where you live, has been chosen by God (Acts 17:26). Your exact neighbors. Your exact community. You have been placed right where you are on purpose. And you are needed right where you are.
For such a time as this.
For such a time as this.
That phrase comes from the story of Esther in the Bible. Esther had been chosen as queen and was living in the King’s palace, when her Uncle Mordecai arrived at the palace and told her that Haman was planing to destroy her people. They [the Jews] were to be completely destroyed and annihilated, “young and old, women and children, in one day…and to plunder their goods.” (Esther 3:13)
At first Queen Esther was distressed by this and didn’t know what to do. To try and stop this from happening was downright risky and scary, and she could be very-well put to death. But as she was trying to decide what to do, her uncle sends her this message, which changes the course of history:
“Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)
I think these words must have filled her with peace, purpose, urgency, and most of all faith in the Living God, who had put her exactly where he wanted her. Because immediately after, Esther replies, “Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.” (Esther 4:16b)
Esther didn’t know what was going to happen. She was just one person.
She didn’t have the authority of a King. Yet, God placed her in the exact place she needed to be, at the exact time she needed to be there, “for such a time as this.”
And she went on to save her people from being destroyed.
I know that we are not necessarily called to do what Esther did. The situation we are in is quite different. But there are some things that are precisely the same. And that is:
He has put you exactly where you are, for such a time as this.
Esther could have hid in the palace with all her comforts. But she didn’t.
She stood up.
(And I’m not saying you should break quarentine. Not at all.)
But spiritually speaking, it’s time to stand up.
I believe there is something He is calling you toward right now. Each one of us.
The people at your job (if you are still working), and the people he has placed you with inside your home, need you, for such a time as this.
Perhaps there is something the Spirit of God wants to speak to you, during this time, during these days, during these fears, that you could not otherwise have comprehended.
And perhaps your friends on Facebook, and people you know from work, are waiting to hear from you, though they might not know it, in such a time as this.
They need something that only you can offer them.
As believers, we have this hope. We have the hope of Jesus Christ to share.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
But, if we draw our blinds and go into our hiding places, and seek to simply entertain ourselves to death, and distract ourselves to death, we have aimed small.
We have aimed so small.
We were made for more.
Even during quarentine.
Especially during quarentine.
What has God called you to do? What gifts has he given you? What words or prophesies have been spoken over your life?
Oh, let them be fanned into flame now!
Burning, and burning, and burning.
I want to speak to your spirit dear ones:
It’s time to Arise, daughters.
It’s time to Arise, sons.
Not because I tell you, but because God commands that you do so.
Hear His Words:
“Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
For behold, darkness shall cover the earth,
and thick darkness the peoples;
but the LORD will arise upon you,
and his glory will be seen upon you.
And nations shall come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your rising.” (Isaiah 60:1-3)
Dear brothers and sisters, it is not time to sleep. It’s time to awaken.
It’s time to arise.
To stand in your calling.
Do you remember in “The Hunger Games,” how Katniss spends her time in the woods, shooting her bow, hunting? She’s not caught up in the culture of the Capitol. She isn’t swept away in the lies. She sees clearly, and soberly. She climbs into the trees. She steps back and sees what is going on from a higher angle. She is wise and discerning.
It’s time to awaken the Katniss in you.
It’s time to get out your bow.
It’s time to unsheath your sword.
The sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
You have been training your whole life for this.
You need to aim your bow steadily at the dragon, at Satan, and aim it deeply into his heart.
Again, and again, and again.
You need to remember, who the real enemy is.
God has not give you a spirit of fear.
He has given you everything you need.
He has equipped you.
He has armed you.
He has prepared you.
And He has give you His Spirit.
And this is not a small thing.
He has promised us that trouble will come,
and now it’s here.
It surrounds us, seemingly, on all sides.
He said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart!
I have overcome the world.” John 16:33b
He has overcome the world.
Oh dear ones, listen to me–this is where it becomes real. Our faith. When we cannot see how this is going to play out.
We’ve been training our whole lives for this.
The Spirit of God is real. And He dwells within us.
And He will not leave us now.
We may be quarentined in our homes, but think, Paul and Silas were locked in a dark, nasty prison. Still they sang songs and hymns and loudly exalted the name of Jesus and the prisoners were listening to them. And as a result, an earthquake errupted and set them free, and that night, they brought the gaurds to salvation in Jesus! (See Acts 16:22-34)
If they could worship from a prison cell, surely, we can worship from our homes.
They were bound, but God’s Word is not bound, it’s never bound. We are here in our homes, but God’s Word is not chained. May it go forth boldy now. This is the time, to let your inner man, let the Spirit of God come out of you. To let your light shine.
But, maybe you’re wondering, like me…how can you arise when your own knees are shaking?
When your own stomach is in anxious knots?
How can you arise when you are quarentined in your own home?
How can you smile and orchestrate a fun and peaceful day for your kids,
when you are sobbing on the inside?
But the One living inside of you can.
And He must do the living now.
The days for relying on your own strength and understanding are over.
It’s time to lean on Him like never before.
It’s time to hope in Him like never before,
and in turn, share that hope, with the world.
The days for being ashamed of the gospel are over.
What He has whispered in the darkness, you must declare on the rooftops.
(Maybe not actual rooftops..)
(But maybe actual rooftops if you are speaking to your neighbors from a distance.;)
It is time to stand in the calling in which Jesus Christ has called you.
If you are a singer or musician, awaken the dawn with your song.
If you are a writer, captivate, create worlds with your words. Write as if it’s your last dying breath.
If you are a pastor or speaker, declare with boldness the gospel of Jesus, and the Kingdom advancing.
If you are a mom, nurture hearts more tenderly than ever before. (Bake, sing, kiss boo-boos, cultivate life and beauty for the little Kingdom warriors in your home.) Create adventures in the yard, in the living room, and hold your people close during movies and stories.
If you are a friend, reach out with compassion. Pray over the phone for your friends.
Immerse yourself in God’s Word.
Dance in your kitchen. Become more undignified than this.
Pray for your nieghbors, and for the nurses and doctors and medical personnel. Pray that actual angels will surround them. Pray for the sick, and pray against this virus. That the Healer may heal.
And the Church may arise.
And that many will come to salvation in Jesus Christ.
Beginning with you.
Because dear one, you’ve been training your whole life for this.
And “who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom
for such a time as this?”