Surrender to the Season

In March 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, life as we knew it in the United States changed. And to be frank with you, I do not think we are ever going back to exactly the way it was before. I have heard Pastors and spiritual leaders talk about how all the “idols” of our land have gone down. Those idols were Hollywood, Broadway, sports, Las Vegas, entertainment, travel, bars, restaurants, coffeeshops…and organized church on Sunday mornings.

I sit and listen to some pastors embracing this season and adjusting the way we do church to accommodate this new reality. Many are reaching people that have left our churches, are skeptical of the church or don’t believe in God. We are no longer only speaking to the faithful in the room, but to those without faith in God or the church. God is doing a much bigger thing through the church right now than we were able to do before. Still other pastors are fighting for their right to congregate and waiting for this to be over so we can get back to normal. “I believe”? Normal has changed. If God allowed the way we do church to go down with all the other “idols”, we must admit there probably was some idolatry in the church?

I think we need to be prepared to not congregate for some time. I suspect at least 6 months. As Governors are trying to re-open our states and economies, the very last thing that will open up is our ability to congregate. Without a cure or vaccination for this virus, we aren’t going to put 100,000 people in a football stadium or 1,000 people in a sanctuary. I would challenge all of us to quickly embrace this new reality and “surrender to the season”. My pastor has said for years, “this too shall pass”. And, it will, but will we benefit from this season or fight it the whole way through?

Here are some things I see happening:

  1. Family – Although many families are struggling with kids at home and online school and kids social distancing from their friends, there is a silver lining. God is working on the core unit of society by giving families time with each other. We will probably see unprecedented pregnancies and births in this season as families flourish and grow.
  2. Nature is being replenished – with the shutdown of factories, pollution in many areas is being cleaned up and there are beautiful pictures of nature that can be seen right now. Wildlife in some areas are taking back territory as humans are not traveling much right now.
  3. Organic – it seems the only thing open is Lowe’s and Home Depot. People are flocking to get garden supplies and to work on their yards. People are getting back to living off the land and getting their hands dirty. People are picking up new skills that they would have hired someone for but are now doing it themselves.
  4. Outdoor activities – most people are outside in the sunlight more than they have been in a long time. They are exercising and hiking and riding bikes.
  5. Simplicity – life is more uncertain than ever, but people are investing in the basics again and have cut out much of the “non-essential” activities and services we once relied on.
  6. Spirituality – as uncertainty prevails people are asking eternal questions not just daily ones. With creation so loud and bright right now, those who never had their eye on God, at least have the Creator in the peripheral view for the first time.

In a season marked by death, fear and anxiety, there is also some wonderful opportunities to LIVE…to grow and change and become something more than we have ever been before. For the first time I am planting a garden and built a fire pit. I bought a drill and am building some stuff. Tina and I have downsized our living space, needs and bills. When you watch the news, you see all the negative sides of this season, but I think there are ways for us to grow and benefit too, if we will quickly “surrender to the season”.

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18 Replies to “Surrender to the Season”

  1. Thank you pastor Nick, I agree with everything you’ve said. Except not being able to be at church for me this is a peaceful time, not having to rush around and get things done (that really don’t seem to important now) I think God has slowed us down so we can stop and smell the Rose’s. They are out there even through all the sickness and death and sadness….God is good and always there.

    1. Thanks, Lyn. Sorry I did not see this post…reality of not having Deborah. Glad you are smelling the roses.

  2. Well said.. I keep saying it sometimes better when it’s worse.. we get overwhelmed with life and then take it for granted . It’s time to focus on good healthy outlets and go with the flow. This to will pass and be certain, we all have learned and humbled ourselves. The system has been reset and now is the time to reflect and change. LOVE is free and we all should do that more.

    1. Sorry I did not see this post…reality of not having Deborah. I love that you said this too will pas! I just said that last Sunday in my sermon. I agree with you.

  3. Wonderful insight, Nick.

    About a month ago, the Spirit of God spoke to me while on my way to our last church gathering before the ‘storm.’ He said the word “Heel!” Of course, my thoughts went immediately to the master/owner speaking to his/her dog, for example. Upon further reflection, however, I thought of the proximity of the dog to its owner when it did in fact ‘heel.’ As close as the master’s side. Then I thought of the stride of the master, when to walk, when to remain still. We were to submit to His steps, one at a time.

    The word was a strong one, though not filled with anger. Little did I know how sure that word would become as we would find ourselves learning how to ‘heel,’ to a larger degree than ever.

    The next week, as I approached the church for live streaming, I heard Him say, “I AM THE POTTER!” It was another strong word. I didn’t have to wonder what ‘potter’ meant, for He is just that. But this word came with the challenge to America’s audacity to think that even our wisest, most experienced advisors might attempt to solve the problems. I immediately saw the tower of Babel…Babel meaning ‘confusion.’ He was saying, without a question, that no one other than Himself could be the Potter in reshaping America. Our call is to be pliable clay in His hands only. If we take it into our own hands, we are in fact attempting another tower of Babel.

    1. Thank you, Loyd. I did not even know that you watched until a short time ago. I left you a voicemail. Check your phone, please.

  4. What a positive way to look at this negative situation. It is God’s way to take a situation that Satan meant for evil and God turns it around for our good. It has been fun helping Tim pick out flowers and making our yard look pretty. We have found a secluded park to take strolls. We are closer to our children and grandchildren using the Marco Polo app. We have received daily updates and we get to see them homeschooling, cooking, going on hikes and saying the pledge of Allegiance to the Bible, the Christian flag and the American flag. We have also been reaching out to our neighbors and making new friends. The best part is calling friends and family on the phone and praying and offering prayers for them. Strangely we feel more connected and less isolated. Lastly, I thank God for modern technology so we can have services each Sunday. Pastor Nick, you have become a televangelist 😄😍!!!

    1. Thank you, Mary. NEVER thought I would be a televangelist. Sorry I did not see this post…reality of not having Deborah.

  5. Really good word Pastor Nick. I appreciate you sharing with us during this season. I Praise God for how HE is working in our lives and removing some of the obstacles. I know in my 79 years I have never seen anything like this. I believe it also signifies the place we are in is recorded in God’s Word. I know my daughter & their family are together and Dad is working from home. My neighbor who has 4 children says they are having meals and playing games together where before life was a totally different pace. God Bless New Covenant Church and my family there.

    1. Thanks, Janie. Sorry I did not see this post…reality of not having Deborah. I will do better in the future!!! We miss you so much.

    1. Thanks, Beth. I am just getting back to blogging. I lost my assistant and sometimes I have tech issues. Just found your comment. Thanks for the support.

  6. Pastor Nick thank you for sharing your perspective! God loves us so much! I have felt his presence throughout all of this. As I watch my family members struggle with loss of jobs, Britain in NYC and my older parents getting much worse, I remember in the quiet….HE is in control! I am embracing this season with hope and faith.

    1. Thanks Renee. I just posted a blog and realized there were a bunch of comments from my last one including yours that I never saw. That is a direct result of not having Deborah. She coached me up over the phone today. We are blessed and I pray that you are well. Miss you.

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