This post was written by Angie Hooie, a member of the INCM Blog team.
During this pandemic, what is the most asked question? If I had to guess, it would probably be, “How are you doing?” I wonder, how are you answering that question? For me, my answer is I’m unsettled. When I feel this way, it is normally because God is doing something new, and newness requires change.
I don’t like change–it’s scary! I never feel like I am “enough” for what God is calling me to. I begin to question God….Are you sure you want me for that, God?
Of course, there are plenty of promises in Scripture that make it abundantly clear that God Himself declares that He has chosen me.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.” Ephesians 1:4-5
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10
“To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27
Jesus said something interesting about change and what needs to happen for change to occur. He said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit (John 12:24).”
Now, indulge me in a lesson. Think back to high school biology and what you learned about seeds and how they produce and multiply. Can’t remember so far back? No worries, here’s what Google has to say about seeds and their basic reproduction.
“When a seed is planted in the ground, germination happens. Germination is the process in which a seed changes from a state of dormancy (just a seed) to a growing, living plant.”
We are like that seed. We need to die, to become like a dormant, dead seed, in order to grow again. We must be changed. I must die to myself, to live in Christ.
During this unsettled time, what is Jesus changing in you? I don’t think it’s coincidental that, in the beginning of this year, there were several books that came out centered around slowing down, rest, rhythms, distraction, Sabbath, and the like. God is lovingly forcing us to a slower pace right now, giving us more time to spend with Him. For me, this slowness has brought more time with my family. And, in full disclosure, when sports went away, I knew Jesus was serious about getting my attention!
So I paid attention when a friend told me about a beautiful app called Pause. I downloaded it, and now an alarm goes off twice a day to remind me to pause and spend a few minutes in guided prayer. I am seriously in love with this app, but it’s nothing magical. The value comes in learning the new rhythms of rest, intention, and connection.
My time spent with Jesus during this quarantine has been precious. I am still discovering what changes He is asking me to embrace. Dying to self is a daily process, probably even more than daily. As I’m writing this blog, I hear the Tauren Wells’ song God’s Not Done With You playing through my headphones. I love the lyric, He is going to finish what He started, He’s got a plan and you are a part of it.
I’m trying not to take this time for granted. I’m lingering in my quiet time. I believe one of the things He is changing in me is my busyness. I know things will never go back to “normal” after Covid-19 is over, and for that I am thankful. I don’t want to go back. If I’m not willing to let some things die, how will new, better things grow in their place?
So…how are you doing? How are you really doing? And, are you ready for Jesus to change you?
Angie has been married for over 21 years, and has 3 kids. She has been volunteering in children’s ministry for over 20 years, and was called into vocational ministry 7 years ago. She oversees 3 campuses and has been deeply involved in growing and expanding her church’s special needs ministry.