“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”James 1:12
It might seem that this “verse of the day” applies to us right now in the midst of quarantines and social distancing. We can focus on the crown of life as our reward, but what does it mean to remain steadfast and to stand the test? There is an indication at the end that refers to God’s promise to those who love him.
Can you love God in the midst of confusion and suffering? Can you hold onto the kind of love that can take hardships and still not let go of the faith and hope in the one who may seem slow to answer and far away?
This weekend, I heard the plea that we not call our time apart from one another as “social” distancing, but “physical” distancing. We can also see this time as a chance for not allowing no distractions, people, or circumstances to distance us from God. No matter what is happening we are to love God with his help so that we are more than convinced but convicted “that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
As we enter another week of news that tries us, you might want to try a few things with your family to help them remain steadfast and loving to God and one another.
- Have a “Present” day. Instead of looking into future worries and plans, give yourselves a day to fully be engaged in the activities, games, joys, and conversations of each moment. Hide the clock and “be present” as a present to everyone.
- Change your setting to go on your staycation. Decorate a room to look like a new location whether a tropical island, a camp-out blanket “tent” in the bedroom or a picnic blanket in the living room. Teach your family that staying firm means taking your faith and joy with you even in your play.
- Create the crowns and treat one another as royalty, as God’s beloved children in a quest for remaining heroic. Ask for ideas of how to help others and share what royalty duties could be done as if already crowned by God. Where can we stand firm and pass tests to share our blessedness?
If we can learn something from the verse of the day, let’s remember that God keeps his promises because he loves us and this is something that allows us to come together and stand together even when physically distant for a moment in time.