***This post was written by my friend Collene Borchardt. I asked her to share what God has been teaching her in this strange season.
Collene is a wife and mother of three. She works part time from home due to a chronic illness. In her spare time she loves to write to encourage women to find rest in Jesus while facing the chaos of life. You can check out her blog at restandchaos.com or connect with her on Facebook (facebook.com/restandchaos) or Instagram (instagram.com/restandchaos).
As I look out my living room window I see that everything has been covered by a layer of frost. I sit down on our couch breathing in the warm aroma of coffee beans as my husband turns on the television. Channel after channel shows pictures of city streets that should be bustling with cars and people.
And yet they are empty.
Everything seems to be frozen in time. Just like the frost laying upon my grass. The streets are bare. Silence fills the air. It feels as though the whole world is collectively holding its breath, hoping for a miracle. For sweet relief from the fear of an unseen enemy.
As I watch the news I start to feel depressed, so I finish my coffee and start up my computer. Working from home is hard when there are children running around and your husband has been furloughed from work.
The whole thing is quite aggravating to this introvert whose space has suddenly been invaded.
Although as an introvert I cherish my alone time, I still like people. I love going to church, visiting family members, and meeting friends for coffee. I enjoy going shopping and watching a movie on the big screen. And I cherish date nights at a restaurant with my husband.
As an introvert I love being at home. But I do not enjoy HAVING to stay home.
My whole being longs for a return to normal but day after day passes by with no end in sight. Sorrow fills my heart over the loss of activities. Grief weighs down my soul over the loss of my quiet home. And then depression sets in and freezes my heart.
Nonchalantly coasting through my days, I become numb and lost in my utter helplessness. Because as much as I want to change the situation I can’t.
I feel as frozen as the frost outside and the empty city streets.
But God is good. And He begins to show me that there are lessons to be learned in this season of forced rest.
Rest is Required
During winter, here in Wisconsin, it appears as if the world is dead and lifeless. Trees lose their leaves. The flowers and grass turn brown. Animals hibernate. And then snow and ice cover everything
The whole world slows down as the harsh weather forces nature to rest.
“Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens when the waters become hard as stone, when the surface of the deep is frozen?” -Job 38:29b-30 NIV
But God knows this season is necessary. He knows this time of non-production is essential. Because busyness wears a soul down. It burns out a heart. It reduces our productivity until we become inefficient.
God knows that busyness is a lie Satan uses to enslave us.
Whereas busyness destroys, a period of rest can revitalize the soul. It energizes the heart. And increases our productivity and efficiency.
God knows that rest is a gift He uses to set us free.
During winter, to the naked eye it would appear that nothing is being done while the world is frozen in ice and snow. But in reality the very best work is being done.
God knows that rest is required in order to be prepared.
For when the sun begins to last longer in the sky. When the snow melts away and the temperature finally begins to rise. Then the hidden beauty that was forgotten during those cold, winter months will be revealed in green leaves and bountiful blooms that shout their Creator’s praises.
The season of rest prepares nature to bring God glory.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” -Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV
The Lesson We Can Learn from This Season of Rest
Maybe we have been placed in this frozen season for a reason. Maybe God is breaking us free from our busyness so that our souls can breathe. Maybe we have been forced to rest to prepare our lives for God’s best.
What if that is the lesson that God wants us to learn in all of this?
That this season of rest is preparing us to bring Him glory, so that when God calls us to bloom we have the strength to shout our Creator’s praises.
What if this is a blessing in disguise?
Rest Prepares Us for the Work We Have to Do
God knows a pandemic can soften hearts as people are reminded that this life is fleeting. Fear and uncertainty can cause people to look for a source of peace and hope. And hard times can cause people to wonder if there is more to life than what they see.
What if God is using this situation to turn hearts to Him?
“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” -Luke 10:2 NIV
And what if this frozen season of rest is exactly what God is using to prepare his workers to tend to the fields that are ripe with hearts now open to hearing about the good news of Jesus?
May we allow this season of rest to draw us close to God and prepare our hearts.
So that when we once again go out into the world, we will be ready to bring glory to Him!