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How to Respond to an Ongoing, Disruptive Trial


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In one sense, any trial that comes into our lives is unplanned and disruptive to our expectations. But some trials last longer than others and are disruptive to everything in our lives. The COVID-19 crisis has, in many ways, been this kind of trial.

Everyone in our nation today who is school-aged or above has had at least some aspect of their lives disrupted by this pandemic. And many of us have had almost every aspect of our lives upended. 

As this season continues to drag on, with little to no definite timelines in sight, it’s easy to become restless and frustrated. But the same grace that was available to us a month ago, is still available today. 

So, how should we respond to this ongoing disruption and the burdens that come with it?

1. Keep trusting God.

None of this—the onset or the length—is catching God by surprise. So trust Him. He cares for you, and He invites you to cast your every burden on Him. 

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.—1 Peter 5:7

2. Make prayer a priority. 

When our prayer life is not what it should be, we easily complain. This is a season for us to instead bring our hearts and needs to the Lord—and to lift up others in prayer as well. 

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.—Philippians 4:6

3. Remain flexible but purposeful.

We have all had some schedule changes imposed on us, and in these we should be flexible. Some of those early schedule changes, however, may have been easier to adapt to because of the urgency of the moment.

As this season drags on, however, without the hourly need for quick reactions, it’s easy to slip into lethargy. Resist that tendency by remaining focused on your God-given calling and keeping a daily schedule. 

I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.—John 9:4

4. Bring comfort to others. 

Even as the trial is dragging on in your life, it is in the lives of others as well. Reach out with care and encouragement to others in your church family, small group class, neighbors, friends, co-workers, first responders, and others. Be proactive in reaching out to those in your direct sphere of care, and be responsive to the Holy Spirit in reaching out to anyone He may bring to mind.

Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.—2 Corinthians 1:4

5. Prepare for the blessings ahead.

This has lasted for over a month already, but it won’t last forever. So like a farmer who, in faith, plants now so there will be a harvest in the fall, plant seeds of faithfulness, obedience, encouragement, and, especially, the gospel. Invest time in your walk with God, nurturing your family, and encouraging and discipling others. 

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.—Galatians 6:9

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