God Has Grace for Your Worst Quarantine Days

Alicia Purdy

Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
Updated Jun 22, 2020
God Has Grace for Your Worst Quarantine Days

During this season of quarantine, how are you holding up? Most people are experiencing both good and bad days, depending on the day. We’re all wondering: when will this end? More than likely, it will not “end,” but will slowly develop into a new way of living and will change how we interact with the world around us. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing!

There will be some natural changes, like greater attention to hand washing, but there will be physical, emotional, and spiritual changes as well.

Physically, we’ll learn to be more proactive about health needs, addressing illnesses, and protecting ourselves and others in crowds.

Emotionally, we’ll have had some time to reflect on family and work dynamics, areas where we can do better going forward, and how to build relationships with intention.

Spiritually? All the ways! God has lovingly used the fallen condition of the world and its consequences, like COVID-19, to reveal His faithfulness, power, grace, and love. Has it been easy? No. Does God bring purpose to every problem we face when we walk according to His plan? Yes! (Romans 8:28)

As we all move ahead into our “new normal,” you may not like the changes that come—but they are coming. If you want to do more than survive—if you want to thrive as God wants you to—you may need some help, ideas, and support.

Here are 5 tips for leaning into God’s grace through this crisis:

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1. Grace at Home

1. Grace at Home

Have you noticed that people in different generations are responding differently to the COVID-19 pandemic? Young kids don’t really get it and think they’re on vacation. Teens feel in a strange limbo state. Parents are spraying everything down with disinfectant. Grandparents are acting like it’s life as usual or succumbing to overwhelming health fears. Great-grandparents survived the war and often so unfazed they’re ignoring the news reports.

Being stuck in the house together with all your immediate family around the clock sounded nice...until it happened. Here’s what we’re discovering together: You’re going to need the grace of God, the patience of Jesus, and the power of the Holy Spirit to be with these people for an extended period of time

If absence makes the heart grow fonder, quarantine threatens to achieve the opposite. Thriving doesn’t mean making a bunch of Pinterest crafts and homeschooling your kids into college. Sometimes thriving means you made it through the day with everyone still alive!

You’re not the only one losing their patience, speaking harshly, and slamming doors (among other things). Everyone in your family is working through a lot of complex responses to this stressful season, even if they don’t show it.

Don’t be afraid to take time for yourself, away from everyone else. Even if you have to get up early or stay up late, or bundle up, go outside and walk. Or walk in the rain to find time away from your family. You need to be alone—and your family does, too. Pray, read, watch a show, journal, do something creative to redirect yourself, and get out of the run of routine. It’s mentally draining.

Give yourself—and each of them—permission to step away. Make it happen. You’ll be a better, nicer, happier person for it, both inside of yourself and in your family.

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2. Grace within Your Church Family

2. Grace within Your Church Family

Social distancing has proven to be a lot harder in practice than it was in theory. Mandatory quarantine has distanced many of us further apart than we wanted. This means that churches have had to face a number of difficult admissions about “church as usual,” including how connected each person really is with the other.

True, more and more people are tuning in online than may ever step into the four walls of a church, but God designed the “assembling of ourselves together” (Hebrews 10:23) to be a person-to-person, relationship-building point of strength.

Can we become stronger together using only online methods? Not in the long-term, no. Being separate from other Christians should not feel normal, or else you were never truly connected in the first place.

When you come together, every one of you has a psalm, a teaching, a tongue, a revelation, and an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. (1 Cor. 14:26)

God has inherently built you to need physical proximity to another Christian, not because Paul didn’t understand technology or because God didn’t account for it, but because God is a person-to-person, relationship-builder and you are made in His image. Technology is what we have, so use it! Call, text, video call, tune into your church’s service...and tithe.

Your church is hurting financially, as many others are, but that doesn’t negate the financial expectation God has put on His people to support the ministers of the gospel. Remember, whom the enemy can divide, he can and will conquer. 

Quarantine may be a physical requirement, but it is not a spiritual one. Give yourself grace as you muddle through this temporary shift into technology for connection.

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3. Living in Grace with God

3. Living in Grace with God

Before the quarantine, we all had our comfortable routines. We had our own ways of spending time with the Lord that we enjoyed. Whether it was in your car, on your knees at the couch, on a prayer walk, or over an early morning coffee with your Bible...spending time with the Lord fit nicely into the routine. Before this crisis.

Now, you’re not working, or you’re working weird hours. Your kids are at home stuffing Play-Doh into the cracks of the table and demanding endless snacks. Your spouse is on their phone when they said they’d help. All that simultaneous action is spiritually chaotic and we spend more time putting fires out than we do letting the Lord light a fire in us. God’s grace is sufficient for this too, because stuff like this happens!

If you want to thrive in your personal relationship with Christ, you’ll need to get creative. Maybe you can’t stare in contemplation out the window and think about a Bible verse for the time being. But you can give yourself grace, and maybe put the Bible on audio and listen to the Scriptures as you give the kids a bath or mow the lawn.

You can worship by fixing your mind on Him as you cook dinner or change the sheets.

You can pray in the Spirit anytime you want. One thing this season is revealing in many of us is: what we thought we had in Christ may have been built more on routine than honest relationship. What an opportunity!

God is calling us all to something deeper in Him—a deeper faith, a deeper knowledge, a deeper intimacy. The enemy wants to call us away from God. With greater intention and determination, seek Him, and you will find. (Isaiah 55:6-12)

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4. Grace for Your Fears

4. Grace for Your Fears

One of the most difficult struggles we have all faced during this pandemic is fear. Fear has gripped most of the world at one point or another, especially in the beginning as we all watched the virus make its way across the globe.

While some people are perfectly fine, others are more cautious. Some are in a full-blown panic. Which are you? No matter what we face on earth, people of faith will always have two options for facing it: fear or love.

Remember, fear is not an emotion. Fear is a spirit. (2 Timothy 1:7) So is the love that is from God. (John 4:23; 1 John 4:8)

Both fear and love are choices, but that doesn’t mean they’re easy choices. There will be plenty of unknowns in this season, and plenty of God’s grace available. The enemy would love nothing more than to keep you gripped in fear so you cannot make good decisions or so that you’re ineffective in Christ. 

If you’re going to thrive and not just survive, choose love, moment by moment—which means this: Choose God’s grace. Choosing God isn’t a mental decision, it’s a spiritual one.

People are dying, but people are also living.

The virus is contagious, but not necessarily deadly.

Was it a biological weapon? Is it one of the seven seals of the end times? Is it mutating?

While many of our questions may never have answers, the enemy wants you more focused on the fear of the unknown than you are focused on the One who knows it all. God will tell you what you need to know when you need to know it (John 16:13). 

The struggle against fear is very real, but so is the assurance of your victory against fear if you keep fighting. Stay away from negativity. Stop reading the news, reading about daily death counts and talking to fear-filled people.

Fill yourself with the Word, worship, and pray“without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:16). “Think on these things” and then “do these things” as Paul wrote, (Philippians 4:8-9) “and the God of peace will be with you.”

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dad and young daughter fist pump celebrate in front of computer

5. Grace in Your Roles

It certainly is a unique and unusual time in human history that school children will one day learn about.

Working parents are now homeschooling kids. Many are out of jobs and doing all the cooking and cleaning, shopping and everything else. Kids are schooling online, isolated at home. Pastors are preaching through Facebook Live instead of from the pulpit. Teachers are delivering meals. Life as we thought we knew it has changed for the foreseeable future.

Whatever your role once was and now is, God’s grace is sufficient to cover you.

Comparing yourself to everyone else will steal your strength. If you are giving your best efforts to the Lord (whatever that looks like in your unique life) then everything will flow out from there...and you are doing enough. (Colossians 3:23-24)

The enemy will try to keep you overwhelmed. God will try to lift your burdens. You can’t do this without the Lord’s help. Hold that perspective, run to His grace, and thrive.

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alicia purdy headshot bio authorAlicia Purdy holds an M.A. in Journalism from Regent University. She is a worship leader at her local church and the author of “The Way of the Worshipper: Connecting with Spirit of God Through Restoring Intimacy, Purpose, and Understanding in Worship”. Alicia publishes www.TheWayoftheWorshipper.com, a devotional Bible study blog focused on the power of praise and worship that offers free printables, study materials, teachings, books, and other resources for individuals, groups, and churches to gain revelation, insight, and understanding from God’s Word about praise and worship.

Originally published Saturday, 25 April 2020.