Who would have ever imagined that the whole nation would be under a “Shelter in place” mandate, which could last at least another month. Only a month ago we were free to go about our business. Now men reading this blog are confined to their “shelter.”
It reminds me of Is. 26:20, “Go my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hid yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed by.” We might not be facing the wrath of God, but we are being told to “shelter in place.” What can God be teaching us as we learn to stay home.
The Psalms repeatedly make reference to our shelter with the Lord. Ps. 91:1 in the amplified reads, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will remain secure and rest in the shadow of the Almighty [whose power no enemy can withstand]. In Ps. 61:4 we read, “I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.” In Ps. 27:5 the Palmist confidently declares, “For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.”
Each of these Psalms point to the Lord protecting those who are in his shelter. The Palmist prays in confidence for the Lord to grant rest and security, providing a refuge and hiding place. Men, that is what God wants to do for you and your family during this time of “exile” in our homes. Here are some thought about this time of being “sheltered in place.”
First, take responsibility for providing spiritual protection for your family. This means like myself, you are to cry out to the Lord in intercessory prayer on behalf of your family. Maybe you have been lazy in this regard in the past. Remember God hears your prayers. Please, for your family’s sake, don’t abandon your post.
Secondly, the stay at home directive, will force your whole family to be together throughout the day. This could very well expose some cracks in the foundation of your family’s spiritual and relational structure. Accept this as a time to bring healing into your family. Men, you don’t have to act like a saint – just be honest about your own faults and needs, asking the rest of the family to do their own self examination.
Thirdly, with all the family together, new routines will be forming. Take the lead in establishing some spiritual family habits that have gone by the way side because everyone is going in a different direction most of the time. Now take time for family prayer, scripture reading and especially praying with and for each other. Take the risk of leading such an effort with your family
Finally, you have time and extra energy. This might be a good time to examine the priorities you have had as a family. Ask the Lord as a family how you could best invest in the kingdom of God, hoping to see some new priorities to maintain when life gets back to normal
Most of all, continue to get praise and thanks to God for how good He has been. Hear these words from Habakkuk, “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior” (Hab. 3: 17-18).