Let me out already!

I’m the kind of person that gets cabin fever after two weeks of rain, and during that period I go to church at least four or five times. When it’s raining day after day, I get antsy. I want to see people, be in normal life, just get out and walk.

So, when Spain shut me in—not just me, but all the country—and told me I could not go anywhere at all, it was like the beginning of a long rainy season. Only worse. No church, no grocery store, no nada.

I haven’t been on the inside of a car in many weeks, and I just found out we have at least three weeks more of this ahead of us.

Now, just so you understand, I have seriously enjoyed some aspects of this whole being-at-home adventure. I admit it. I’ve written about these advantages in past blog posts. You can scroll down and read them.

But it’s time to get out.

I feel like a prisoner.

Don’t get me wrong. My contentment hasn’t gone on vacation. I’m not mad at anyone. I wouldn’t even go and protest if I had the freedom to get out and do so. We have a large yard, and I go for a walk in it every day. Today, I took pictures of the neighbor’s cows, who were more than happy to model.

I have a terrific husband who treats me like a queen. We have plenty to eat and a warm house.

Our church services have been a blessing—even while being temporarily distant from our friends. We can even watch our home church’s services live and tune into various devotional thoughts each day.

I keep busy teaching. I always teach online, so there were no adjustments to make, only I pray each teaching day about the quality of connection, since the whole world has moved online.

I’m writing more, finally wrapping up my novel. Someday, I’d love to get it published. That dream seems more real now that the story is almost done.

Easter week, I dug into some boxes and sorted and pitched. Oh, the joy of it!

So, you see, I am fine.

But, get me outta here, already!

Truth is, people weren’t meant to huddle and hunker. They were meant to get out, make friends, enjoy life, interact, and be a blessing and testimony. We need each other.

I don’t know what to make of this whole situation. I firmly believe we probably saved lives by sheltering in place for a few weeks. I certainly hope so.

After a while, though, vulnerable people will be adversely affected mentally. I am wondering what will happen to a population like we have in Spain where many do not know the Lord. Few are readers. I am guessing they’re sitting in front of their TV sets watching whatever news and trash is to be seen.

How will people deal with the death toll? Over 21,000 lives have been lost to Covid19 thus far in Spain. That means probably all their families are mourning—plus others who lost family members to other causes. Christians have hope, and we still sorrow. But few Spanish people know they’ll see their loved ones again.

If the way not to get this virus is to be exceptionally careful with personal hygiene, then we need to do that.

What can be wrong with exercising outside of one’s home? Why keep people from parks and workplaces? Should we further cripple the world’s economies if all the curves are going downward?

I don’t know.

All I know is …

I want out already!

So, I open my Bible and read:

  • My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing (James 1:2-4).
  • Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 2:3).
  • Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy (James 5:11).

Good soldier? Perfect and entire? Happy, patient, and enduring?

I see I have a lot to learn.

Maybe that’s why the Lord’s giving me three more weeks.

How are you doing in confinement? What are you learning?

What I’m learning in confinement

What am I learning? You might be as surprised as I am.

Quite a few years ago, a friend sent our co-worker a cassette tape with a song about the “First Jeroboam, come-as-you-are” church. We listened to it with friends and laughed and laughed. It mentioned casual dress, drive-in church, etc. Absurd! We would never stoop to such.

Just a couple of years ago, when another country banned the face veil and other facial coverings in public spaces, I was all for it. A person’s face tells so much about them, and when you can’t see people’s faces, it’s depersonalizing (if that’s a word).

I can almost hear myself telling a young Christian that it is so important to physically assemble for church services, quoting Hebrews 10:25—and it is. And now, our own church is making herculean efforts to assemble virtually, as this Christian lady was doing at the time.

A global virulent pandemic with no known cure and no vaccination has changed the ways we do things. We all hope and pray the restrictions and lockdowns pass as quickly as is prudent and that we, indeed, can save many lives by giving up some of our liberties for a relatively brief time.

I balked those first few days. The prohibition that I couldn’t leave my home—not that I necessarily would have—bugged me. I have to admit, there are pros and cons. I love having more time with my husband, since he can’t go anywhere, either. Having time to work on a project adds to my happiness.

I’ve never been so thankful for our yard.

My church family has become dearer, not more distant—although we can only meet through social media and communicate by texting and phone.

I confess to not dressing up for every church service. (Don’t be harsh on me, please.) We can watch our home church live, a real plus. On Sundays, we can enjoy four services, instead of two.

My secret hope is that most churches begin to livestream regularly from now on. They will reach more people and minister more effectively to their shut-ins. It’s a great mission tool that must not be ignored.

So, I laugh at myself for encouraging my husband to wear a mask and gloves as he grocery shops. He doesn’t look sinister or personless to me; he looks wise.

I’m chuckling when I read about my friends outside of Spain who had drive-in Easter activities and services.

Knowing it is truly important to gather the church—its people—together for corporate worship, I have come to appreciate the outreach of livestreaming and Zoom meetings.

I am learning patience—at least I hope so—in a time of real trials. This has been one of the hardest periods in our lives for several reasons besides the covid virus. Yet, God is faithful. He is accomplishing something in us. And, we worship Him.

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him (Psalm 28:7).

What are you learning, if you’re confined? Please share.