I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t have guessed that 2020 would turn out this way! Everything has changed – from grocery shopping to having coffee with a friend, to worshipping in church and sending kids to school, just to name a few. From March until August, I mostly felt like I was walking through a thick fog, barely able to see to take one more step. Maybe you felt this way too – wondering how to work, live, worship, relate, and generally make sense of… well, anything.
According to an article published by Zephoria Digital marketing, here are some 2017 statistics regarding Facebook:
- 1.37 billion people on average log onto Facebook daily and are considered daily active users
- 50% of 18-24 year-olds go to Facebook as soon as they wake up
- Every 60 seconds, 510,000 comments are posted, 293,000 statuses are updated and 136,000 photos are uploaded
- Photo uploads total 300 million per day
Facebook is only one platform, but we live in an unprecedented era of social media mania. But, how does this impact us spiritually?
To me, Facebook is the equivalent of sitting down with a cup of coffee and gathering together everyone’s opinions about everything under the sun. How crazy is that?! Although there are positives to social media, too often it releases comparison and negativity in the spirit. You see a picture and wonder why you weren’t invited to that event; you find yourself saying, “how can they afford to go on a vacation like that?” “I didn’t know they were of that political party!” “Look at that picture perfect family!” “We are the same age and she has no wrinkles!” “Look at the size of my high school sweetheart’s house; wish I would’ve stayed with him.” and it goes on and on. And many times, you will sort through and process that information the rest of the day.
2020, the year of the pandemic, COVID-19. This year has left us feeling our need for Jesus in a unique way. Some days have felt overwhelming…uncertain. The summer felt like it may never end, but God showed me His faithfulness in the most unlikely way.
We’ve lived on our homestead for two years. Most everything here requires hard work. Raising animals, growing food, remodeling this worn and neglected house all takes planning and lots of labor.
One day, in late spring, my children and I took an afternoon walk out to our back acreage and we found a gift. Perhaps an ordinary thing to some, but, to us, it was a gift. We discovered acres of blackberries! We hadn’t seen these berries the year before and we didn’t plan or work for them. They were everywhere! I’ve never seen so many blackberries in all my life! It gave us all something fun to do as a family, when nothing was open or available. We made cobblers and pies. We offered berries to friends and family. We sat in the field and picked them and stained our faces and hands with their sweet juice. We had such an abundance, we were even able to freeze some. When I pull the bounty from the freezer to make pies this winter, I’ll remember how in the middle of uncertainty and sadness, God gave us a gift that we did not have to put any effort into.
Our children are born with our physical DNA. They are a complex combination of two that have become one. They look like us, they sound like us and they act like us (which is why my kids got disciplined so much). We quickly learn that we have a great responsibility here. Yes, we have given them their physical DNA, but now we must give them their spiritual DNA. The teaching, shaping, molding, building of who they are in Christ begins the moment they are born into our lives.
There are years of exhausting discipline, shaping, teaching, correcting, molding and these years are not for the faint of heart! There are moments of joy when you know they really get it and pillows soaked with tears when you wonder if you are the only mother on the planet who has given birth to rebellion incarnate.
Do you feel like you are in transition? Do you feel things changing in your life and you’re not sure where it’s going? Do you feel like you have obeyed God up to this point and now there is nothing, silence, no direction, no open door to the next thing? I sure have and I imagine many of you have too.
God showed me the clearest picture today. I am currently reading a very good book. Each chapter is full of great information, riveting stories and life changing principles. I get to the end of one chapter and I can hardly wait to start the next. But, I noticed something as I was reading the other night. Some chapters end at the bottom of the page and the next chapter begins immediately. Some chapters end in the middle of the page and there is just blank space. God showed me that this is a lot like life. Sometimes one chapter in our life leads right into the next. Sometimes, there is blank space before the next chapter begins – silence, nothing.