Dealing with the aftermath of COVID 19 or any major life-altering event can leave us all drained, feeling lost and wondering, “What Do I Do Now?” We recently recorded a podcast on The Huddle speaking on this subject and trying to encourage those who may be facing that question. I woke up on Friday morning, the release day of the episode with the sun beating down on my face, and was reminded of April 21st, 2019. I don’t know why my mind drifts back to that day as often as it does. “Did I say enough?” “Was I transparent enough?” were some of the questions that began to flood my mind as I sat at the edge of the bed thinking over the episode just hours before it released. These podcast topics come from a personal place, and I for one know exactly what it’s like to ask, “What Do I Do Now?”- I wanted to make sure that I captured the true essence of that question.
If you’ve ever had to utter these words, you know that the pressure that drives you to say them could care less if no one is present, and you’re talking to yourself. It doesn’t care how many people have cheered, prayed, or even given up their time for you. Pressure doesn’t care how anointed you are, or how many friends you have waiting for you at the restaurant to celebrate the big day. It doesn’t even care that you were being obedient to God. Pressure is pressure, and at some point, it catches you alone. That’s what I remember about April 21st, 2019.
Name on radio stations and various podcasts, logo printed in the newspaper, and local magazine articles, and none of it mattered when pressure caught me in the back halls of the church. There I stood with my arms full of props left over from the night before, eyeing for anything I might have missed, when I uttered the words, “What Do I Do Now?” It was the day after we launched this ministry. I had been obedient to God but was broke, scared, jobless, exhausted from sleepless nights filled with anxiety, and in something that I couldn’t get myself out of, especially since I told the audience of about 250, “We’ll see you in the fall”, the night before. (Someone should have slapped me as soon as I walked off stage!)
It’s something about those moments when you’re alone to deal with the residue of a decision or life-altering event that can almost leave you numb. In the church we talk and sing about standing with God, I even mentioned it on the podcast earlier this week. The more I sat on the side of the bed on Friday morning; I began to almost regret saying, “Just stand.” How could I be so vague and not paint the picture of what actually happens in those moments of pressure? How could I forget how God can lead us down a path that causes our knees to give out? How could I forget about sliding down the painted brick wall in the dark hall in shock? Why didn’t I mention the stuffy nose and puffy red eyes? What about the soaked t-shirt and carpet burn on my knee and elbows from the thirty-minute cry when no one was looking?
It was on this day that I got revelation on what it means to stand after you’ve done all you can. Standing with God is not a physical position, but a spiritual one. There are some things that will bring you to your knees physically. There are some circumstances that will have you balled up in the middle of the living room floor crying out to God. Asking God, “What Do I Do Now?” is admitting that you’re out of options, or simply coming to the end of yourself. At that moment I was spiritually standing with God the best way I knew how which was on my knees.
When you’re on your knees you can ask God about the business that’s suffering due to COVID19, the lack of food in the cabinets. On your knees, you can tell God you’re out of extensions on the car note, and the water is getting cut off tomorrow. On your knees, you can tell God that His word says that the righteous will never be forsaken nor His seed begging bread.
Let me pause here and give a late disclaimer. My name is L.A. and I’m not a cute writer. I don’t write feel-good stories with the intent to entertain or give a sugar high. If you made it this far in the article, you’re a “real one” in my book, and you’re probably up against some real issues in this season and the pressures of residue are weighing you down. Let me give you some advice, go there. Yes, you. Get on your knees!
So anyway, I was on my knees in the back hall when I had to make a decision. I decided while on my knees physically, to stand with God spiritually. I rid myself of my need to know what was going to happen next (It’s a weekly rid by the way). On my knees, I traded my will for my fathers, like Jesus had to do with His father. You see even Jesus found himself on His knees in the Garden of Gethsemane due to pressure. If Jesus found himself on His knees, why do we think we’re exempt? K.O.C. wasn’t made of rugged wood, but it was and still is my cross to carry, and the cool thing is, all I have to do is follow Him. When you’re following, you don’t have to know what’s next; you just need to know who’s in front.
From that moment on God has led me on quite the journey. There have been hills, valleys, mountain tops, deep drops, frequent stops, even the cops- I’m fine guys, it was really cool and they’re great friends of this ministry.
We might not have faced the same situation during COVID 19, but our God is the same. As shocking as the job loss, decline in ministry, lost loved one, etc., God will take care of you. Whatever it is you’re facing is not catching God by surprise, and it’s not too big for Him to handle. If you don’t get anything from this article, please understand that asking, “What Do I Do Now?” permits God to do a work in your life.
Rid yourself of the need to know how it will all play out. Decide today that you’re going to stand with God no matter how hard things get. I can promise you it’s quite the journey, and if I’m honest, you might have to kneel.
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.Isaiah 43:2