June 2020 by Franchesca Bayne
Too Much Time
Too much time! For the first time we have too much time and nowhere to go. “So, what now,” “when”, and “how” are so many of the questions we are left with that seem to go unanswered. I do find that with so much time on our hands we can become idle. Idleness can lead to depression, excessive eating, and many other negative attributes of self-shaming. After all, in the Bible, God warns against becoming an idle man (1 Timothy 5:13, Eph 5:15-16, Proverbs 19:15).
Let’s not be so quick to add just any scripture to any situation, however. This is a time to reflect, for some it’s a time to plan, for some it’s a time reminisce. God also spoke of a time to rest, plan, and wait (Romans 12:12, Galatians 6:9, Eph 4:2, Psalm 40:1, James 5:8). Yes, “wait” is a much better word than the dreaded word “Patience”. Sorry to make you cringe, but yes, waiting is a part of the Christian life. Waiting is a part of life for both the lost and the found, but we know waiting with the Lord as the “found” brings peace that passes all understanding as said in Philippians 4:7: “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ.”
You might be asking, “So which is it, idle hands or waiting for time to pass?” Great question, for me it’s been a time of all of these. I first started off in this—sorry to have to say it again since we hear it everywhere—”quarantine”. I started off in a place of idleness, a sense of excitement to reconnect with my very busy family life. But as the days went into weeks and into months, my excitement morphed into worry and fear about not having a plan and having forgotten my purpose. My purpose in God is to pray and wait on Him. I needed to remember waiting is rest, waiting is part of God’s timing to prepare our hearts for the next thing. It was at that moment of self-reflection that I remembered I must not give in to ways of fear. This meant only one thing: I needed some quiet time with Jesus and of course a good cup of coffee.
I asked daily in prayer for the Lord to reveal to me what it was I should do in times like this (Colossians 3:12-13, Galatians 6:2, Hebrews 13:16). The Lord slowly, yes slowly, began to show me every day this is a wonderful time to wait on Him. A few days later when I stopped laying out marching orders in my house (school at 8 am sharp, breakfast menu, 3 workouts a day, blah, blah, right?), God reminded it was ok to plan, if I asked Him daily if it was His plan too (Matthew 5:16, Philippians 2:4). I changed from a fear of no schedule to opening my schedule to the new opportunities God has given me. Maybe at 8 am call a loved one, reach out to my neighbor, pray for my small business (yes, we had to shut down) and listen for where God needs me to be instead of where I think I should be. Yes, this includes going for a walk, baking a pie, then posting the picture or sitting on the couch and chilling (Hebrews 6:10, Proverbs 11:25). Waiting on the Lord can be relaxing, too!
The takeaway is to always seek the Lord and ask Him to show you your heart and your ways, and then ask God to guide you and show you His way in all things, even in COVID (Matthew 5:42, Proverbs 19:17, Romans 12:13). We are all different and we are all being guided by God and He has different plans for each of us, different times of rest and different ways to be a blessing. I pray this finds you and meets you in the depth of your many questions. Something tells me that you might just find yourself with 20 Scripture references too!
—Romans 8:25: “But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”