Along with many other Christians in America and around the globe, the unexpected season of stay-at-home orders, self-quarantines and social-distancing brought about by the coronavirus/covid-19 pandemic, has given me more-than-normal amounts of time for prayer, Bible reading and self-examination. Although I have been quietly contemplating current events for some weeks, I now feel led to share some of what the Holy Spirit has been speaking to my heart.
I hope these personal devotional reflections and prayers will encourage you in your faith journey, challenge you to pray boldly, stir you to listen more attentively for the Holy Spirit’s whisper, and wait expectantly for God’s answers to this crisis as you seek him.
I will be updating this series of posts as the Holy Spirit leads, in chronological order. Feel free to contact me through my website JanetDeCaster.com for #prayer . Also appreciate your social media shares, so that I can reach others with God’s Word.
Shut in with God: devotions and prayers from #stayathome – Janet DeCaster
Post 1 – March 13, 2020 (posted 3/31) –The Prophet in the pit. (a/k/a Daniel in the Lion’s Den)
In the pre-stay-at-home order time, my elderly mother was injured by a fall and needed hospitalization. This required me, along with another family member, to be one of only two visitors to her at the hospital each day. I decided to step back from my workplace in order to decrease potential exposure to the #coronavirus so that I could stay well to visit my mother. That whole week as I contemplated the loss of income through my contract job, along with the perils of visiting the hospital (due to the potential for coronavirus exposure to myself, or worse, to my elderly mother who has other pre-existing conditions), the spirit of fear came knocking at my door. But the good news is, I sent Jesus to answer. Here’s how.
At the time, I happened to be reading in the Book of Daniel for personal devotions. As I read Daniel 6 early one morning, God used it to stir faith in my heart. It details the experience of the Prophet Daniel, who was thrown into a pit full of hungry lions by an evil king, simply because of his unwillingness to stop praying to the God of heaven. The mouth of the pit was sealed with a stone and, without supernatural aid, Daniel was doomed. However, when Daniel should have been devoured by hungry lions, God sent an angel to shut those lions’ mouths. Daniel’s test turned into his testimony. God showed me that, like Daniel, my faith could grow bigger than my fears. As a result, I boldly walked into the hospital each night, declared God’s word and prayed with my mother (and her caregivers!). God’s Word worked. The lion-like roar of the spirit of fear was drowned out by the truth of God’s Word.
The lesson: If you are a believer and devil-ish circumstances have you in a ‘pit’ of fear from which there seems to be no way of escape, God can still send his angel to close the mouths of those hungry ‘lions’ (even if the lions are invisible virus germs or other overwhelming circumstances and fears). Faith in God and declaring God’s Word can: calm your fears, make a path through the sea of potentially deadly germs all around you, and bring peace in a time of financial uncertainty. No matter what your ‘pit-like’ circumstances, when you pray and trust him, God will bring you through it. (In my case, my faith became stronger than the fears. Many prayed for my Mom and she made it through. She is now safely recovering from her injury in rehabilitation therapy.)
How about you? Do you feel like you’ve been thrown into a deep, dark pit of hungry lions’ (deadly germs, sudden unemployment/no school or other troubles on every side)? If so, PRAY! READ GOD’s WORD found in the Bible and let your faith grow larger than your fears. God is still sending his angels to shut those lions’ mouths, just like he did for the Prophet in the pit.
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