Doing Lockdown badly – well.

Michelle Tennens

Kingsland has a bit of a motto going. Doing Lockdown Well. Our fab leaders are encouraging all of us to do lockdown well, and to share our successes and testimonies. I love hearing those stories.

Stuck in a hole? It’s OK, there’s help on hand 🙂

I have news for you – some parts of some days I do lock-down well. I have a time studying my bible, clean house, bake bread and make supportive phone calls. At other times – sometimes even on the same day I overeat for comfort, take to the coolest room in my house and watch YouTube videos. When I really have “Prison-Cell-Without-Even-Day-Release” syndrome I can have a hissy fit and refuse to even get up.

There, I have told you. Alan is brilliant, he will either physically turn me out of bed, making me roar with laughter, or bring me a cup of tea knowing that I will be up by 10.30am as I get bored so quickly. My personality type is undiagnosed, but others will recognise it – ‘Yo-Yo’. I love God with a passion, and I love others too, but sometimes I just want to be on my own – or out shopping. Anything except sharing my lovely home with my lovely husband.

Having told you the truth, let me tell you some more. I have learnt that when I screw up, I must repent, say sorry to others, and God. I HATE doing that with a passion, and the longer I leave it the worse it gets. I have learnt therefore, to get it over with quickly. Dust myself off and start again.

Weird isn’t it, that when I have totally committed my life to God, I can’t even stay at home and be sweet 24/7? Not at all. If King David could not do it, I am in good company.

In Psalm 37 he says “Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land and feed on his faithfulness”. Excellent. That is me most mornings. How about when I just do not appreciate having my freedoms curtailed? A few verses later the King of Israel said,

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with his hand.”

There it is – gift wrapped for us – King David fell down – (quite spectacularly on occasions – think voyeurism, and murder) but he got up again. God loves all of us – He made us and knows our weaknesses. He orders our steps, but knows we trip over a hair on the carpet. Somehow, I have no idea how, He protects us, even in our failures and holds out His gracious hand to lift us up.

‘Doing Lockdown Well’ is not just about helping others when they are struggling. If I fall over – fortunately I have not done that for ages – our son will tease me and say “Have you had another of your falls mum?” as though I am 100 years old. I have on occasion tripped over on our very uneven compound in Uganda, and I always do the same thing. I lay till the pain lessens, check I can move everything, and let the shock go before I get up. Just that couple of seconds to gather myself reassures me that nothing is broken.

In the same way – if we “fall” somehow in our walk with God during the lockdown – let’s give it a moment or two while we check ourselves over to see what is broken, then accept a proffered hand to get up again. God is reaching out that hand, but we may need a person to talk to -on phone or zoom.

Don’t be alone with a feeling that everyone else is doing fine. We are all, to some extend yo-yoing through this. If someone tells you they are sailing through this like a dream while you feel you are in a nightmare – my guess is that they have a very strong support team!

‘Doing Lockdown Well’ is doing the best you can to walk with Jesus. Some of us run ahead, some like me will lag behind a bit. This though, is a journey not a race. No book has been written to get us through this, except our Bibles. Old, yet ever new.

Another bit from another psalm. Psalm 40,

“I waited patiently for the Lord, and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and has set my feet upon a rock and established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth – Praise to our God.”

One final word picture for you.

In Jeremiah 38 v 12 Jeremiah was rescued from a dungeon,

“Ebed-Melech the Ethiopian said to Jeremiah, “Please put these old clothes and rags under your arm-pits, under the ropes” And Jeremiah did so. So they pulled Jeremiah up with the ropes, and lifted him out of the dungeon.”

That is a picture of God rescuing us….He takes care that our rescue does not harm us. Next time you feel down, stick some old clothes and rags under your arm-pits to remind you that God is going to lift you up out of your pit. With God-speed and a following wind you will feel a bit daft, have a laugh at yourself and take the hand that is offered to you. Don’t let’s sit in our pits one minute longer than we have to.

Beryl Went