COVID 19 has stolen many dreams that we had going into 2020. The pandemic has caused many people to mourn, especially black people, the loss of weddings, graduations, vacations, birthday celebrations, and for some of us, the lives of loved ones. Amid these losses, we have had to deal with the traumatic reoccurrence of black lives taken in unnecessary and unjust ways.
If you’re like me, you have thought, “Lord, this is too much.” A pandemic and killing of George Floyd to police brutality, Ahmaud Arbery to a sinful vigilante attack, and the unnecessary shooting of Breonna Taylor as she slept in her apartment are too excessive for my soul to bear. I write this piece to remind my brothers and sisters in Christ that the Lord sees us, is moved with compassion towards us, and suffers beside us, as he holds our hands and pronounces woes on societal structures that don’t seek justice (Matt 23:23). Jesus knows how to weep (John 11:35), and He also knows how to heal. After all, Jesus sympathizes with us in our weakness (Heb:4:25) as one who was a member of an oppressed people and who Himself was falsely accused and tried though He committed no wrongdoing. He will bring complete justice and make all things new (Rev 21:5). He has neither forgotten you nor has He been deaf or blind to the historical suffering of black people. And, until His justice rolls down like a mighty river – take care of yourself. Holistic – spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional – care is needed now, perhaps more than ever.
Spiritually, take care of yourself by taking time to abide in Christ (John 15:1-5). To abide in Him is how we follow Him. We abide in Him as we thoughtfully meditate on His Word (Ps. 1). Open your Bible, play some pleasant music, find a comfortable seat, leave your phone in another room, and spend time with Jesus. In this season of your life, voluminous reading may not be possible or most beneficial. So, I suggest you reflect on a chapter or verse from the Psalter, the book of Proverbs, the minor prophets, or the Gospels. Then, base your prayers on what you read. Moreover, don’t allow your prayers to be consumed with you talking, but make sure you take time to hear what the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit may speak to you through His Word.
Physically, take care of yourself by eating foods that will energize you and not leave you sluggish. Our minds and emotions are intricately connected to our diets. Several years ago, I started to eat healthier and lost 55 pounds. Through the process, I learned how to enjoy food without living to eat. Instead, by God’s grace, I’m learning how to eat to live.
Not only must we be mindful of our diet, but we also must think carefully about our sleep patterns. The Scriptures invite us to work hard, but also to rest well, knowing that God is Sovereign and gives rest to his beloved (Ps 127:3). We can sleep well, knowing that God neither sleeps nor slumbers (Ps 121:3-4)!
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