As some of you may know one of my 2020 goals is to read through the Bible in two years. Now I am the first to say that I was very intimidated by this goal to read through the Bible because I wanted to read through it canonically. (Canonically is where you read through it front to back. Whereas chronologically is doing it historically based.)
So I was really intimidated by doing this reading because even as a PK (pastor’s kid), I have to admit I was definitely one of those people that falsely believed, “the Old Testament was really boring and outdated and I don’t really understand why we need the first couple books of the Bible,” which is terrible. But I was just one of those people where I felt as if, “there’s no point to reading Leviticus or Numbers,” and I really believed that specifically about Leviticus and Numbers.
All of March I read through Leviticus and I was INSPIRED. I know. That’s not a typo (I’m as shocked as you are!) A couple days before Massachusetts quarantined officially, I was reading about the detailed instructions about offerings while I was like sitting in my quiet time with God.
Before I started chapter 6 I prayed and basically said: “all right Lord, I’m going into this and I’m already feeling like I’m getting this attitude of ‘I don’t know why I’m spending time reading through Leviticus.’ I really need to hear You right now because this is a really frustrating time,and I don’t know how to cope with all of this.”
And wouldn’t you know, He uses Leviticus six to teach me one of the like most profound things I think I’ve ever come across in the Bible.
So I was reading in Leviticus six specifically verses eight through 30 for that chapter. It’s all about further instructions. So when I say further instructions that means that I have already read multiple paragraphs about instructions for all of these offerings. And these are further instructions. This is when I would typically find myself, you know, kind of eyes glazed over reading but not taking anything in.
I started thinking though, as I’m reading about all these meticulous and tedious jobs, the priests had. Their entire jobs, consisted of being called to worship God with their life and serve God.
What they were called to do was so repetitious. It was so time consuming and it was pretty much same old, same old all the time. And it got me thinking that even in those things that were so meticulous and repetitive, that’s how they were called to worship.
That got me thinking about chronic illnesses and how, you know, I’ve talked a lot over this past year about how I’ve really felt like my job right now, and the way that I’m meant to worship Jesus, is by taking care of my body. Do I wish I could be dancing for Him and worshiping? Yes. Do I wish that I could be worshiping and being more active in the physical part of our church?
Of course I do, but this is how He’s asked me to worship Him right now.
It got me thinking about what our world is dealing with and the fact that, you know, we’re being told a lot of things. We’re being told that we need to be taking extra precautionary measures, social distancing, reducing postage, working from home, the list goes on and on. Now with a chronic illness, there are things we need to do every day like: setting up IVs every day, doing joint corrections, taking medications, this list also goes on and on. There are days that I just don’t want to do it and I just don’t feel like taking care of my body.
But guess what? It doesn’t matter if I feel like it or not, this is what I’m called to do to take care of my body and now, you and I, in this country (and in this world) we are called not just take care of ourselves but the people around us. And part of that is practicing social distancing.
It’s so much extra work when Jared gets home if he has to go out to the grocery store or pharmacy. Jared and I have a meticulous way (that our quad came up with you) to sanitize anything that comes in the house. Such as: putting his keys, wallet, phone, groceries, mail, packages, etc. down on the floor (not a carpet so that you can just lysol the floor); no touching anything then washing his hands, changing, and washing his hands; sanitizing item and door nobs and the faucets touched- There’s so many things I’m not even adding. IT’S A LOT OF WORK.
There are times where we don’t want to do all these extra steps and follow the quarantine precautions.
We’re so tired, but this is what we’re called to do right now. This is our worship. We are glorifying him by taking care of ourselves and others. And I think that will change everything if you’re able to look at facing this trying time as a way to worship him.
Worship Him by making your loved ones know that despite being on top of each other all the time, you love having this quality time.
Worship Him by making those who are isolated know that they are not forgotten or alone.
Worship Him by only buying what you actually need and purchasing responsibly.
Worship Him by asking your disabled, elderly, or pregnant neighbors if they need anything when you go to the store, pharmacy, post office.
Worship Him by staying six feet apart when you HAVE to be around others you are not quarantined with, and do NOT visit family or friends you are not quarantined.
Worship Him by making time for Him in this uncertainty.
Worship Him by enjoying His creation and the technology He has blessed us with in a healthy balance.
Worship Him by using what is in your hand, even empty hands can be lifted to worship.
How will you worship Him well in Quarantine?
Cassie Nolin is a married spoonie who lives the chronic illness life with EDS + Co. (Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and it’s comorbid conditions.) She challenges others to choose grace over guilt in goal setting, and is in ministry part time serving the online community through The Spoonie Study. She loves planting, hand lettering, and sharing the hope she has found in Jesus. Her blog, Living the Chronic Illness Life, is in the top 100 chronic illness blogs and her podcast, Chronically Cultivating, is produced by Speaking to the Heart Network. Cassie encourages women to live authentic and intentional lives through their diagnosis’ not in spite of them. You can learn more about her at www.livingthechronicillnesslife.com