Your ten point COVID-19 survival plan
How the world has changed! A month ago we were wondering how Harry and Meghan were going to pay their bodyguards; now we are facing the greatest crisis of our lifetimes. A few weeks ago no one had heard of COVID-19; now all of us have had our lives disrupted by it.
In February, I wrote an article on how the current outbreak is like the SARS outbreak of 2003. I was wrong. This pandemic is more pervasive. In that article I outlined reasons why churches might want to keep their doors open during this time of crisis. Now many are being closed by mandatory lockdowns.
Here in New Zealand we are in the middle of a four-week lockdown. It could be longer. If you are not already in a lockdown or self-quarantine you may be soon. You should prepare. Collect the essentials. Get ready for having your kids home with you 24/7. Make a plan.
“I’m going to watch Netflix for a month.”
Make a better plan.
Every crisis brings an opportunity and a lockdown could be an opportune time for you to try all sorts of new things:
1. Master the art of resting. (If you figure it out, let me know.)
2. Make something with your hands. Plant a herb garden. Paint the spare room. Declutter the garage.
3. Read a new grace book. Read an old grace book. Write a book. Publish it on Amazon.
4. Get to grips with that hot potato subject you’ve been hearing about. Are these the last days? Am I eternally secure? What are heavenly rewards under grace? Study a book in the Bible from cover to cover. Study a Bible character. Unpack a tough scripture and find the hidden treasure. (Hint: it probably has something to do with Jesus.)
5. Be salt and light. Send your pastor an encouraging message. Be an active participant in church livestreams. Let the world know you are there. Write to friends you haven’t seen in years. Remind everyone there’s light at the end of the tunnel and that this too shall pass.
6. Start a rock band with your kids. Play games. (We just invented a relay game involving Nerf guns.) Give them a LEGO Masters-type challenge. Make a silly video.
7. Get a Bible reading plan for your teenaged kids. Read a simpler Bible for your younger kids. (I highly recommend The Jesus Storybook Bible.) Take communion. Teach your kids how to cast their anxieties on the Lord.
8. Go star gazing in your back yard. Introduce your kids to the constellations and the Creator who made them. Find out when the International Space Station is flying over and watch it. Check out the Starlink satellites. You don’t need a telescope to see these.
9. Rediscover the joy of reading a book to your kids, one chapter at a time. I highly recommend the Narnia Chronicles. For tweens, give them a copy of my book, The Big House. This week you can get it for free!
10. Sponsor a Compassion kid or a World Vision kid. Pick one who shares a birthday with your own child. Give your kid a letter-writing plan. Remind them that even in a lockdown others are worse off.
Finally, a bonus tip:
11. Make a plan with your family and friends to celebrate when the lockdown ends. Because it will.
Those are my suggestions and frankly they’re pretty average. I’m no lockdown expert. None of us is. So I’d love to here your suggestions, especially if you’re a parent of 4 kids? What’s working for you? Let me know in the comments below.
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We should remind one another of the light IN the tunnel with us as well.
Good call, Joel. My favorite version in Psalm 91 is this one: “He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble.” We may be in isolation but we are not alone.
Great suggestion, Captain. Lockdowns featured quite prominently in the Exodus story. Even after the Israelites had fled Egypt they found themselves stuck with no way forward or back (see Ex. 14). God made a way.
We have 5 kids under our roof right now, 12 to 25. Mornings = “school” for Mom and all the kids & adults. Afternoons = “project of the day”, ie CLEAN @ the church, your car, your room, the porches, or @ the rental property. Find/make new recipes. Watch The Chosen. Girls are learning embroidery work. Dad diving into how-to on podcasting. Quiet time with worship music, journaling, and Audible books. Such fun!
Download The Chosen app- the Miniseries about Jesus and the disciples being produced by Dallas Jenkins. Binge watch season 1 eight episodes! They are awesome!!
Opening line made me snort😜.
Good advice . As always, an enjoyable read.
Rest in Father’s don e work of Son
Seek this rest in the midst of troubles
And those that are his will be revealed this rest
In SA we are on day eight of a three week lockdown.
Love your list! I’m mastering no. 1 quite well thank you as I was due for leave anyway.Lol.
Also catching up on a writing course I’m enrolled in.
Adding to your list I am taking time to consider life after lockdown. 1. Covid19 is not going to mysteriously depart, how do one ensure a safe environment at work? 2. After loosing nearly a month’s turnover, what are we going to do to keep the doors open? 3. What can I do to make my life count in a more meaningfull way?
1. Good question on work environment. Various governments discuss ways to provide safe working during the COVID-19 era. For instance, social distancing, mask utilization, thorough hand washing, etc. We also know for sure that COVID-19 will have an end. When a vaccine happens, it’s all over. Not to mention that in heaven, there are absolutely no diseases or pain [Rev 21:4].
2. I don’t really know exactly your scenario, though God does and cares about it. The good news is that technically, the church does not need a building because Jesus says that as long as 2+ people gather in Jesus’s name, Jesus himself is with them [Matt 18:20]. In the meantime, keep growing with Jesus and letting his love work in and through you.
3. This is one of the biggest life questions that is hard to answer fully in a single post. Fortunately, apostle Paul offered a tip, especially for Christians who ask “now what” after accepting Jesus. As said in Romans 12:1-3, we can commit to Jesus and renew our minds on Jesus’s promises (forgiveness, love) rather than the chaos going on in the world — which helps us discover our purpose. God created each of us for a purpose, and the nice thing is that as we grow closer to Jesus, we can learn more about our calling in life.
Thank you for this.
Great stuff Paul. Thanks. We have 5 children and home school… and apart from whats already been mentioned (Chosen.. yes! and chores and routines and helping Mom/teacher w school and children), playing Just Dance is hilarious and awesome. highly recommended :). also, group workouts, building forts, and playing board games has been refreshing and the children are loving it and takes us back to our childhood. Its been an awesome time to sync with my wife and intentionally love our children together without near as much work to throw in the mix. what an unexpected blessing. Love to you and yours!
Five kids! Phew! My kids love Just Dance. It’s just about the only exercise they do these days.
A fun activity for any age is painting rocks (there’s lots of great ideas online) and then leaving them by neighbors’ mailbox. I am challenging myself to memorize Psalm 91.
Thanks for your positive article and including the exhortation to rest. It seems to me that God has lots of promises about protection to rest in. Like most of his promises they are obtained by/through/with faith/believing – not unbelief. How does one have security in God’s promises if one doesn’t trust in one’s own ability to have faith or don’t fully believe? I suck at it.
Good news — Jesus had experience with people similar to you. In Mark 9, when a father faces a really messed-up son (as in possessed spirit), Jesus says that pretty much anything (including healing) is possible for one who believes. The father does believe, but he struggles with unbelief. He even says the famous line — “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” And guess what? Jesus healed the boy from the spirit.
Honestly, in real life, I can also be like the father in Mark 9. From my core, I do believe in Jesus as my Lord and Savior. However, I sometimes stumble in doubt. Jesus knows that and carries me through my doubt. When struggling with doubt, you can ask Jesus for help in the faith department because he can (and has) helped people overcome doubt.
If you believe in Jesus but struggle with unbelief, you still have security in God’s promises.
Hi Paul, i believe that the corona virus did not come from God. I would like to prove that to my fellow christians who insist that it’s God’s way to make people see their wicked ways and repent. But i don’t have enough knowledge about it. Do you have any article that explains that this kind of calamity is not of God?Thank you. Sincerely, Pio Velasco Jr.
Questions like this are very complicated, but in summary, there is Biblical evidence to support the claim that COVID-19 is not necessarily from God. In John 9, the disciples saw a blind man and asked Jesus about if the sin comes from the man or his parents. However, Jesus officially says that “neither this man nor his father sinned”. Even then, God would use the sickness to demonstrate the works of God (in this case, the healing that eventually led to the blind man’s faith in Jesus).
Jesus’s statement proves that not all sicknesses are direct punishments from God (as in God struck them with disease). In fact, Jesus’s statement means that we can’t immediately claim that a disease happens because God struck the world. However, God has showed his love in the midst of not so bad stuff many, many times, and the COVID-19 era is no exception. For instance, many Christians have supported organizations like World Vision that help provide care for people who are at risk.
Corona Virus is NOT from God in order punish anyone. In fact God does not punish anyone. People will punish themselves for not hearkening and not believing in Jesus Christ. How can you say corona virus is from God so wicked people can repent?? God gives wicked people good health for them to repent (Read also Matthew 5:45). It’s the love of God that leads people to repentance and not the wrath of God. The “wrath” of God is still future! Do you know that God does all manner of good even to the evil men, based on His goodness ?? God has a strong reason for that. See this scripture: “Rom.2:4 (NKJV)………. Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance”? THE GOODNESS OF GOD LEADS MEN TO REPENTANCE. The word repentance here means to change one’s mind towards God. God’s goodness makes people to change their minds towards Him. God decided not to use judgement on men or evil as a way of bringing them to himself.