Is God using this strange time of separation and government-induced quarantine to challenge your attachments to earthly things and shine a spotlight on what your daily worship of God actually looks like? I know He is doing that for me!

In his popular book Don’t Waste Your Life, pastor and theologian John Piper powerfully calls believers to see the need to seek Christ with the time on earth they have been given and even to see suffering and pain as a good kind of “death” that breaks our attachments to things of this world:

“The life of a Christian includes many deaths. Paul said, ‘I die every day!’ (1 Corinthians 15:31). Jesus said, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me’ (Luke 9:23). Daily Christian living is daily Christian dying. The dying I have in mind is the dying of comfort and security and reputation and health and family and friends and wealth and homeland. These may be taken from us at any time in the path of Christ-exalting obedience. To die daily the way Paul did, and to take up our cross daily the way Jesus commanded, is to embrace this life of loss for Christ’s sake and count it gain.”

So, I encourage you today: Don’t waste the COVID-19 pandemic! It would be an incredible waste of your life to endure the discomfort of social distancing and suffer the financial consequences of being out of work without having grown spiritually once it’s all over. Now is as good a time as any to mortify, to hunt down and kill, the pride that this uncomfortable time is exposing. God planned for this time to happen. He has a purpose for shifting the events of this world and making COVID-19 show up on your doorstep. Move away from sulking and move toward worship of the One who makes this time purposeful. Moving in this direction is indeed the path to joy and genuine fellowship with our Heavenly Father.

With this in mind I challenge you to a simple task: On a piece of paper write down a list of days of the week, starting with tomorrow and ending with a week from today. For each day, list one way you will pray (either for someone else or something connected to your spiritual growth) and one way you will serve someone else. Be specific. Have a plan, even it is as simple as praying for God to open your eyes through His Word and serving someone by sending them an encouraging text. Let’s grow together and make the most of this “day that the LORD has made” (Psalm 118:24, ESV).