Remember 2020? Remember 2021?
Oh yes! Those were the years when change occurred all over the world, and we shared a common experience - - the Pandemic made its entrance into our lives. Sadly, many have died from this virus and each of us had to find ways of coping with its intrusion and effects in our personal lives.
- Quarantine: Our desire to spend more time with our immediate family finally arrived, but we found out it wasn’t what it was cracked up to be 24/7. (Do I get an Amen?)
- Many churches converted to live stream: How I missed worshipping and singing the songs of Zion with my brothers and sisters in Christ, and shouting out during the sermon, “Preach it, Brother, Preach it!”
- Social distancing, no hugging: Honestly, I was happy to abide by that rule for many people I encountered, but nobody, not even the President of the United States, tells me not to hug my grandchildren. I'd do jail time for that!
- Wear masks: I liked that rule; I could now go to the Post Office without wearing makeup.
- Virtual jobs: As a retiree, that didn’t affect me, but I laughed as friends described their work dress attire for Zoom meetings - -pretty tops with pajama bottoms.
- Home Schooling: As a former teacher, I sympathized with parents. I heard one mother say she had no idea her son pooped so much. It seemed as though math and science always brought it on.
- Online grocery shopping: I lovvvvved that change. “Hello Walmart. This is Mrs. Martha Bush; I will pick my grocery order up in the parking lot at 10 AM.” I will never again push a wobbly cart down the aisle looking for an item that has been moved to an unsuspecting place.
How do we cope with these changes and their effects? The scripture I am now trying to live by is:
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another."
The phrase “iron sharpens iron” indicates that there is a mutual benefit in the rubbing of two iron blades together; the edges become sharper, making the knives more efficient in their task to cut and slice. Likewise, the Word of God is a “double-edged sword” (Hebrews 4:12), and it is with this that we are to sharpen one another - in times of meeting, fellowship, or any other interaction. (Got Questions.com)
“How can I sharpen someone’s iron if our "customary ways" of meeting, fellowship, and other forms of interaction have been re-arranged or cancelled?" At long last, I have found ways that are working for me; see what you think.
1. Stay in Touch, Regardless
AT&T is alive and well at my house. It has allowed me the opportunity to “catch up” with friends hours at a time since our favorite restaurant is still closed. But, hey, we are sharpening iron, not gossiping. I have also become more aware of the sick and shut-ins who need to hear a voice over AT&T or receive a text message. What about cards and letters that had become ancient history, at least for me? The Dollar Store sells 2 for $1.00 - - may sound cheap, but they sharpen iron to my family and friends out of state.
2. Learn How to Use Technology
I had just learned how to play a radio when the tech world exploded a few years ago. But, let me tell you if the only way you can see and talk to your grandchildren is on video chat, you'll learn some tech lessons fast. I've had many face-time chat adventures with my seven-year-old granddaughter who lives 5 hours from me. Let me rephrase that - I watch as she makes goofy weird faces of herself on her iPad while she and I giggle hysterically. Can I tell you she is sharpening my iron – I don't care how she does it.
3. Ask For Support
One of my dearest friends and a strong woman of faith called me recently. Her first words were: “Talk to me now; I feel so overwhelmed!” You see, my friend is almost totally blind with a husband who is bedridden and has dementia. As a result, she is left with a long list of responsibilities. And so it was----I talked and talked while she listened, giving her encouraging scriptures she already knew, but needed her iron sharpened that day. Before she hung up, both of us were shouting "Hallelujah; Praise the Lord - God's got this!"
4. Plan Your Day – Set Goals
In the early stages of the Pandemic, my goal was to get out of my jammies and comb my hair. Sometimes we need to sharpen our own iron.
Many of us recently watched Lynn’s Seminar on The End Times. She emphasized we cannot understand The End Times unless we understand the whole story - where we have been, where we are now, and where God is taking us. However, she felt that there is much deception in The Church about this subject.
I ask you: "Could it be we can help one another guard our hearts against deception by----
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
Lynn, I couldn't stop reading this book! It is the best you have written! It's a "self-help-bible-based-do-it-yourself-demon-slaying-victory-winning book" like no other I've ever read. I learned some new prayer points as well as clarification on what exactly does my situation mean. Everyone who reads this will want their bible, notebook and the Holy Spirit sitting next to them as they strategize with the tools you've given! -Barb