There is a lot of time to think in this period of isolation, especially if you live alone and are in the over 70 age group. The enemy would love to drag us down to despair with negative thoughts. So to counteract that I began to think about all Jesus has done for me in the past, and see how I could relate it to today's situation. There was so much, our loving Father is so generous, so I decided to focus on two things.
Firstly, it is a work of grace that I can call God Father. My relationship with my earthly father was not good so, whereas I could relate to Jesus and the Holy Spirit, I left Father God out in the cold, turned my back on him and ignored him. I did not want to look at my relationship with my father, it felt safer to shut it away, but I didn't have peace about it, however much I tried to justify it to myself, and one day I felt God saying that it waa time to deal with it. So with the help of prayer and guidance from a couple of friends, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, I now know the love of my heavenly Father, and that I am his beloved child.
Secondly, as a child I was painfully shy, there were many things I would have liked to do but didn't as I couldn't bear being the centre of attention. One day, as a young wife and mother, I went to a YWAM (Youth With A Mission) meeting where the speaker was a trainee YWAMer, and he said it was a sin to be shy. I was really indignant, thinking its alright for him standing up there, good looking and confident, he has no idea how it feels, though looking back I realise he may well have been speaking from experience. A few days days later at another meeting someone said to me that God wanted to use me if only I would let him, and that challenged me into thinking was I really not allowing God to use me? To cut a long story short I was prayed for and set free, and now I am able to stand up front to serve God and lead in various ways that would have been impossible previously, but which are now possible by the power of the Holy Spirit.
So what are these two examples saying to me today? I realise in each case it wasn't until I wanted to change, and actively sought God's help, that he was able to change me and cut me free from what held me back. The same applies to the negative thoughts that come today. I can ask him to disentangle me from them and help me to use this extra time to come deeper into him and find ways to help others, or I can feel sorry for myself, resigned to endless days stretching ahead. There is a choice, God can do anything but we need to realise we want it and are prepared to ask him and allow him to act.