Changing rhythms in a pandemic year

Changing rhythms in a pandemic year

Written on 03/02/2021
Lisa Hanash

Written by Lisa Hanash

People have frequently used the word “unprecedented” to describe COVID-19 and the events of 2020.

I’m thankful that, in navigating these uncharted waters, our hope lies in the God who walks on water.

But even while I believe this truth, it hasn’t been easy. I consider myself quite flexible, but this pandemic year was more difficult. With an unusually empty schedule, it was a challenge to navigate so much free time.

Unchecked emotions crept in, making it a challenge to create healthy rhythms. Somedays, I gave in to distractions. During moments of insecurity, I habitually depended on scrolling through social media pages.

As I unearthed some of my strengths and weaknesses, I reminded myself
to show up and to trust God with the process. I learned to step into hard
and uncomfortable places. When social gatherings were limited, I had to involuntarily find alternatives. I had to learn something, initiate something, do something.

A few weeks into quarantine, some church friends and I were ready to meet online. We started gathering weekly on Zoom and squeezed in outdoor activities when applicable. We shared our high and low points with each other and turned to the Word of God. There we found truth and revelation during what felt like an unforeseeable season.

These encouragements spurred me to realize that gratitude was the foundation of joy. Seeking out the good stuff, acknowledging our tough challenges, and sifting through the we-don’t-know-what-to-do-with-this-yet moments gradually brought peace. I was reminded that He was in control.

I also began exploring new forms of worship because sometimes my creative outlets did not satisfy me. Serving my community became a new rhythm of worship. While many normal activities were limited, I could still visit my family. I saw that one of the ways I could connect with people was to offer what I could—a service, a gift, a meal, my time, my art, or my music.

This helped me to see the good a bit more. I saw people band together
for the good of their neighbours. I discovered that through one simple act, new relationships can be formed. For example, one of my neighbours and I started doing meal exchanges.

These were some of the ways I saw the goodness of God move through this difficult time.

In all these moments, I saw glimpses of hope. I saw glimpses of Jesus. He was there. It may not have felt like He was, but it was a new discovery for me to know He was there.

Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” One of my main prayers this year has been asking Jesus to show up in all spheres of my life, wherever I was, and bring light to every situation. I have seen this prayer answered.

In every situation—in every text message, every check-in with a friend, or every moment when my doorbell rang and my neighbour was outside holding a warm meal—He was there. God is ever-present and ever-perfect within my bare and sometimes fragmented vessel.

We can find God in our humanity. We can see Him in the visible beauty of His creation, catching the ebbs and flows of His rhythms and brushstrokes.

As the sun rises and sets and the tides roll in and out, the earth’s rhythms remind us that He is with us. He has made a way where there was no way, and we can count on Him to guide our every step—leading us towards His indwelling.