Three weeks ago, my wife, Marsha, met me at the airport with a long-awaited kiss and the biggest hug as I returned home after traveling internationally. I did not know at that time I was in the beginning stages of pneumonia, the flu and COVID-19, nor that I was infecting the person I love most.
The past three weeks have been intensely difficult. The Thursday after I returned home from London, Brussels and Madrid, my oxygen levels began to drop. I was sent by ambulance to the hospital, then three hours later, sent back home. By Sunday, I was running a fever and constantly coughing, it became a challenge to even breathe and again, my oxygen levels were dropping dangerously low. The ambulance had to come to our home, and I spent the next five days in the hospital.
From isolation to the ICU, there was one night I coughed for nearly two hours, wondering if the doctors would come in in the morning and find me gone. There was no fear, but I don’t know if there was any faith either. I began to think, Is there enough cash in my wife’s bank account to pay for my funeral? Then, in the darkness, all alone, these words overtook my thoughts: One billion souls in the next 18 months.
My fever broke the next day, and my oxygen levels increased. What I didn’t realize was that at home Marsha’s body was now under attack. I was released from the hospital and watched at home as my wife grew weaker each day. For five days, she ate almost nothing, and her strength was nonexistent. But praise God, we have slowly begun to recover.
I am convinced our daily spiritual worship has made a significant difference in our physical recovery and mental/emotional health. You see, each day as we wake up, we do three things to focus our attention on God and help us to continue to rely on Him during this tough season.
First, when we get up, we bless Him. We thank God and praise His name for all that He has done in our lives and continues to do. Praising God takes our eyes off of our trials and onto our miracle-working Savior. This is just what Paul and Silas did from a Philippian prison, and look what happened in their situation. Acts 16:25–26 tells us, ” At midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s shackles were loosened.” When we lift our voices to glorify our heavenly Father—especially in seasons of difficulty, like nationwide quarantines and illness—miracles are set into motion.
After we bless His name, we ask Him to surprise us. I don’t know about you, but I love when the Holy Spirit surprises me. He is capable of abundantly more than we realize, and when we ask Him to surprise us, He always shows up.
Finally, we ask Him for help. Just as Jesus said, “I can do nothing of myself,” in John 5:30a, believers can do nothing without the Lord’s help. He strengthens us and sustains us, and He gives us wisdom and direction. We need His intervention and help in every area of our lives, every day, especially right now.
When we bless God, ask for Holy Spirit surprises and actively solicit His help, we are strengthened even in the midst of hardship and can be more intentional with our days, as our focus is on Him. I challenge you to join me today in blessing God. Join me in expectation of a supernatural surprise and trust God to help you throughout your day. Then watch Him move mightily in your circumstances and community.
As we give our attention not to the fear and panic that has gripped the world but to the Lord, we will see a mighty turnaround and souls enter into the kingdom of God. Let’s get ready for the harvest!
I want to thank the thousands of believers who have and still are praying for us daily.
You’re beautiful. I see Jesus in you.
Have a great week!