Redeeming the "Extra" Time

Lauren Zackary

About a month ago, I read The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer. The concepts of this book sparked many ideas in this article and would be an incredible read during this season.

Given the present circumstances of COVID-19, we have all been forced to slow down. Our weekly commitments, time spent with friends, and routines have come to a screeching halt. The time that we now have on our hands can be frightening and the silence can be deafening. We can feel like fish out of water without our overcommitted schedules and familiar surroundings, unsure how to operate in these quieter lives that have been chosen for us.

If you find yourself uncomfortable with the quiet, it might be a sign that your everyday life is marked by busyness. While for many of us school and work continue virtually, we still have an intimidating amount of time on our hands.

How can this time be redeemed?

I believe that in this season, while we are facing a plethora of unknowns, the Lord has something for us.

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

His yoke is easy. As His children, we have the joy of getting to rest in His provision. We have a hope that cannot be shaken and that is hidden in the revelation of Christ.

What does the yoke of Christ look like in the present circumstances?

It looks like living.

It looks like resting.

It looks like trusting.

It looks like serving.

In living, we find ourselves able to be fully present. We can give our undivided attention to those around us, loving them intentionally. We play games, go for walks, and marvel at the beauty and majesty of our creator. It looks like cooking, baking, and trying that recipe you don't usually have the time to make. We can glorify God by living and enjoying his gifts.

In resting our soul is at peace. Resting does not mean laziness or slothfulness, but it means our souls are quieted by the presence of our King. In the quiet, we can hear clearer. We can fill our minds on the things of the Lord, resulting in an unshakable joy.

In trusting we find ourselves comforted despite our thwarted schedules. Many of us face disappointments as the plans that we had made are no longer a reality, but in trusting we believe that the abundant life in Christ will satisfy our souls more than any of our own desires and goals.

In serving we get the privilege of looking out for the needs of others rather than our own. We know that all our needs will be taken care of in Christ, which then frees us to look out for the needs of others. This could look like donating needed items, giving financially, but most importantly interceding on behalf of others. We serve a God who is in control and welcomes us to call upon His name.

"Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit"-- yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that." James 4:13-15.

Our days are the Lords. Our hope is in Him alone. Let us live confidently in His grace, with hearts beating for His glory. Let us trust His sovereignty over our plans and let us live in the day He has given us.

Written by Lauren Zackary

Lauren Zackary is Resident Director of Spence at Dallas Baptist University.