Facing the Coronavirus Like a Brand New Bike Rider

Facing the Coronavirus Like a Brand New Bike Rider

Two weeks ago, our littlest learned to ride her bike.

She’d been on bicycle-riding strike for several months, ever since her daddy took her training wheels off. He knew she was ready and hoped a gentle push would help her learn to ride on her own. For a while, she wasn’t having it. Until two weeks ago, when she finally decided to give it a try.

And she got it.

She was so ready. On Monday she rode several feet without help. On Tuesday she learned to turn the bike around in one smooth-ish motion. On Wednesday she perfected starting and stopping. And by the weekend, she was riding like a pro.

As I watched my husband coach her on bike-riding safety, one of his comments struck a chord in my heart. “Don’t look at the building you’re trying to avoid, or you’ll run into it. Keep your eyes on where you’re going.”

I needed that advice.

Because right now, I’m awfully tempted to stare at the madness surrounding us. I literally had to talk myself out of panicking during a recent trip to the grocery store. All those empty shelves. All those scurrying people. The what-if’s pressed in and with them, the fear.

I’ve never experienced uncertainty to this level before.

There’s nothing like a worldwide pandemic to make me realize how much I worship comfort and normality. To help me see that my soul’s peace is tangled up in predictable circumstances and a sense of being in control.

As the country started shutting down, I grabbed my journal and began processing my roller coaster emotions with God. After I poured out my heart to Him, He led me to Hebrews 12:1-3:

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (emphasis mine).

In these unstable times, God is calling His beloved ones to fix our attention on Jesus.

In the Bible’s original Greek, fixing one’s eyes means

“To turn the eyes away from other things and fix them on something.”

Blue Letter Bible Lexicon

I don’t know about you, but my feelings have run the gamut over the past two weeks. I’ve been confused, afraid, and overwhelmed. I’ve felt happy to stay at home and thrilled with the extra family time. I’ve been bored, depressed, and restless. Today I’m just plain weary.

Lots of things are vying for our attention.

So like my little bicyclist with her gaze straight ahead, I’m choosing to glance at what’s going on around and within – listening to the news reports, heeding the CDC’s directives, working through my emotions with God – but then I’m turning my heart’s focus back to Jesus.

Not that it’s easy. But it is a conscious choice. One that takes coming back to, day after very long day, moment after mundane moment.

Because really, how we walk through these days is a matter of faith.

Will we choose to bring our fears and our feelings to God? Will we hold onto the promises of His Word? Will we focus on Jesus and trust His heart and His plan?

He alone can anchor our souls through this storm. So right now, let’s guide our hearts back to rest by looking at Jesus (See Psalm 116:7):

  • He is our Source of Peace (Romans 16:20).  
  • He’s our Helper and the One who sustains us (Psalm 54:4).
  • He is our stability through these times (Isaiah 33:6).
  • He never changes (James 1:17).  
  • His steadfast love and faithfulness bookend each day (Psalm 92:2).
  • He stores up abundant good things for those who honor Him (Psalm 31:19).
  • He will complete the work He’s doing in us (Philippians 1:6).
  • He’ll bring good out of absolutely everything that touches His kids’ lives (Romans 8:28).
  • He’ll provide for our every need (Philippians 4:19).
  • He has the final say, despite unpredictable viruses and even human free will (1 Peter 3:22).

Let’s fix our eyes on Jesus and step boldly into each new day, knowing our God is for us (Romans 8:31), and with us (Matthew 28:20), and in us (1 John 4:4).

What other qualities of Jesus are you resting in right now? I’d love to hear! Please comment below.

Helping Our Kids Thrive When Life is Hard

Helping Our Kids Thrive When Life is Hard

What will our kids remember from these history-making times in which we’re living?

As the Coronavirus spreads across the globe, our kids are trying to make sense of things, just as we parents are. They hear the news stories. They see the empty grocery store shelves. They wonder if someone they know will come down with the virus next. They feel the loneliness of social distancing and worry that their summer plans may end up cancelled before this is all over.

How can we help them thrive and build positive memories of these days spent at home?

You may have heard the following saying:

“People may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”

– Carl W. Buechner

Right now, the days are rich with opportunities to help our kids experience the following emotions:

  • Enjoyed

Extended time at home means lots of togetherness. Instead of being distracted, each on our own device, let’s be intentional about having fun together. Dust off those board games. Bake some cookies with your kids. Pull out your favorite childhood books and read them aloud. Enjoy a picnic in the backyard and play frisbee while you’re out there.

  • Thankful

It’s all too easy to focus on what we’re missing and fixate on what we don’t have. But now’s a great time to take inventory of all the good things we do enjoy. Give each family member an index card and take time to count your blessings. Add to this list each day.

  • Secure

The world may be in a panic and people may be stockpiling toilet paper, but at home, let’s cultivate a feeling of security and camaraderie. Invite open conversations where everyone can freely discuss what they’re thinking and feeling. Remind each other often of your love. Seek to create a haven where each person feels safe, understood, and encouraged to thrive.

  • Hopeful

This won’t be the only time our kids face scary situations. How we handle things now can prepare them to face the future with confidence. Remind each other of ways you’ve seen God answer prayer. Talk often of His faithfulness in the past – both to you and to other believers. (Reading missionary stories is a great way to do this.*)

Above all, keep coming back to Jesus as our Rock in unstable times (Psalm 61:2). Read the Psalms together and discuss what you learn about Him there. Spend time praying with one another. Verbalize your faith that God works all things out for our good (Romans 8:28).

The days ahead are rich with family-building, faith-cultivating opportunities. With intentionality, we can help our kids feel enjoyed, thankful, secure, and full of hope.

They’ll remember these feelings for the rest of their lives.

*Christian Heroes: Then and Now and the Trailblazer Books are our family’s favorite missionary story series.

Shields are Not Just for Superheroes

Shields are Not Just for Superheroes

by Meredith Mills


Last week, my hubby was out of town for a business convention, which left me home alone with the kids. We had a good time together, trying to stay busy and not miss Daddy too much (hard to do!) Two days in a row, we drove out of town to meet friends at the zoo. flamingo baby

That was exhausting, but super fun.

One night, while the kids were tucked safely in their beds, a car drove by our house and cast creepy shadows on my bedroom window. In my mind, I knew the shadows were caused by the tree outside. But fear began to invade my heart. “What if’s” flooded my mind as this mama bear thought through how I’d defend my babies in case of danger.

It’s crazy how that happens. There was a logical explanation. Nothing really to be afraid of. But sometimes our emotions are stronger than our minds.

Thankfully, however, the Holy Spirit is stronger than both.

As I lay there in the dark, I prayed that God would shield and protect us. I envisioned a large superhero shield covering our home and angels standing around our property.

Then I went to sleep. We all awoke the next morning, safe and sound.

Psalm 28:7 says, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I will praise Him.”

I love this description of God. He doesn’t just give us a shield. He is our Shield.

He stands between His child and the onslaught of the enemy. He absorbs and extinguishes the fiery dart blows.

This, however, leads to an obvious question. Does this mean bad things should never happen to His children?

We need only look around to see this isn’t the case. Christians suffer like the rest of the world. Probably even more, if you ask imprisoned believers and those tortured for their faith.

Is there a contradiction between faith and “real life”? Is God really our Shield when awful things happen?

Since God doesn’t change (James 1:17), we can trust that He never stops being our Shield, though His protection may look different at various times.

  • Sometimes He shields us from physical harm

Like those times when I’ve narrowly avoided a wreck.

Or when we’ve prayed for healing and He grants our request.

Or that time when I was a young adult living at home and my family happened upon a crime scene. Somehow our car ended up inside the police blockade, a would-be burglar laying shot on the ground a few feet away. That frustrating delay twenty minutes earlier may have kept our family out of the line of fire.

  • Always He shields us from the enemy’s fury

Satan hates Jesus. He also hates those who follow Him. Quite honestly, we’re no match for the devil. Yet the devil is no match for our God.

God stands between us and the enemy’s wrath, never abandoning us to fend for ourselves. Never leaving the devil to do anything he wants with us. (See Job 1-2, 42 for the interaction between God, Satan and a man named Job.)

  • Always He shields us from God’s righteous indignation

Our God is pure. He hates and punishes sin. But Jesus, the Sinless One, stands between His children and God’s anger. On the cross, He bore every ounce of the judgment we’d incurred through our sin. Through faith in Christ, “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).

In every circumstance, God is our Shield – protecting us from things seen and unseen. Sometimes He prevents tragedy. Sometimes He walks though it with us.

God my shieldWhat do you think? How do you reconcile the apparent contradiction between God as our Shield and the trials that we face? How have you seen God act as your Shield? Please comment below. Let’s get to know Him better together!



Related Posts:

Not Safe But Good

When Life Blindsides You

God of the Storm

What I Learned from the Kid who Fell Out of the Car

What I Learned from the Kid who Fell Out of the Car

“Look at this picture I drew, Mommy.” I turned my attention to my preschooler’s stick-figure drawing. She explained, “This kid is all alone because his door was open and he fell out of the car.”

(In case you’re wondering, that has never happened to her, or to anyone else we know.)

The kid who fell out of the car

When you fall out of the car

As I looked at her unusual artwork, I noticed another, larger stick-figure person above the child. I asked her about it, and she simply stated, “That’s God.”


Well, of course.

Because really, we’re never alone. Even when we feel lonely or abandoned, or if we fall out of a car and get left behind, there’s God.

My presence will go with you and I will give you rest” (Exodus 33:14).



It’s easy to think that peace lies in the stability of our circumstances. If life is good, I often fear change and the unsettled emotions that accompany new chapters. If life is turbulent, I long for change as the solution to my problems.

But God Himself is our peace. His nearness is our good, the source of rest for our souls. Walking close to His heart enables us to experience His rest.

Several years ago, I found myself in a very dark season. God seemed indifferent to my prayers, and I was angry. So I told Him how I felt. I poured out my heart to Him (Psalm 62:8) expressing my disillusionment, anger and fear.

Then God came near. He spoke gently to my doubting heart. He didn’t condemn, rather, He reminded me of who He is – my Source of life and peace.

That encounter changed everything. Well, not my circumstances. They were just the same after my time with Jesus. But I had changed. My heart was at peace, even in the midst of my pain. (I wrote about this in When Life Falls Apart).

In the presence of Jesus, I found rest.

How about you, fellow Jesus lover? How’s your heart? Has life left you weary and wounded? Could you use some rest? I leave you with some of my favorite of Jesus’ words:

“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-29).


In what ways have you experienced Jesus as your rest? Please comment below – I’d love to hear!

Related Posts:

When Life Falls Apart

Confessions of a Good Girl

God Drew Near


God of the Storm

God of the Storm

By Meredith Mills @DazzledByTheSon

Have you ever experienced a natural disaster?


Storm Fury

I’ve been through several – two earthquakes while living in California, a hurricane during my teen years in Hawaii, even a fire in the valley directly behind our home. Oh, and a predicted tsunami (though it was quite anti-climactic when it rolled in at less than three centimeters!)

A few weeks ago, we visited some dear friends near the Georgia coast and found ourselves in the path of what was Hurricane Hermine. It had been downgraded to a tropical storm by the time it reached our friends’ house. Still, the winds uprooted trees and knocked out the power. A nearby town flooded. It was intense.

But then the eye of the storm passed over. An earie calm settled in. No wind. No rain. Just stillness.


Storm Fury

A short time later, the backside of the storm hit, bringing wind and rain in abundance once again. I was thankful for our friends’ strong home protecting us from the hurricane’s fury.

As I watched it rage from inside the house, I thought of Bethel Music’s rendition of “It is Well.” I was reminded that hurricane-force winds, powerful storm surges, and torrential rains…they know their Master’s name. His voice spoke the wind and water into existence. And His word has calmed them in an instant.

I’m grateful that their Master is also mine. His power is stronger than any force in the universe.

He is able to calm every storm I face. He can make it stop with just one word. He is Master of the Storm.

But sometimes He doesn’t stop the storms. Sometimes He permits “sorrows like sea billows” to roll. In those seasons, He is my unshakeable shelter in the middle of the storm. His nearness is my good. His heart is trustworthy and ever open to mine.

What about you, fellow Jesus lover? Is there a storm raging in your life? Are you experiencing Him as Master of the storm or as Shelter in the midst of the storm? How has He brought comfort to your soul? I’d love to hear – please join in the conversation!


Peace, be still

Related posts:

When Life Blindsides You

When Fear Invades