Let’s be honest. I’ll bet you didn’t expect to be living with one nostril above water as you now homeschool your 4th grader, build blanket forts with your three-year-old, work overtime washing your groceries, wave through a window at your aging parents and go to work via Zoom. #reinvent2020 ain’t no joke. Covid-19 has changed everything…for the moment.
One year ago, when words like “social distancing” and “essential worker” didn’t exist, I was sitting in Palm Springs on a writing getaway to work on a new book tentatively titled: Reinvent. I was fired up and ready to write! I’d shared this reinvent message numerous times over the years and felt sure it could really help people. Especially those who felt a big gap between the ideal life they envisioned and the real life they were living or those who were in the second half of their lives, desiring to make an eternal difference.
I never imagined my book would be released when we were in the midst of a global pandemic.
I don’t believe God caused the Covid-19 crisis, but He knew it was coming and I wonder if perhaps He’s positioned this book (among many other things) to empower people “for such a time as this” — a time where everyone, everywhere is being forced to reinvent everything!
Dear single mom, aging senior, emergency room nurse, high school teacher, business owner, college student, paramedic and UPS deliveryman — who could imagine life as we now know it? As you maintain your social distance, wear your N95 medical grade masks (or make DIY masks out of socks and old bandanas) do you find fear and panic trying to overwhelm you when you think about an uncertain future?
So did another person I know. The single mom of 2 Kings 4. I call her the Maven and I wrote about her in Reinvent. When her husband suddenly died, she faced an unplanned crisis. While she was grieving her loss of being married to a rising prophet in the land and their dreams of the white-picket-fence-life with the cutest sons in all of Israel, the creditors were knocking on her door — threatening to take her two boys to be slaves. In the midst of her sudden crossroads and grief, she couldn’t yield to fear and panic — she had to reinvent her life — and quick.
So, do we. The unexpected Covid-19 crisis has been responsible for the loss of lives, jobs, freedom, plans and life as we have known it. At some level, everyone is grieving something that “could or should have been” during this time.
-Maybe it’s the young mom who’s giving birth to her first child, without her husband in the room.
-It could be the heartache of a young couple who’s had to change their dream wedding plans.
-Maybe it’s the student who disappointed they won’t get enjoy the graduation ceremony they’ve worked for.
-Perhaps it’s the doctor who leaves her family to report for duty at the hospital.
-It could be the widow trying to figure out how to stretch a jar of peanut butter and jelly.
-Perhaps it’s the family who’s grieving the pain of knowing grandmother, two states away, is breathing her last breath and moving to heaven all alone.
-It’s possible the young man who just launched his business is now on the verge of going under.
-Maybe it’s the busy mom just tired of being stuck at home and entertaining kids for days on end.
How can we keep from throwing our hands up in utter frustration and keep our hearts from being downcast in deep discouragement? We must remember this eternal truth — if we will trust God, what the enemy intended for evil, God can turn around for our good.
The Lord always helps us to pivot and reinvent as we follow His guidance. That’s exactly what happened to the Maven in 2 Kings. When her crisis came, she ran to God’s representative, the prophet Elisha to get help! It turns out, embedded in their conversation, there was the time-tested reinvention roadmap.
It starts with four essential questions:
What do you want?
What do you have?
What will you do?
Why will you do it?
Our 2 Kings 4 mom answered every question like a champ and took the steps needed to reinvent her life. It didn’t take long. God’s touch was obvious as she became a wildly successful entrepreneur and got to keep her boys. She got a fresh start and loved life! Her predicament was the catalyst for an even better reinvented future.
Her reinvention roadmap is our reinvention roadmap.
What did she want? She wanted her boys and she wasn’t about to take no for an answer! What do you want? (What do you really, really want?)
What did she have? She didn’t think she had anything of value, but then she remembered her small pot of anointing oil. What do you have? (Make a list!)
What would she do? He told her to do four specific things — and as she did, God touched and multiplied what she had. He put her in the oil business! What will you do? (What steps has the Lord put on your heart to follow?)
Why did she do it? She did it to pay her debt and enjoy life with her sons. Her why was stronger than any setback she faced! Why will you reinvent your life? (What motivates you to push on?)
None of us like the limitations of this pandemic, but like our 2 Kings 4 mom, what if our predicament is the catalyst for an even better reinvented future? I hope these words from my book, Reinvent encourage you, “Remember, no matter where you’re at in life, God’s specialty is reinventing the last, the least and the lost, and turning them into the first, the favored and the found! He’s got you!” Be encouraged future Maven — you can reinvent — start fresh and love life!
Beth Jones is a Bible teacher, pastor, and author who has been helping people apply God’s Word to reach their potential for thirty years. You can find her book, REINVENT: Start Fresh and Love Life!, on Amazon.