More Tips on Living in Lockdown From Christians in Italy
Last week I shared some tips on surviving lockdown from a believer in Italy. I’ve since heard from quite a number of other Christians there and wanted to share some of their tips and experiences. As so many of us across the world face the possibility of lockdowns, this information may help us be better prepared.
I’ll begin with some general tips I compiled from common themes. The first and biggest is this: Don’t panic and don’t be anxious. The Bible reminds us that God is in control, not the virus! God has a perfect plan even in this dramatic situation. We can rest in his sovereignty.
For individuals and families:
- Be disciplined. Develop personal and family routines and stick with them, even if they seem a little over-the-top. You will do better with structure than without it.
- Take these restrictions in a serious way in your family and with your friends. Many will die if you do not. Submit to the guidance and leadership of your government and consider how you can co-labor with them for the good of the community.
- Keep praying and keep trusting the Lord. Keep reading the Bible and go to his promises. Keep family worship central in the life of your family. Perhaps focus on Psalm 91 (a lot of Christians here are quoting it inappropriately saying the sickness will not come to our tent) and have an appropriate understanding as Christians about Christian suffering and sickness. Be ready to give an answer for the hope that is in us. There are a ton of scared people and this is a great opportunity for us to bring hope.
- Focus on your spiritual, physical, and mental health. All will be tried during this time, but all can actually be strengthened. Also expect that you will gain some weight during lockdowns, so try to find some form of exercise while watching how much you eat.
- Wash your hands well multiple times during the day, and every time you go outside or come into contact with people who are not part of your household.
- Do your best to stay in touch with people in your church and neighborhood. For church, stay in touch electronically; for nearby neighbors, try to speak to them in ways that maintain appropriate distances.
- Prepare to ride out the storm for a long period of time. Take time to rest as a family and find fun activities to do with your kids. Learn to be okay with quarantine, knowing that it will end.
- Remember the elderly people in your church and family as they may become depressed. Young people, on the other hand, may find themselves suffering from exhaustion and nervousness.
- Make sure you are intentional in having lists of numbers of people in your church to make phone call connections. We have to get creative to pastor from a distance.
- Consider video recording short devotionals that you can send out to your congregants to keep them in touch with you as their pastor.
- Upload PDFs of kids ministry material that parents can use on Sundays as they do church from home. Equip the parents.
- Keep in touch with believers (WhatsApp, email, hangouts, live YouTube for sermons) much more than before, since there is more serenity and much less hurry.