I pace up and down my hallway for the umpteenth time today. Some days I feel like I am wearing permanent grooves in the laminate flooring. I’m sure I make a comical picture as I trot back and forth. The length of my home allows me to make only a few strides before I must turn around and go back. It gets old pretty fast but on brutal cold days it is my best form of exercise.
Cold winter days on the prairies generally do lead to more indoor time. This year is worse.
With pandemic restrictions my world is very narrow. I work from home. I worship via an online church service. My only outings are into my small town for groceries and the mail. Time with my children is limited and usually via phone or video chats. It is definitely a recipe for cabin fever.
The prolonged isolation that is the source of cabin fever can create restlessness, irritability, boredom, loneliness, or listlessness. It is something many people are experiencing right now and I have bouts of it myself. While I feel blessed to live where I do, where I can enjoy the beauty of nature on a regular basis and live a quiet country life, I just don’t have the same joy in it all this winter.
It is really easy to lose perspective when I don’t have someone else around with whom to bounce ideas. Small things magnify when I do not have a concrete way to diffuse them. I have become more introspective than normal – really not a good thing. Some days I just think too much because that is all there is for me.
But is that really true? Not in God’s eyes. He has put me in this place for a reason. His purpose for me is not tied to my home or work situation. It is all about the person He made me to be and it is all about His work through me.
In many ways I have been given a gift. I have extra hours in my day because I no longer commute to work. I don’t have multiple meetings or activities to distract me from what God has called me to do. I have more time to study God’s Word and write.
Yes, it is unusual times, but through it all they are God’s times. He is here, right now, as He always is. He knows my feelings of being cooped up and how that impacts my well-being. He hurts with me when I feel lonely and missing my family. God regularly offers the comfort only He can give. I am sustained by the hope I have in Him alone.
Will some days still feel closed in? Probably. Will I continue to feel a bit adrift at times? I’m sure that will be so. Do I have a plan for action when those negative feelings surface? Absolutely.
I will relish in my relationship with my loving Saviour and look for the signs of His work in my life. I want to focus on the joy and peace that He alone brings and to have an outpouring of those qualities in my relationships with others.
As you go about your week, take time to look for God’s presence in your world. Look for opportunities to grow and nurture your faith. Consider how you can make the most of this time God has given us to step back from our busy lives and just be.
When cabin fever strikes, I draw closer to my Lord and Saviour – clinging to the solid Rock of my salvation. I pray you will also.