Your Words Cannot Be Sheltered

Today I’m sitting at a makeshift desk in my temporary living-room-office, sunlight streaming in, spring blooms waving in a gentle wind outside. It’s my fourth week working from home and being “sheltered-in.” I just texted a photo of this picturesque scene to friends, adding, “I’ve always wanted a sunlit, writing desk at a window, but never imagined it would happen due to a global pandemic!”

I’m assuming that anyone reading this is also in the throes of major life changes and various experiences of isolation as we hunker down at home, waiting on our sovereign Lord to accomplish His purposes through the existence of COVID-19. Limited contact, distanced hellos to neighbors on walks, online fellowship: the sheltered-in life has become our new normal.

But sisters, take heart: our words can't be sheltered in! Because we abide in the Lord Most High—because He is our home or shelter—our hearts are free and unhindered to cry out, call upon, rejoice in, intercede to, and trust in Him. 

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” (Ps. 91:1–2)

And there’s more! Our Refuge, the One in whom we trust, enables our words to be sent out, accomplishing His purposes without hindrance. Whether you are in an apartment alone, in a house full of chaotic noise, a health care worker getting ready for your shift, or a leader seeking to care for others, whatever your circumstances may be, your words cannot be quarantined. Consider three directions in which God can send out your words, pandemic or not.

Our Words Can Be Poured Out To the Lord

Hard stop self-check: where are you investing your time, emotional and mental energies, and your curiosity for up-to-date news on the current health crisis? Perhaps, like me, you’ve started developing the unhelpful habit of scanning the news headlines morning, afternoon, and night; you choose your go-to media sources (including social media news feeds, of course!) and click, scan, read, absorb. This hasn’t been helpful for me. You?

David gives us a timely example of pouring out honest feelings of fears, frustration, and maybe panic—to the Lord—rather than filling our minds with news stories that trigger those very emotions. Listen to his prayer when he was in the midst of painful suffering.

Give ear to my words, O LORD; consider my groaning. Give attention to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you do I pray. O LORD, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch. (Ps. 5:1–3 ESV)

This King and God to whom David called out to and watched for is our God too. He is faithful to prompt our hearts to be poured out to Himself, as he listens, considers, and pays loving attention to every single word. 

Send out your words, sisters, to our loving Lord Jesus, the Word made flesh, who has come to make a home and a shelter in you. 

Our Words Can Be Reoriented toward Christ

Maybe this is the inner dialogue you’re having with yourself: What comes after this pandemic? What’s going to happen to ____ and ____? 

Mulling, musing, meditating. We’re all doing it, and so, the crucial questions are: Does our self-talk, the cascade and crashing of our inner dialogue, line up with the truth of God’s Word? With the glory of who God is? Are these words leading us to faith, peace, and steadiness or unbelief, fear, and guilt because we’re struggling to believe? 

Consider the wisdom of these life-giving words from D.Martyn Lloyd-Jones:

Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them, but they start talking to you, they bring back the problem of yesterday, etc. Somebody is talking. Who is talking to you? Your self is talking to you. Now [David’s response in Psalm 42] was this; instead of allowing this self to talk to him, he starts talking to himself, "Why art thou cast down, O my soul?" he asks. His soul had been repressing him, crushing him. So he stands up and says: "Self, listen for a moment, I will speak to you."

Dr. Jones goes on to disciple the Christian to lasso her thought life and command it to come under the lordship of Christ. How do we do this? We preach to, counsel, and exhort ourselves as David did, 

"Why art thou cast down"–what business have you to be disquieted? You must turn on yourself, upbraid yourself, condemn yourself, exhort yourself, and say to yourself: "Hope thou in God"–instead of muttering in this depressed, unhappy way. And then you must go on to remind yourself of God, Who God is, and what God is and what God has done, and what God has pledged Himself to do. Then having done that, end on this great note . . . : "I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance, who is also the health of my countenance and my God."

Our Words Can Be Sent Out to Help Others

What a time it is for us to be offering nourishing, refreshing, hope-filled, Jesus-centered words to others! All over the world people are searching for answers to make sense of the mayhem happening around and in them. Some are responding with doom and gloom, while others are finding ways to make the whole thing funny with memes and GIFs. (Don’t get me wrong, I’ve appreciated a few lighthearted laughs in recent weeks!) Is the end of the world coming? Will my life ever feel the same or be remotely similar to what it was pre-2020? 

God has entrusted to us a powerful, life-changing capability: words. We can be reckless, using words rashly or to bring healing to others. We can use our social media feeds to build up, point to Jesus, and pour comfort and grace, or we can tear down, discourage, and promote complaining

Sisters, if we're not pouring out our words to the Lord, unaware of the influence our inner dialogue is having on our hearts, we can hijack the bearing of beautiful fruit that God has planned from all eternity to bear through us now. For such a time as this, we can allow our indwelling Lord Jesus to send words out through us that can bring: 

  • Encouragement because we all need it on a daily basis
  • Selfless compassion to many who are fearful and grieving and others who feel guilty for celebrating good gifts that are in their lives during this pandemic
  • Inspirational leadership as you guide women under your care how to engage the good works that God has prepared for them to do!

All of these suggestions can happen in a call, a text, an email, a social media post, or a group video call. Ask the Lord to lead you as you lead others with your words. 

Your words spoken to the Lord and to others are not under quarantine, sister! They are free to be sent out and offered up and out. God is faithful to use them and to accomplish His eternal plans through them. Let’s do it! Now’s the time for us to be freshly invigorated to use our words for the glory of God and the advancement of the kingdom of the Beloved Son, Jesus Christ.

Did you discover God’s Truth today?

Our team loves sharing quality posts to help you serve Christ to the fullest in your calling. If you have been helped or encouraged by this writer today, would you consider giving a few dollars to support the Leader Connection blog?

Leave a Gift of $5 or More

About the Author

Ellen Mary Dykas

Ellen Mary Dykas

Ellen Mary Dykas serves as Women’s Ministry Coordinator for Harvest USA, a national ministry focused on gospel-centered discipleship and teaching regarding sexuality and gender. She writes and teaches on these topics and others and has authored Sexual Sanity for Women: Healing from Sexual and Relational Brokenness and Sex and the Single Girl: Smart Ways to Care for Your Heart. Ellen loves ministry to women and is most passionate about mentoring, teaching God’s Word, and spiritually nurturing others to walk deeply with Jesus. She lives in Philadelphia, PA.

Related Posts

Join the Discussion