In the last few weeks two related concepts keep coming up: “supply lines” and “systems of support”. In these last few months, these things were critical in my life. A pandemic has the strong likelihood of revealing strengths and weaknesses in a person, and I am no exception. I’m getting ahead of myself, though. Let me explain what these two things are.
In our staff meetings we are reading the book “Hope Quotient” by Ray Johnston. What better time to read about hope, when we’re in a season that can feel like it’s sucking all of the hope out of us! In the most recent chapter, we read it talked about supply lines, referring to the battlefield. When people are in battle, one of the areas that is the most vulnerable are the supply lines. In battle, troops need food, supplies, medical care etc. If any one of those supply lines is cut off, the battle could be lost. We are no different. We have “supply lines” that need to be operational in order for us to be healthy and growing. The list is endless, but we need sources to supply us with care, emotional support, physical growth, intellectual stimulation, vision for our lives…not to mention growing in our faith. These sources can be from many sources including family, friends, co-workers, education, books, prayer, the Bible, etc. Which leads us to support systems.
Most of us probably haven’t thought much about the systems of support that we have around us until their gone. Our support systems are the people that we have in place that can speak into our lives in times of health and crisis. These are the groups or individuals that are healthy, life-giving, and to a large degree, know you. These people are a huge component to our supply lines as well. So, when a relationship changes, a person moves away, or circumstances leave you without a support system, there is a huge chance that you will feel the loss in a tangible way. Left unidentified, it could come out as depression, crisis, isolation, un-health…you get the idea.
During the pandemic, and perhaps even now, many people were feeling isolation, fear, anxiety over a variety of things (health, finances, family well-being, etc.) But for many, what was affected were our supply lines and systems of support. We no longer had that quick chat at work that was encouraging, or the ability to go to the gym and work off our stress. We couldn’t take that quick trip to the beach or the mountains or grab that cup of coffee with a friend. We missed being able to get our “spiritual tank fill-up” on Sunday mornings as we connected and worshiped together. For many there is now the addition of stress of working long hours in high-risk environments. And for others, there is now grief as a loved one was lost due to Covid-19.
We each have tanks that need to be filled. Spiritual, emotional, and physical to name a few. Perhaps in this season, tanks have been emptied, your support systems have changed, and your supply lines have been affected. This has been hard!
First, know that God is the ultimate source of our supply. He gives us all that we need.
Philippians 4:19; Matthew 6:25; Psalm 40:17; Psalm 23:1
Second, know that we are here for you! We know that it’s different (and harder) to get in rhythm with watching service online or attending Life Group on Zoom or with social distancing, but that is a supply line that you need. In this season, God is still at work in your life, and we want to encourage you and support you!
Lastly, if you need more support, we can help you get connected to community resources. No one has to go through this journey alone. If you have a tank that is empty, let’s be intentional about getting supply lines reconnected and get filled up!
Prior to the pandemic, I was prioritizing my “tanks”; making sure that they were full and that support systems were in place. I was so thankful that I did because I really needed to have access to care and support during the crisis. As a community, we can help the supply lines stay open and maintain (and even develop) systems of support. This isn’t the last crisis that we will ever go through. I encourage you to take a chunk of time and really think about your “tanks”, supply lines, and support systems and be intentional about staying filled up!