In battles, retreats are for regrouping. Not an admittance of defeat, retreats instead indicate a need to regroup, rest, and refocus.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the world into retreat. During this time, many renewed their most important relationships and discovered new and better ways to do their work. Some had to deal with frustration and boredom like never before.

I often hear people say they want life to go back to the way it was before the pandemic. Yet, I believe the struggle can be for our good. In fact, if you’re a Christian, that’s exactly what happens with any struggle. In other words, for Christians, the pandemic should make us better.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

After all, we know that God uses our struggles in very significant ways.

“We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5)

Choosing Progress

Life sometimes forces us to retreat. It forces us to shut out much of our activity and to focus with a singularity most would not choose on their own. In this focus, we must choose to prioritize one thing above all others because that one thing is a matter of life and death. Maybe it’s better seen as a simplifying process. Either way, so much of what took up our time before suddenly becomes unimportant in light of that one thing.

Take times of retreat to seriously consider whether or not you are a better person because of the struggle. That examination could reveal a great deal about your current spiritual state (i.e., your relationship with God). If you don’t like what you discover (and none of us are where we want to be), begin praying about the changes you can make to move toward progress.

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)