You okay up there?
By all appearances, your world has gone mad. Panicked in a way I’ve never seen.
Our nightly television screens remind us how we’ve declined so quickly. Grocery store shelves are bare. Spectator sports, one of the few outlets that still unite us, have ended without warning. Our churches, the place we go for spiritual realignment and acceptance, are out of reach for the time being.
Any aspect of life that we’ve known to be normal exists no longer.
People are angry, afraid and anxious; a terrible combination.
The media has whipped us into a frenzy. The economy, which looked better than ever just a couple of weeks ago, has completely tanked. It will take months for our country to recover.
Overall, we try to be sensible people. We take precautions and make wise choices. We follow recommendations, even if we don’t fully understand the logic behind them at the time. We’ve washed our hands until the skin is about to fall off.
Still, the message is loud and clear.
We’re doomed if we do, and doomed if we don’t.
With the scare of the Corona Virus, we’ve been accused of both over-reacting and under-reacting. Those with a genuine cause for concern have been mocked, accused of blowing it out of proportion. Anyone over 60 years of age might be terrified to leave their homes, while those who aren’t worried about the current situation are stunned at all that’s changed so quickly.
I have to wonder where you are in all of this. Shaking your head? In a permanent facepalm? Angry? Scared? Freaking out, at least a little bit?
I know you well enough to know that none of this is true.
In fact, none of this panic comes from you. This isn’t your way. You aren’t worried, stunned or surprised.
What you are, who you are, is sovereign. Holy. Constant. God of the universe, always showing up, even if it feels like we are spinning out-of-control right now.
One thing I’ve noticed in all my years of walking with you is how you provide peace, sometimes long before we realize we need it. An extra reserve in advance, if we’re willing to store it away for the times we need it most.
Just six months ago, I got the chance to walk on the beach every morning to catch the sunrise. A miracle in itself. Daily. Constant. A gentle reminder that you always show up and are always in control.
I’m glad we shared those moments. I’ve come back to them many times since then.
An old hymn popped into my head the other night as pondered all that has happened. I felt such a sense of loss, grieving the innocence and ease in which we lived just a few days ago.
It’s ironic that this hymn is such a bouncy, happy tune with such dismal, prophetic words.
Troublesome times are here, filling men’s hearts with fear
Freedom we all hold dear now is at stake
Humbling your hearts to God saves from the chastening rod
Seek the way pilgrims trod, Christians awake.
Jesus is coming soon, morning or night or noonJesus is Coming Soon, R. E. Winsett.
Many will meet their doom, trumpets will sound.
All of the dead shall rise, righteous meet in the skies
Going where no one dies, heavenward bound
Doom. There’s that word again.
Perhaps we are doomed, no matter what. After all, as far as statistics go, 10 out of 10 people are expected to die at some point, right?
This isn’t brand new information. But sometimes we’re a bit too human to keep our eyes on the prize. To focus on Heaven and not let this broken world get to us.
Bear with us, please. This is uncharted territory for us, but I see your hand in everything.
Through this unheard-of situation, you’ve given us the gift of slowing down, watching out for others, and the opportunity to get to know our neighbors. What if we use this time to leave our screens behind, step outside to enjoy nature and see what you’ve been up to?
What if the pace of life we considered to be normal was never your plan for us anyway?
Thanks for the reminder. I will accept this unexpected gift of isolation and store it up for a time when it’s needed most.