It is Friday! We have almost made it through another week of whatever this season has looked like for you – working from home, homeschooling, online class, still going to work…
I imagine soon, if it hasn’t happened already, the days will start to blend together and the weeks might feel slower and slower. Separated from our typical activities and relationships, the mundane might feel overwhelming in this season. The mess certainly feels overwhelming. And that leaves the miraculous – where do we find that in this season?
The miraculous right now for me is that I have almost never “needed” the Lord so desperately. The quotations are necessary because these circumstances have torn away the facade, the illusion, of our comfort and control. Of course, I have always needed the Lord just as desperately as right now. Of course, I have never had any real kind of control over life, I just feel it more right now. Our comforts have maybe never been threatened in this way — honestly it throws our privilege right in our faces.
But it still remains true, I am more aware of my desperate need for Christ, more aware that I am not the one in control, more aware that the comforts of this life are a luxury, not a necessity. And I am experiencing a sanctifying of my heart, a prayer that says, “It would be a shame to come out of this crazy and challenging season and not be more like You, God.” I am leaning into trust in a way that I possibly never have before, because I have come face to face with my own limitations. The reality that we truly have no control has never been more real, so everyday we must choose to trust the God that created the Heavens and the Earth, who formed us in our Mother’s womb, who goes before us and behind us, the God who was, and IS (He is with us now, don’t forget it!), and is to come.
As you know, I am prone to worry. This season is giving me actual skills to combat that in a more effective way than I have experienced before. Most likely because I am, as I said before, more desperate now than ever. I am handing over my worries and anxieties to Him each moment of each day because they actually are too heavy for me to carry on my own. One of the first days of this whole thing, I felt the Lord tell me, “It is either prayer or panic. You choose.” So I choose to write Scripture down instead of read the news (listen, God wants to comfort your heart, reporters want to make you afraid. Who will you listen to? A blog for another day.). I choose to journal instead of scrolling social media. I choose to place my loved ones in His hands because He is, and has always been, so much more capable to carry them. I am loving this quote from John Freeman: “During this crazy coronavirus time, I’m relearning how to walk in the reality that Christ holds my life. His hands are not sweaty, shaky, or full. They faithfully stretch to far places and touch hiding places of my heart.”
In this season that can so easily send us towards bitterness or anxiety, I have great news for you. The antidote is gratitude. We have the cure. This situation has developed in me a humbling daily rhythm of thanking God each night the moment my head hits my pillow. I thank Him, simply, for another day. Another day of health for me and my loved ones, another day of safety for my husband. I think often of the Housefires song that says, “Life is a gift and the Giver is good.” Nothing feels more true to me these days than that. We have to practice gratitude otherwise we will sink into despair.
Some of my recent gratitude to the Lord:
Thank you for growth and hope and increased faith, trust, and peace.
Thank you for giving us those things when we ask for them, and even when we don’t.
Thank you for helping me learn to control my thoughts. For helping me stop worst-case-scenario brain and focus on the present.
Thank you for turning my fear into confident trust.
When the temptation to worry about tomorrow comes, turn instead to practicing gratitude for what you have today.
Read Scripture to be reminded of all of God’s promises to us. I’ll leave you with this one, containing two commands and five promises:
“Fear not, for I am with you. Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10