I think it’s week 6 of my shelter-in-place/quarantine/coronavirus panic insanity? It’s a bit unsettling that I’ve somewhat lost track of the days. I’ve tried to keep track by baking something every weekend. But it’s blurry.
Our world is in chaos due to a tiny germ that broke out of the East and floated around the world on unsuspecting travelers. Many comparisons have been made to sin, the metaphors abound, talk of lament and prayer and reliance on the Lord are ABUNDANT. So many articles. Devotionals. Stories. I’m drunk on it, there’s too much to read, too many opinions, too m a n y t h o u g h ts.
The news is exploding. No one even remembers the Biden/Sanders primary race (was that really, juuuust a month or so ago?) There’s nothing else to say and nothing else to talk about. I know the names of a lot more governors and medical experts than I did five weeks ago. The entire planet is huddled around the news, rationing food to limit going to the grocery store, on lockdown as most people work from home, lose their jobs, get furloughed. It’s staggering how quickly everything changed and that we have nooo idea when things will be restored. Even now, we have all realized that things will never quite be back to normal. In a flash, we have entered a wild bear market, 22 million and climbing with unemployment. Will kids go back to school even this fall? Will it be safe? Even with a vaccine, will we even want to go to Disneyworld again, or a packed movie theater? And how many will be traumatized when it’s all over?
Questions, questions, questions.
I’ve sort of bailed my reading-the-Bible-in-a-year plan because in this insanity the only things I’ve really wanted to do are read Psalms and Christ’s life in the Gospels. And pray a lot, lying on my carpet that probably should be vacuumed more often, and journaling a lot of “Dear God, please” prayers in my little journal that says “But first, pray” in cutesy letters that feels a little ironic now because actually, prayer is the only thing we CAN do in a time like this. Pray. Seek God, beseech Him desperately for our world, in great lament.
I’ve never seen anything like this before, and frankly, neither have you or anyone else. We’re literally just…waiting. I’ve never felt more viscerally the need to wait upon the Lord, to depend on Him in hope and expectation, waiting for Him to work and act, trusting that He will do something.
Here are things I personally am waiting on God for:
- Mercy and deliverance in the coronavirus – for things to start being restored, for healing for our world, for Him to intervene and deliver us all.
- What to do about my wedding this June – how many people will we be able to have? How long will the shutdowns last? What do I tell our photographer, who’s waiting on an answer about our ceremony and what we will be doing?
- My fiance’s job situation and apartment situation – where will we live and where will he work?
- Some personal healing and answers for my own health difficulties
- The future….what will our world be like?
I’m dropping these in my metaphysical jar of prayers that says 1 Peter 5:7 on it. I used to actually have a real one back in college, a little mason jar, and probably should make a new one for these days, although it would be a bucket at this point.
I’m sure you’re waiting, too. The world is collectively holding its breath for all this to be over and meanwhile donning masks of all kinds to avoid inhaling everyone else’s air as we furtively shop at Aldi and try to sanitize every surface in sight.
Do I believe God is at work? Absolutely – there is a plan and a purpose, and our Lord is grieving with us as we grieve the loss of good things, of lives, of time. Am I comfortable in this, or do I enjoy it? Heck no, but is it important and good and possibly life-changing in my walk with our God? YES.
My dear fiance said tonight over the phone that this is probably the first time in his life that he’s ever had to be so dependent on Jesus second-by-second for everything. I agree. And that’s where we should be – in a place of utter reliance on our God, no more control, no more trust in ourselves. Like Abraham’s faith, like Moses and David’s waiting for deliverance and guidance, like Paul who obeyed everything the Spirit led him to do, like our Lord Jesus who listened to His Father for every step – in all this, God has nudged us into that position. And it is a good place to be, although very uncomfortable.
He is calling us to rest and slow down, and think and reflect and love in brave and creative ways, and wait upon Him in all hope with sheer abandon because we really don’t have anyone else to turn to. Sorry, busyness, or work, or social visits, or traveling, or hobbies – there isn’t even a church building left anymore to hide our fears behind. We need to take it all straight to the throne room, no shields for our worries and little sins and selfish desires for control and perfection. It’s only me, and the Lord, and the four walls of my apartment and the two people I happen to live with.
This is a desperate time for most of the world. Even as a follower of my Lord Jesus, I am sad, bewildered, on a roller coaster of emotions. I am so thankful, though, that I have someone to turn to in all this – and that someone is the Creator of the world, who holds everything in His hands. I can express my doubt and anxiety to Him and not be at odds with my faith and hope in Him. That is the beauty of our God – He is big enough to handle it all, and imminent enough that we know He mourns with us the brokenness of our sinful world, of death, of disease. This is not good, not the way He made the world to be.
He is coming someday very soon to remake the entirety of it, and this pandemic is a painful but key reminder that the world is not the way it should be. He is coming soon, and I eagerly await that day with longing and groaning and tears. I’m continuing to pray; join me in the waiting, and let’s pray too that in this time of great suffering that God sharpens us and increases our faith and trust so that we can come out more sanctified in a beautiful way – more like Him, more ready to minister to this needy and dying world with the hope we have in Jesus and eternal life.
Come quickly, Lord Christ – bring healing, bring your light to the despondent hearts crying out to you from the ICU and the ERs and the nurses’ break rooms and lonely apartments and weeping houses and panicked grocery stores. From the Amazon warehouses and politicians’ situation rooms and governors’ cabinets and senates and newsrooms. From under the bridges and in the tent cities and on Lower Wacker and the South and North Sides and Mcdonalds drive-thrus. Bring many to yourself, Lord God. Bring deliverance.