What strange times we live in.
Everywhere I turn, fear and anxiety is bursting at the seams. Our haven which was once propped up with lofty idols of health and wealth have toppled overnight like dominoes. Who knew that even first-world armour was paper thin? I have pinched myself many times, hoping to wake to the norms of yesterday, only to find myself firmly planted in a world that’s gasping for breath, and desperate for hope. With borders closing and industries collapsing, many of us are left wondering whether things will ever be the same again?
Who knew that even first-world armour was paper thin? With borders closing and industries collapsing, many of us are left wondering whether things will ever be the same again?
For me, 2020 was meant to be the year of fresh opportunities and renewed hope. After a long season of discouragement, I was convinced that God had called me to rest and to dream again. I had planned a writing Sabbath and envisioned a year of lounging in cosy cafes, sipping on lattes—creating art. Instead, I’m quarantined in a cluttered home with my pen paralysed in an echo chamber of worry. Will my friends and family on the other side of the border be ok? Was it wise for me to pursue the arts during a pandemic? Is now really the time for me to invest in non-essential work? Has God really called my pen to write full-time?
Like every other church, my husband and I have had to scramble to learn how to pastor ours through a pandemic. We have been inundated with new decisions, made in foreign territory. What is the wisest course of action that benefits all people—especially the vulnerable? Is it an overreaction to close the church before the government says we should? What does it look like to gather corporately, while maintaining social distance? How do we support our healthcare workers on the frontline, or people who have lost their jobs? Which piece of technology should we adopt and how do we get our members on board? Has God really called us to pastor through a pandemic?
I’m aware that we all have different circumstances, but have you found yourself asking similar things?
- Why did I start this business that is now forced to close?
- Why did I fall sick or pregnant the year that all hospitals are compromised?
- Why did I immigrate for a better future, only to lose everything?
- Why did I commit to this project that I now can’t complete, because I have to homeschool my children?
- Why did I make this financial decision the year the economy collapses?
- Why did I plan this special event which I now have to cancel?
- Why me?
- Why now?
I don’t have the answers, but at a time where I am asking lots of questions with the hopes to soothe my anxiety, God has been patiently revealing to me the things that truly matter. Knowing every single COVID-19 update and prevention tip will not give me peace. Knowing my future will not ease my worry. What I need is God’s promise of peace which transcends understanding (Philippians 4:7) and the ability to ‘be still’ and to know the One who is on the throne.
“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” – Psalm 46:10
So what do I know of God?
In the beginning, God breathed order into chaos. He fashioned light, boundaries and life, from what was once dark, formless and empty. Humans are created in God’s image, a special possession, with even our inmost being carefully knit together in our mother’s womb.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:13)
This means, that here and now, we exist with intention. Our every step has been predetermined towards the good works that have been prepared for us in advance to do.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)
Here and now, we sit within the boundaries of sovereignty – our gains and losses preassigned by the One whose providence pervades human calendars.
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. (Proverbs 16:9)
The same God who has held the oceans in the hollow of his hand, is here and now, holding onto us. The same God who has measured the dust of the earth in a bucket, has measured our days from beginning to end. What is hidden and unknown to us, is fully seen and known by the Author of Life.
Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:16)
And so, as the pressures of a pandemic blankets our city, I choose to trust that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. Even if God calls me beyond the borders of prosperity, I will trust that he has raised me for today and he will sustain my tomorrows.
I choose to trust that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. Even if God calls me beyond the borders of prosperity, I will trust that he has raised me for today and he will sustain my tomorrows.
Even if I feel daunted by my roles and responsibilities, I will accept my lot, using my unique gifts to serve the gospel with good works, and bringing my unique sorrows at the foot of my Father.
Even if my finances feel stretched, I will ask my Father for daily bread and in faith, give what I can to the needy. Our God makes time to clothe the flowers of the field and to feed the birds in the air— aren’t we so much more precious than they?
And so today, despite the chaos of the rising curve, I’m going to tell my soul to “be still”. I’m going to encourage my pen to persevere. I’m going to march forward onto an unknown path, confident that every step brings me closer to the gates of eternity where sickness and death will be no more.
So today, instead of asking “why me?” and “why now?”, I am going to ask God to reveal His purposes for me in this pandemic, and wait patiently for an answer.
First published at heiditai.com