Spring is in full swing here, birds, flowers, grass, trees, pollen- everything signaling that time is marching on. We have been isolating since mid-march and it is now the beginning of May.
I’m seeing some separation anxiety in my grands that is relieved by a hug- first touch on Saturday since this began. I see the beginnings of acceptance in talk, in faces, in pics.
In light of the news and the latest coming across social media we have resigned ourselves to this new status. Last week, I still saw resistance. Refusal to change for the amount of time required to pause this thing. But, the virus isn’t going anywhere- where would it go, outer space? We are all still at risk. New morphology is being seen- now there are children who are severely affected. The scenarios are all being played out on a world stage. China has resumed its day to day normal, Italy and Spain are catching their breath, the UK is still hunkered down and Other countries are still figuring out what it’s going to look like inside their borders.
The level of fear is balanced by the increased need for income. But, how do we safely resume what was normal for us? I haven’t any answers. Neither does anyone else. We have predictors based on what we know of other illnesses but this one is truly new and as viruses go, it will mutate, its hallmark signals will change over time, and we will know more of what we are fighting.
But, before the virus goes or we have a vaccine, it brings sorrow, destruction, death and a deep sense of helplessness. The positive spin on the death rates- less today than yesterday, fewer in ICU, hospitals getting back to the usual rates of illness and physical infirmities being seen, the rate of admissions to the ER looking more like they did before they were up to their eyeballs in virus patients; all these and more seem to indicate that here we have a handle on it. And then we don’t and the numbers start rising again. Is it a leap in cases or just a leap in recognition of cases?
I sit here, me, finding myself suddenly in a high-risk category and trying to maintain normal and refrain from pointing a finger at the world, thinking this isn’t over.
There will be waves and surges and upheavals to come and this may become our new normal. We will have incorporated accommodating for this virus much in the same way we have incorporated accommodations for Flu. It’s here. It will be with us from now on; just mutating here and there, enough to cause mild panic wherever it pops up until another new vaccine is developed. Then it’s back to our old normal, accepted numbers lost to it and a sigh when that season has gone again. At least that’s what the world is hoping for. But is it realistic?
Those are the questions rumbling around in my head as I mask up to go to the store for groceries. This is my new normal. Wearing a mask when I have to go somewhere, pre-ordering groceries -getting items because they are available, not just because I need them. Going to isolated places to walk because the neighborhood has become conversation central at the end of the sidewalks. Wondering how summer will pass- whether or not we can get together again as a family with kids running around, jumping in the pool and all the grilling and eating that go with it. Not traveling. Not seeing the world. No release, no relief from the sameness that is this sheltering in place, social distancing, quarantine life.
And still, there are things that I see that feed my hope that of all the things that have changed there is One thing that remains unshaken. My unseen God, unlike the virus, is unchanging. His love never fails though I do. His grace and mercies are new every morning. His omnipotence and his omniscience saw this coming long ago. And His people have risen up and are caring for widows and orphans. Feeding the new poor and the continuing poor. Finding new ways to bring relief and joy in the midst of the suffering this virus has caused. Our God is sufficient. Even though we are not and we can not reach all and feed all, that does not stop the gospel from being told in the far corners of this world that so desperately needs help in the way only God can provide. He is able and He makes us able. I don’t have all the answers, but I didn’t before this virus came. He does. I trust Him because I know Him.
Does that mean that I’m immune because I trust Him? No, of course not. It means I trust Him because He has proven over an over to me that He is trustworthy. In the good and the bad.
Does that mean that our retirement is protected? No, it really isn’t. It means that I trust Him to have another way, another path for us to take if He sees fit. I continue to trust Him and act in obedience when I don’t understand. Because His track record has shown me in the past that He cares for me and will continue to care for me.
Does that mean sorrow or grief won’t come my way or affect those I love? No, it doesn’t. It does mean that I don’t have to be alone when it comes. That, because I’ve trusted Him in the past I can continue to trust that He knows what’s ahead. That He goes before me, behind me, above me, below me and beside me. He will never leave me; even as those I love take their last breath and when I take my own last breath and depart for the other side. He is with me.
I’m sure you have as many questions or more than I have. what is eating you right now? Are you doing anything about it?
And, finally what’s the price of your trust?
Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you. Psalm 9:10
But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. Psalm 13:5
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. Psalm 56:3
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. Psalm 143:8
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13