Today is so different than yesterday… and each day before that. As I know is the case in your family, everything feels strange and inconsistent right now. Nothing has gone as planned. And who knows what tomorrow will bring?
Jack and I sat down to talk on Friday, after finding out that his school has decided to stay virtual for the rest of the semester.
We aren’t feeling anxious or worried about the virus that is THE topic of conversation all over the world. We've been asking ourselves over the past few days... But why aren’t we anxious or worried?
Even though it’s good that I’m not filled with fear and worry, are my motives in the right place?
I am tempted to feel calm because I’m not in the “most at-risk” category.
Did I, in my own power, plan to have this pandemic hit when I’m young?
I am tempted to feel calm because our children don’t have suppressed immune systems or other health complications.
Did I, in my own power, make sure to give birth to really healthy kids with healthy organs? No.
I am tempted to feel calm because nobody in my circles have it. (Yet?)
Did I, in my own power, make that happen?
Or, am I feeling calm because I know that our good God is sovereign and may carry us through fire to glorify Himself?
I wish I could say that I’m feeling calm because God’s glory is my top priority, regardless of the cost… but this week has caused my heart to actually ask that question.
A lot of things can and will change, but God never will.
My hope and security must be rooted in Christ.
Many of our missionary friends are now spread out (and confined) all over the world. Megan, currently in Papua New Guinea, has decided to stay put until this is over and explained it beautifully:
“My hope is not in a health care system or a government. My hope is found in Jesus alone. I settled in my heart long ago the sacrifice of living overseas. I realize that good health care here isn’t as readily available as other countries. I realize that there is potential for things to be dangerous. My safety and rest are found at the feet of Jesus and in God’s hands.”
I am so thankful for the ways God has moved in my heart and life that were equally out of my control: health, provision, and especially the blessing of faithful parents who taught us Truth.
So, while we remain thankful for the place of relative physical safety in the midst of pandemic, we are burdened for those who find themselves at risk. We are praying for you all – our friends, partners, family. Praying for physical health and safety, but also for heart-level rest in the sovereignty of our good God!
Once Jack’s classes, Classical Conversations, and our church became virtual for the foreseeable future, we decided to take Spring Break to travel up to Virginia. (In fact, we’re driving through Tennessee as I write this.) That way, Jack doesn’t have to miss any class for our four-day trip and we can hunker down on my parents’ farm until life returns to “normal”. We had already planned to be in Virginia for the month of May.
Our plans seem to change so quickly and so many things are out of our control. We said sudden good-byes to our friends on campus that we have grown to love so dearly.
As we left the Huntley’s, they sent us off with a parting liturgy:
By your Spirit, O Christ,
make us faithful in the meanwhile,
as we go out to labor in the diverse fields
to which you have assigned us,
laboring unto that better meeting,
and unto that new-made world
that is yet promised and that has already begun.
O Spirit of God, be as present in our parting
as you were in our gathering.
Be present in our journeys.
Be present in our days to come.
Be present in our works
and in our words
and in our hearts.
Be present in the bonds of our
community, Lord Christ.
Be ever at work among us and through us.
from Every Moment Holy, by Douglas McKelvey,
a book I highly recommend!