my self isolation continues, as do my confessions. today’s confession no less shocking than those that have been revealed previously, but quite unexpected, nonetheless. Of the two things I am about to reveal, I don’t know which is the more surprising – that I was able to find and to purchase toilet paper at long last or that the toilet paper I purchased – are you ready for this? – was not my usual, preferred brand! (I told you it was shocking!)
There were not the infinite number of choices to be made as when one normally buys toilet paper because there was just a small, limited supply. I took my allotted one pack and was deliriously happy with my purchase. Nevermind that it wasn’t my brand, or ultra-soft or super-strong or fifteen ply or mega rolls or a certain scent or . . . it was toilet paper. (you know that is one stock that should be soaring)
so, I confess, I am no longer a discerning shopper. I will be happy with what is available and count my blessings.
next I must confess that I had no idea Ecclesiastes chapter three had a verse that spoke literally of what we are experiencing at this time. A friend mentioned it to me and sure enough there it was in verse five. ” . . . a time to embrace and a time to refrain,”.
That is what we must do now, refrain from embracing. We are practicing embracing’s opposite, social distancing. Did God foresee this time in our history? Of course He did. And so Ecclesiastes 3:5 is applicable to our lives today. How incredible. The God who knows the beginning from the end is in the midst of our circumstances right now, today.
Commerce, trade, travel are all coming to a standstill, forcing us to stand still. We now have no where to go and no way to get there. All vacation spots and travel destinations are shut down. We are being stopped in our tracks. Our once overcrowded calendars are now empty.
I know my once full calendar is now empty. Like Saul on the road to Damascus, I have been stopped in my tracks. That’s what it took to get Saul’s attention. God allowed Saul to become blind so that he could see clearly who Jesus really was. That revelation changed Saul’s name to Paul. That revelation changed his life forever.
God is still in the life changing, life rescuing, life redeeming, life giving business. It seems this time, rather than an individual, the whole world has been stopped in its tracks. Every tribe, every tongue, every people and every nation is being impacted by the effects of COVID-19.
As I am stopped in my tracks, I look up and I listen. “I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1-2)
“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)
I hear His invitation to me and to everyone, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Rest sounds good to me, especially in the midst of this Corona crisis. And something else I receive as I am “being still”, His peace.
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)
Today I am reminded of Joseph’s words to his brothers in Genesis 50:20, “As far as I am concerned, God turned into good what you meant for evil, for He brought me to this high position I have today so that I could save the lives of many people.”
Sovereign God, bring about Your eternally good purposes from the chaos and confusion that COVID-19 has caused us.
sincerely, Grace Day