they say confession is good for the soul and that must be true because I always feel better when I do – confess that is. And I seem to have no shortage of things to confess – as evidenced by fact that I have not run out of confessions yet. There is something about connecting over the sharing of confessions that makes me feel less alone and more included with others who also share in my confessions.
If the truth be told, I bet my confessions can outlast any corona virus.
The corona virus may be infecting a large percent of the population, but fear is infecting one hundred percent of the population right now. Fear is the enemy of faith, hope and love. Maybe the real showdown right now is between fear and faith – and hope and love which always accompany faith.
This brings me to today’s confession, which is a particularly painful one for me to admit to you, dear readers – one that took me by surprise today. It is this. I realized I am not practicing what I have been writing about in these most recent posts, which is faith over fear, today over tomorrow. Well, I was -but then I wasn’t. Let me explain.
They moved the finish line again – the return to work finish line. It was April 6th, then May 1rst, what if it gets moved again? It did. I found myself filled with fear at the prospect of schools not reopening this school year. Had I not read my two most recent manna posts?
God had to remind me again today, that this is what I have – today. And just like the manna, new every morning, He will supply my needs for today. No manna was given for tomorrow, just for that day.
God wants me to depend on Him, not on myself. He wants me to learn to trust Him for everything. That was the purpose of the manna. “And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19) The Israelites in the desert experienced the truth of that statement for themselves.
Now it’s my turn to learn that lesson. “The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.” (Psalm 34:10)
“The Lord is faithful to all His promises and loving toward all He has made. The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to You, and You give them their food at the proper time. You open Your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.” (Psalm 145:13-16)
I have long loved those words, they are a beautiful picture of a loving Creator providing for His creation faithfully throughout all generations, despite our lack of acknowledgement of Him as our provider.
As I thought about all the unknowns and uncertainties surrounding me today because of COVID-19, I wondered ‘how is this different truly from any other day in my life?’ School could have been closed at any time due to an overnight snow or ice or an unexpected water main break or a power outage, or because of a tornado destroying buildings, or a school shooting, or a teachers’ or a bus drivers’ strike, (both of the latter happened earlier this school year actually) . . . the possibilities are endless and most often unforeseen –
but my question, ‘how is this different than any other day in my life?’ applies in general, not just in regards to my job. I was not guaranteed tomorrow before COVID-19, anymore than I am now. Nothing has changed.
“The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. . . . he said, . . . ‘I will store all my grain and my goods. . . . Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you.’ ” (Luke 12:16-20)
Before COVID-19 life was just as uncertain, but we were better able to convince ourselves otherwise. People were still getting sick and dying, people were still subject to losing their jobs without warning, foreclosures still took place, there were shootings and robberies and car accidents . . . but still we managed to convince ourselves that we were in control.
Until we had the things that define us, the things that determine how we spend our days, suddenly taken away from us. Not just our jobs, but our entertainments and diversions, our places of exercise and of worship, our places to shop and to eat out; all places we like to go and things we like to do – in community – are now no longer available to us.
Stripped of all these things, we now must get to know who we are without them to define us. When we figure out that we cannot make our own manna, will we turn to God? And if we do, will we find Him there?
” ‘You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 29:13-14)
” ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ ” (Jeremiah 29:11)
In truth, today is no more certain or uncertain than any of the days I have lived before this one. I am just more aware of it because of current circumstances over which I have no control. But I had no control over circumstances prior to COVID-19 either. Maybe I had just forgotten how precious and how necessary my Heavenly Father’s gift of manna is, given to me new every morning.
Maybe I had come to take His daily mercies for granted, or maybe I thought I could sustain myself without His provision. But I was reminded clearly today, that it is easy for fear to replace my faith when I am relying on myself. However, when I focus on God’s sovereignty and abiding Presence, I am filled with faith, hope and love. There is simply no room left over for fear to enter in and make a home.
Fear and faith cannot share a space, neither can worry and trust.
“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal.” (Isaiah 26:3-4)
“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? . . . Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:27, 34)
sincerely, Grace Day