How are you, friends? I pray you and your family are healthy. These are crazy times, when the words coronovirus, quarantine, social distancing, and shelter-at-home are commonplace. It’s strange, unsettling, and surreal.
I’m so grateful for the many positive things rising to the top. Genius creativity from celebrated artists and children alike, unparalleled generosity from organizations and businesses offering free resources, families reconnecting at home, a realized appreciation for our educators, and renewed sense of community.
I try and begin my prayers with gratefulness for these things, and more. For God’s goodness and faithfulness. But, I am a chronically anxious person. “Prone to wonder, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love.” This line from the song Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing is painfully familiar to me. It is so easy for me in times of unrest and unease to wonder down the path of worry. I am drawn step-by-step closer to the “what ifs” that lead nowhere, except for farther away from God. The good news is, God doesn’t leave us. I’m reminded of a time when, as a little girl, I declared I was going to run away from home. My mom let me pack my suitcase and leave the house. But as I sat on the curb in front of our house, she watched over me from the window. She let me feel whatever frustration filled me at the time. But she didn’t leave me. Just as she waited and watched, I know God is a few steps behind, following me on the path I wonder.
During this time of COVID-19, like most of you, I’m social distancing at home with my husband and daughter. I already work full-time from home, but having my usual routine interrupted has been like moving from walking on pavement to sand. It takes more deliberate steps that tire my legs much quicker. (Bless my husband for his willingness to work with our daughter on some homeschooling, especially now that it looks like she may not be able to return to school this academic year.) I’m a creature of habit and as an introvert, really need alone time. And yet, it’s in the alone time I crave that my heart tends to wonder.
Isn’t it interesting how who we seem created to be can most reveal the very element in us that is at the core of our sinful nature?
Just after writing this sentence, I paused and read over it. Immediately, I felt God suggest an edit. What if, instead of seeing my introverted nature as a gateway to a prone-to-wonder heart, I see it as a willingness to invite God in. But for this to be true, I have to act on it. I have to extend the invitation. When I do, he will accept every single time. And within my invitation and his acceptance, the path I’ve wondered down will transform into “peace like a river.”
When peace like a river attendeth my way,
when sorrows like sea billows roll,
whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
it is well, it is well with my soul.
I think it is these opening lines from the hymn It Is Well that made it my favorite even years ago when I was a teenager. Anxious from childhood, the truth and comfort in them soothed my anxious nature. They still do.
Yesterday, while scrolling through Instagram, I came across a video of Natalie Grant singing It Is Well, accompanied by her husband and brilliant musician Bernie Herms. I listened and cried as the moment turned into worship. God invites us to claim the truths of his faithfulness that bring peace. Take a listen (click on the image to go to the post)…
God knows our struggles in all circumstances and he is with us always. On paths we wonder down. During uncertainty and fear. While we social distance. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9
I hope you are your loved ones are staying healthy. Thanks for letting me write through some of my feelings during this time. If you’ve made it this far, and want to, leave a comment below sharing a prayer request, what life is like for you during this strange time, or something you’re grateful for right now. HUGS AND BLESSINGS!