Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The New To-Do, by Lindsey Weyer

Only a few weeks ago, I had a to-do list of errands to run, places to be, people to be with, and time often scheduled in thirty-minute increments to fit it all in!  Never could I have imagined how vastly different these weeks would look! 

Truthfully my emotions have varied throughout the day. For instance, I may feel completely different when I wake up, go outside, watch our two boys (ages nine and five) laugh and jump on the trampoline in the seventy-eight-degree weather while sipping my morning coffee than I do at about four in the afternoon after we’ve run into some technology roadblocks with home school, had some serious differences of opinions regarding Pokemon cards, and I’ve basically been a short-order cook for lots of meals and many snacks. 

My morning joy gradually slides into a wariness that has as much to do with current circumstances as it does to do with the uncertainty. How long do we not hang out with friends, how long do we not hug our grandmothers, how long do we gather online instead of in person? 

The not knowing can begin to let fear into my day. 

Then in the evening, after getting my kids tucked in, we have conversations about businesses, friends, and families that are now dealing with completely unexpected financial setbacks, and my heart breaks. But, you know what amazes me? Hearing my kids’ perspectives. When we’re eating dinner around the table, taking a walk, or hanging out in the backyard, they are quick to talk about what they are enjoying. Their eyes light up when they talk about catching lizards together, playing games with their dad, or doing art projects in our new home school situation. They miss seeing their friends, but this new-found endless amount of time together is something they’re soaking in, taking as much as they can get! They’re not working with all of the information, but they trust that their parents are taking care of the details. They don’t seem all that concerned that there is only a couple more rolls of toilet paper in the house; they just assume that dad will take care of that problem. 
It has been such a reminder to me of what it means to have child-like faith. It is alright that I don’t have all of the information. That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t ask! My kids are asking questions all the time, and when I don’t have the answer, they want me to ask Siri. They ask, but it doesn’t mean that they don’t trust. They fully believe that they will be taken care of. It is such a powerful reminder that I can fully trust that we will be taken care of, even without all of the information. What I think I need is information, but what my heart is actually craving, what it is built for, is intimacy.
In John 16:33, Jesus says that “… in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world.” My peace is definitely not going to be found in the news, or even in my technology working correctly. It won’t be found in a hug from a friend, although that sounds great right now. It won’t even be found in knowing exactly when this will all be over. My peace can only be found in JESUS. The fact that this is hard, that we are dealing with a devastating set of circumstances should not really even surprise me. We were told by Jesus that there would be trouble. I love when there is a “but” in scripture… It catches my attention, as though it is saying, hold on… look at what is coming! What Jesus says next is that He has overcome the world. He who has overcome the word is our Father in heaven. He is not caught off guard. There is nothing that He cannot do. I can trust that I am in his hands. I can believe that He’s got this.

When I start to lose sight of that trust, I need to read and reread Psalms 91. It says, “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and fortress, my God in whom I trust.” With so many cities mandated to “shelter in place,” I’m reminded that we are invited to shelter in the safest place, His presence. His presence is not only found in a church building, or at a Bible study, it doesn’t even have to be while I am reading my Bible or praying. Because He has given us His Holy Spirit we have His presence with us always, even when I am folding mountains of laundry while my kids watch Wild Kratts. I have caught myself thinking that at least by the end of this, I will be caught up on laundry… But really that might not be true!
The thing about laundry is, it is endless. We keep generating more! In truth there is no where that we can go from God’s presence. Psalms 139 asks the question, “Is there any place I can go to avoid your Spirit? To be out of your sight? If I climb to the sky, you’re there! If I go underground, you’re there! If I flew on the morning’s wings to the far western horizon, you’d find me in a minute – you’re already there waiting!” (MSG version) In Jesus we find peace. We can take our fears, doubts, and uncertainties to him. He is already there waiting. 

At this time, with so much togetherness for our family, my boys are feeling so loved. It is creating a new normal, an intimacy that comes from being together all of the time. I want that with my Father in heaven too, a new normal, an intimacy that comes from a deeper dependency. In Romans 8:15, Paul writes, “The spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, Abba, Father.” 

My prayer over you and your families (and mine too) in this time is that the Holy Spirit would remind us that we are children of the Most High God, invited to bring him our fears, uncertainties, and questions and rest in his peace. We can take heart, knowing that even though we don’t have it figured out, we can trust that He has overcome the world. 

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