Thursday, April 2, 2020

how to find hope in a global pandemic

How often does the whole world get in the same boat? And here we are. Together. 

We can't go to the grocery store when we want. And when we do go to the grocery store, it's strange, with face masks and missing food. 
Talking to a neighbor on an evening walk, the question forms quick, "Am I far enough away? Do they have the virus?" We know people who are sick and we sorrow and we pray. We question how long this is gonna last and why it's happening and what we should do in response. 

 Is it fear? Is it wisdom? What trips out the door are really necessary? How do I pray for the whole world? What words do I use to ask God to eradicate a virus from the earth? How do I protect the people I live with? Am I gonna get it? 

And asking this big question; 
what really matters? 

I don't have many answers, but here's one God's giving me loud and clear; He wants to hold us close. 

Staying with God. Staying at home. Staying with our families. 
Staying. 

He's helping me remember what really matters. 

It seems God's doing what only God can do; taking something horrendous and bringing good out in the midst of it. There are deaths and risks and questions and right here in the middle of the dark, there are families coming closer together and dinner tables being used and compassion growing and light shining bright. 

We each respond differently, in the ways we think are best. Some of us are still going to Target, some of us haven't stepped out of our front doors in two weeks. 

Life's different. For you, for me, for the world. 

My friends in India need help getting food to the families who live in the garbage. 

This week I talked to a friend in Hong Kong; she doesn't get out of her house either. 

My pals in Kenya and Uganda: also staying at home. 

"The whole universe needs God's mercy," proclaimed a friend in Uganda today. Yes. God's mercy is the thing we all need. 

Are you sick? Are you grieving? Are you lonely? Are you terrified? Are you hungry? 

God wants to hold you close.
Here, staying with Him; this is where the questions are silenced and the hope grows. In His company. He's got loads of mercy (endless) and He's inviting us all onto His lap.  

It's simple. We read the Bible, we talk to Him (pray), we stay still and listen. Here, there's refuge. There's life. There's comfort. 

"You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles' wings and brought you to Myself."

-God
Exodus 19:4

That's currently my favorite verse in the Bible.
God ends slavery, He ends darkness. 
He sets us free. He carries us. 
He lifts us up, like we're flying on eagles' wings. 
And He brings us to Himself. 
Ah. 

Caring for you and me is our Maker's passion. 

And we can rest in that. 

Here is the safety. The comfort. The hope. The restoration. Right here. On this giant beautiful lap. In God's arms. 

We're invited! 

He has enough hope! He has enough lap! He has enough healing! He has enough Heaven! 
And He's generous!

If you're new to reading the Bible and talking to God, I've been liking Psalm 91 and Isaiah 40. You could start with those chapters, take your time, and talk to Jesus about what you're reading. I like playing some worship like this, too. His attention is on us. And He's good.