It is very early in the morning, still dark outside. I am reflecting over the last week. What a week this has been! A roller coaster! A deluge of strange events, dystopian sights, and new words. Coronavirus. How it has changed our lives in a week. People getting sick and people afraid of getting sick. People trapped on cruise ships. No one at Saint Peter’s Square or the Eiffel Tower. Times Square practically empty on a Friday night. Events cancelled. No sports! Store shelves empty and people afraid of running out of toilet paper when there is not even a real toilet paper emergency. The stock market! People watching their 401Ks plummet in a downhill slide so rapid it almost gives one whiplash. And then, after the President speaks in the Rose Garden a 1000-point gain. What will next week bring? And the new words and phrases that have become a part of our vocabulary: self-quarantine, social distancing, and respiratory hygiene. Who knew we needed lessons on how to wash our hands? Universities sending their students home or putting all classes online. People working from home. And churches cancelling services. Listen, when Disney and Apple stores shut down and Tom Hanks gets sick we know we are in trouble!
In the midst of this wild week, we are dealing with our own personal changes…just like everyone else. My mother-in-law, Jerry’s 98-year old mom is declining and we need to make some changes for her. Hopefully she will still be able to live at home, but she is falling frequently and her cognition is not what it has always been. We spent a few days in Dallas with her…Jerry going to her doctor with her and me researching resources to help her. I also got a chance to visit with my 94-year old mother the day before nursing homes went on lockdown. “Lockdown.” There is another word.
I’m listening to how my daughters and my friends have been affected. We all have a story. Everything is changing and the future is so uncertain. I remember a television show in the 50s that gave a young Johnny Carson his start. It was called Who Do You Trust? So this morning in my very early Saturday morning quiet time, God reminds me that I can really only trust Him. He never changes.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hebrews 13:8
Thank you, Lord. Furthermore, He saw this week coming and He has it under control. We plan and prepare and think we have our futures all laid out and then something happens to remind us that control is just an illusion. The stock market can never really provide security. Our aging loved ones are going to leave us some day. And some day, other people will be making decisions about us. In spite of all our preparations, someday our own health will fail. We will die.
Where is my bottom line, my investment with a floor, my safety net? I can plan and prepare (and we should!) but the world can change in an instant. I keep thinking of Psalm 20:7:
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we will trust in the name of the Lord our God.
Eventually I will lose all my chariots and horses. They cannot protect me from every eventuality. But God. God remains. He is constant. And He loves and cares for me.
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. Isaiah 40: 28b.
I think I’ll go have another cup of coffee.