The storm woke her. Somewhere between the first inklings of sleep and consciousness, I heard the bedroom door swing open. Within a second, her face was right next to mine. I heard her whimper something unintelligible in my ear, and I knew.
She was scared. She needed her mama to wrap her up in firm arms and let her know the storm couldn’t touch her.
Even though she couldn’t control the flashes of lightning and the low rumbles of thunder, she could choose where to run. Where to find comfort in the middle of the uncertainty.
Our inability to control outcomes can make us crazy, can’t it?
Over the past several weeks, I’ve seen it over and over. People yelling at Walmart store employees. Others lashing out over the slightest hint of disagreement on social media. Often, life feels like walking on a minefield of lurking emotions waiting to explode at any given moment.
As the death toll from this virus climbs, fear runs rampant. Since we don’t know how long this pandemic will last and what our world will be like when it’s over, we look to anywhere to find solid ground. Often, we look in the wrong places, which include our news feeds and the latest speculation from disease experts.
But we won’t find it there.
Last week, I had a good cry. When I discovered my son, who suffers from every environmental allergy known to man, could not get his immunotherapy injections, I lost it. All the uncertainty, the lack of control over each and every thing, it was too much. So I let it out and allowed myself to feel the grief and the frustration.
And God met me there. He didn’t fix everything and tie it up with a neat little bow, but he gave me assurance of his presence, right there in the middle of my breakdown.
As I read various accounts of the crucifixion this month, I felt challenged to see the human aspects of Jesus’ interactions with his disciples and with the Father in a new light.
It’s his perfect life that makes him capable of paying my debt, but it’s his humanity that allows him to relate to our suffering.
When I read his final plea in the Garden of Gesthemane, it hit me: he was afraid.No, he did not sin because he did not let fear have the final say, but he felt it. The drops of blood, the urgency of his conversation with the Father, and his repeated plea all attest to it. But at his lowest point, he didn’t look to the darkness surrounding him to find solid footing or comfort. He looked to his Father.
And he found it there. As soon as he declared, “Not my will but yours be done,” an angel was sent to him to comfort him. To strengthen him for the task and the suffering ahead of him.
“An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.”
We always have a choice in where we look to find solid ground.
Now more than ever, we need to make sure we look to the right place. We need to let God be our shield and our strength when we feel like we can’t go another day in isolation. We need to pray once more when all we want to do is stay in bed.
My three-year-old daughter knew she had a choice in where to go to find comfort. She could stay in her bed and let the thunder speak or she could come to the person who would speak words of assurance over her. You and I have the same decision.
Friends, I will be the first to say this practice is not a one and done type of effort. It’s a continual, moment-by-moment process. Some days, it’s easier than others. But when the walls feel like they’re closing in on me, I walk outside my house, let the sunlight fall on my face, and breathe.
I release the burden of control. I pray for restoration, healing, and the redemption of everything this virus has stolen. And most of all, I choose to worship him because even in this, he is worthy of each and every breath.
And somewhere between the promise of today and the uncertainty of tomorrow, I find peace. I find hope.
I plant my feet in the dirt and rest there.