“Expect the unexpected. Remember this is a spiritual war and although battles will rage, be assured it has already been won.” – Braden
“Lord, through our experience we’ve come to trust that You remain with us even during the very darkest moments of our lives. We trust that You are in control and that Your plan is far greater than any we could imagine.” – Braden’s Dad
Shocked. Sad. Angry. Empty. Alone. Fearful.
These are just a few emotions our family feels this week. Likely, you could add to the list. One Prosper family lost their 2-year old baby boy last week and I’m confident they feel these very same emotions, yet for a different reason. Loss is loss. Grief is grief. Our prayers go out to this hurting family in the middle of multiple crises.
Following a recent job change, a shift at home in schooling, and with numerous other demands, life has become suddenly overwhelming. It’s been a strain at every level just to keep the wheels on the bus. Add this global virus, which hasn’t happened in more than 100 years to add fuel to the flame.
This week reminds me of an evening some time ago when Cathy asked if I could fill up her car with gas. She was running low and had to get the kids to school the next morning. This was a cold winter evening about 10PM and to be honest, I was not in a gracious spirit. Why hadn’t she let me know earlier in the day?
I dragged myself off the couch, shaking my head asking, “How low are you?” She replied, “I think it’s near empty”. Great, I grumbled under my breath. Grabbing her keys, I slammed the car door and jammed the key into the ignition. A warning light instantly illuminated along with an annoying chime for low fuel level. As I started the engine, the same warnings were blinking, but with a banner:
Miles to Empty: 0
Really? Are you kidding me? How can that be? You can’t run a car on a completely empty tank!
Making my way to the filling station, I had to avoid the compelling desire to drive at a normal or faster speed just to get there. It was late. It was cold. I had to be at work the next morning and I certainly didn’t need to be stranded relying on a neighbor to help me find a way to get some gas.
I remained in control. Creeping slowly forward, turning off the heater, dimming the headlights, turning off the stereo, and moving like a snail. Holding my breath and even leaning forward which obviously helped.
Finally, I was sitting at the gas pump fuelling up the Explorer and wondering how in the world I’d made it. The gas gauge had been far south of empty and although the car’s computer had calculated it was completely out of fuel, there must have been something left in the tank.
Right now, many of us are running on tanks well below “E”. Our family certainly is. Only three weeks ago, we all heard the news about this foreign flu virus that originated from the other side of the globe and today it’s arrived here with a full dose of disruption, uncertainty, and fear.
Confession. Lately, when I go to the grocery store I try to act casual like everything is normal. Passing through the meat, dairy, and bread aisles I begin to get a queasy feeling. “My God, there’s literally no food. What will happen if things don’t return to normal soon?” I might be wrong, but I suspect most of us feel the same: Out of energy and out of control.
Parents, although we like to think we’re in control, the harsh reality is we aren’t. Just take a glance at the world around us right now. Due to factors outside our reach, our families are being negatively affected. It’s particularly hard to see it on the faces of our kids.
Carona is called a “novel virus”, but it’s not novel. It’s just another version of the same thing that has existed since the world was created. We’re all humans and this is a fallen world in need of saving.
We’re all inclined to burnout at some point. We can become deeply discouraged, exhausted, fearful, and sometimes we feel we can’t take one more step. I feel that way lately, and I still fight my human nature to naively think I’ve got a handle on everything around me.
When I get honest with myself and when I fall prone to the weight of this world, acknowledging that I’m completely out of control helps me find peace. My Heavenly Father has this. He always has and always will. This “novel virus” is just another variation on the same old story.
Our Creator knows His children and remains in full control. I’m going to trust Him and try to just rest easy.
Prayer for Readers
Heavenly Father, we pray over our communities, families, and individuals who are in the midst of crisis and uncertainty at this very moment. Grant us wisdom, peace, and healing both physical and spiritual. Be with those across the world who are experiencing every variety of emotion. They are experiencing loss, sickness, separation, and desperation.
Remind us to look to You alone when we feel empty and out of control.