So it is no secret to any of us that COVID has completely flipped our lives upside down.
The world as we knew it came to a screeching halt back in April.
We have been trying to process this change and what it means since then, but the reopening of businesses, restaurants, parks, playgrounds, with specific requirements begs the question:
Will life ever be normal again?
Will we ever be able to walk in to the grocery store with out a mask?
Will we ever be able to dine in close proximity to other guests?
Will out door attractions ever be able to reach their max guest capacity again?
My family and I have been taking day trips on Saturday around our state to try to get out and explore what is around us.
Last weekend we drove about an hour away to a “must see” location in our state.
We walked through, and walked across the bridge and also rode the gondola over the gorge. While things looked normal at first glance (most people outside did not have masks) There were certain precautions and procedures that were implemented specifically because of COVID restrictions.
Take the gondola ride for example, upon normal operation we might have stood in line 20-30 mins before it was our turn, however because of the new steps they took to ensure our health and safety, we were in line for almost two hours (in 80+ degree heat with two small kids it was a LONG time to wait!)
COVID not only has affected normal day-to-day events, but also has stymied our ability to plan ahead. I want to plan a vacation but there are too many unknowns to do so, and I want to look forward to my mom’s group meetings resuming in the fall, but right now no one knows what those will look like (or if they can even happen)
It seems as my most recent conversations with friends have all circled around how COVID has lead us to canceling plans, change our plans, or has thwarted our schedules in one way or another.
I find myself getting frustrated at this. We don’t know what the “right” thing is to do in terms of how to navigate this world now.
Do we live our life the way we want to, or should we continue to take precautions even though they are inconvenient for us?
While we are learning to navigate this new normal, how does this affect us looking ahead to the future?
What can we do/ look towards to help us navigate the unknown?
Thankfully there are a few scriptures in the bible that speak to how attempt to plan our lives, but God ultimately is the one in control.
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21
The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; Psalm 37:23
It is clear by these verses that God in His sovereignty has the final say. Many people have speculated that the reason COVID happened in the way that it did was to call us back to Christ. That we needed to be a nation who turns back to God in prayer.
We also are called to humble ourselves and seek God in prayer. We can again turn to the bible to see examples of leaning on God for direction and guidance in both in the old testament and new testament.
We sought out the disciples there and stayed with them seven days. Through the Spirit they urged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem. When it was time to leave, we left and continued on our way. All of them, including wives and children, accompanied us out of the city, and there on the beach we knelt to pray. Acts 21:4-5
After the death of Joshua, the Israelites asked the Lord, “Who of us is to go up first to fight against the Canaanites?” 2 The Lord answered, “Judah shall go up; I have given the land into their hands.” Judges 1:1-2
These two examples are meant to be encouraging, that indeed if we “trust the Lord and lean not onto our own understanding”. He will show us the way we should go and how to plan our steps.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight Proverbs 3:5-6
To lean on God in every area of our life, and to allow Him to guide our steps takes the pressure off us us.
I don’t know if or when a beach vacation will happen for my family this summer. But I know that God is in control.
I don’t know what new guidelines will be in place when school resumes in fall. But I know that God is in control.
I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to eat “normally” at a restaurant or not use a mask when I’m at the hair salon or grocery story. But I know that God is in control.
Sweet friends, not only is God in control over the big things of life (especially important as we approach the election season), He is in the control over the small things too!
God’s care and concern for us far exceeds our care and concern for ourselves.
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Luke 12:6-7
It is no secret that our nation is suffering some very hard things, in addition to COVID.
racism. injustice. violence.
I don’t know about you, but no matter what happens or what our lives look like moving forward, I know one thing that is constant.
God is in control.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8
So when you find yourself getting frustrated with everything going on, maybe your plans have been changed or cancelled, or you are deeply burdened with the division going on in the world.
Remember and say it out loud with me.
God is in control.