I’m sitting in my living room staring out the sliding glass door at an overcast day, willing myself not to turn on the news. It’s so tempting to watch and speculate about what could happen next.
I’ve had a lot of time to think lately. We all have, what with the quarantine and all. Sometimes I feel too much time to think is not a good thing. At least it isn’t for me. When I have too much time to think I start to worry about all the terrible things that could happen. Do you do that? I wonder why I don’t think about all the wonderful things that could happen. Why always the bad? I heard once it’s because the bad is easier to believe.
I believe that.
At least it’s true for me.
My husband is a pilot and his industry has been hit really hard. The entire country has been hit really hard. Job losses by the millions and there’s a prediction of more. These are unprecedented times indeed.
So, because I tend to worry, I begin to, you guessed it, worry.
I’m not proud of my worrying ways, as a matter of fact it pains me to write it on the page. I try to deny it, but in my deepest heart, I know it’s true. I know I need to take my worries, cares and concerns to God, but it seems when I pray all I am doing is rehearsing everything that scares me. My prayers are worries with an “amen” at the end.
I get off my knees even heavier hearted than before I started.
I have to ask myself, is that really praying?
Now that I’m realizing this bad habit I’ve established in my prayer time, I’ve come to a decision. I am going to start praying God’s word back to him. This is not a new concept by any means, but it’s something new for me. Oh, I still plan to pour out my heart, but I won’t say “amen” before I remind myself of ALL he has done through the ages. Way before I was ever on the map, he was listening and restoring and healing.
He was mighty then and he is mighty now.
I heard a very Godly man say, after suffering so much loss yet still trusting God, that we can’t always look at what God is doing right this minute and decide if he’s good and faithful. We have to remember our history. Our history with God the Father will remind us of his goodness when the present feels like he’s nowhere to be found.
So, after pondering on that thought for a while, I decided to make a list of the good things God has done in my life to remind me that today will not last forever.
Here is some of my list:
He’s been faithful through serious illness.
He’s been faithful through deep loss.
He’s been faithful through nearly twenty eight years of marriage, not all of them easy.
He’s been faithful through times of disobedience.
He’s been faithful through rebellious teenagers.
He’s been faithful through a career change.
He’s been faithful through betrayal by close friends.
Faithful through surgeries and hospital bills.
Through depression and sorrow.
Moving away from everything familiar.
Faithful when we honestly didn’t know how we were going to make it…BUT WE DID!
BECAUSE HE WAS FAITHFUL.
And if he WAS faithful doesn’t it stand to reason that he WILL BE FAITHFUL?
What has changed? He hasn’t. Scripture tells me that.
It’s at times like these I must look at ALL he has done so I’ll be encouraged at ALL he is GOING to do.
Today is not the end of the story.
It’s just a painful chapter in the story of our lives.
The Psalms are a great example of exactly this way of thinking.
Time and again David found himself in difficult and even dangerous situations, and time and again he cried out to God, pouring out his sorrow or ranting through his complaint. Without fail by the end of his psalm (I like to call them journal entries) he REMINDED himself of God’s faithfulness.
And because he remembers, he is encouraged.
He didn’t pretend like the events around him weren’t happening, he just decided those events were not as big or as capable as his God. He had seen God move time and time again and he REMEMBERED!!
I want to challenge you in this tumultuous time to start a list…a list of remembering.
For those of us who are a little older, our list should be kind of long and rich. A lot of life has been packed into these years. This list should be incredibly personal and I encourage you to be very raw with yourself. I have laughed and cried over my list, and it’s still growing.
That reminds me, don’t forget to include the fun times you’ve had with the Lord. He not only answers us, supplies our needs and holds us up in disaster, but he gives good gifts to us out of pure joy. Remember those things as well. For example, have you felt the warmth of the sun on your face recently? Have you laughed out loud today? Have you seen a sunset more beautiful than you could ever describe? Have you enjoyed the blooming flowers of spring? Has someone told you they love you? Have you been showered with affection by your pet? Have you watched the birds fly north?
The things that can’t be taken or lost are all around you.
Find comfort in knowing that pretty soon this will all be a memory and you’ll add it to your list of the ways God came through.
Even though this time of quarantine is so hard, I have been able to find some fun. Today, I took my boys to a local drive through in hopes to help support local business, and my sanity, then we headed to a parking lot to “picnic.” We found a shady spot, backed the car between the white lines and ate as we laughed. You know, nothing about our current situation is easy, but one day I believe we will have great testimonies to share with our children and grandchildren of how God was faithful in the great pandemic of 2020.
Hang in there and, for the love of hand sanitizer, stay safe.