On Saturday the purple martins returned. We’d been watching for them. I guess they didn’t hear about the virus—or weren’t worried about it. Only one couple has taken up residence. Seeing them perched on the pole and exploring the gourd houses brings great delight.

They remind me to follow their example, relying on our heavenly Father for everything. I can’t see their faces, but I’m sure there are no scowls…no signs of panic. They’re just doing what they were designed to do—trust their Creator for life and breath.

The hyacinths outdid themselves…and the jonquils did, too. The weeping-cherry tree is almost fully in bloom. All nature seems unaware of the chaos enveloping our world.

If only I had more time, we said. If I could just slow life down, we said.

And here we are—much of the world sheltering in place. Time on our hands. Life as we knew it stalled.

Our fight isn’t just against the “unseen enemy” called coronavirus. We fight another unseen enemy—anxiety.

Our fight isn’t just against the “unseen enemy” called coronavirus. We fight another unseen enemy—anxiety. Click To Tweet

I know of only one remedy for that—God’s Word. My own words remind me of this passage in Matthew 6:25-31.

“…Take no though for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

“Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin. And yet I say  unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

“Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or Wherewithal shall we be clothed?”

Or where shall we find toilet paper? (My words!)

Our concerns are real, our ability to impact them nearly zero. Around the globe we see death and heartbreak. In our own communities we practice self-isolation and live in dread.

We expect normal life to return—as surely as the purple martins made their long journey back to their summer home…as surely as the jonquils and the weeping-cherry tree burst into bloom year after year.

Yet we need comfort while we wait.

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord forever, for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength” (Isaiah 26:3-4).

 “The Lord is my strength and my shield. My heart trusted in him and I am helped. Therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth, and with my song will I praise him” (Psalm 28:7).

“…Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long.  And the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders” (Deuteronomy 33:12 NIV).

“You whom I have upheld since you were conceived and have carried since your birth, even to your old age and gray hairs. I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you. I will sustain you and I will rescue you” (Isaiah 46:3b-4).

Either God keeps his word or he doesn’t.

“Blessed be the Lord, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant” (1 Kings 8:56).

The Psalms teach that God is my strong habitation, my rock, my fortress, my hope, my trust, my strong refuge. Is he enough?

Jesus finished his comments in Matthew 6 this way: “…your heavenly father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (verses 32-34).

Encouragement for the chaos: I will never be stronger than I am right now because God is my strength, and he won’t be stronger tomorrow!

Encouragement for the chaos: I will never be stronger than I am right now because God is my strength, and he won’t be stronger tomorrow! Click To Tweet

My words…and you can quote me!

Please comment about how you are encouraging yourself during these crazy days. And I’d appreciate your sharing this with your friends!

© Dianne Barker 2020

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