There are times when uncertainty seems to increase exponentially and our ability to maintain control diminishes. We sense the path before us leading toward the unknown.
So when those seasons come what is the next step forward? What does faith and trust look like? How can I be diligent and persevere?
I start by rehearsing what is certain and trustworthy, only the person of the Triune God. I look to the One who is my Source and my Anchor (Song by Skillet, Anchor), and with intention I press in. I ask God to provide creativity and good critical thinking skills as I look for the steps forward. I remember God will leverage this difficulty for good for those who love him, and he will accomplish his purposes (Romans 8:28).
A couple years ago I came across a cabinet at a thrift store. It was wood and had an interesting shape and unique feet. I saw potential although it was pretty beat up. I bought it, but it ended up in a corner.
When we began our garage renovation last year to create a spiritual direction office I remembered my desire to re-create the cabinet. I dragged the piece out of the corner. As I looked it over again I realized why I had put off the project. It was going to be a challenge. Someone had probably tried to stain the sides without stripping the old varnish, so the surface was uneven and mottled. The top of the cabinet was just as problematic. It had contact paper over a hard white patching medium layered on the wood. It looked rather forlorn.
I was not sure if I could salvage the cabinet, but I started to experiment... and pray (I am not kidding—I figure Abba enjoys a challenging renovation project). The sides cleaned up a good bit when sanded with stripping paper and when new stain was applied. It still looked rustic, but it no longer looked like a mistake. I painted the top and added some decorative painting to the front. Creativity became a pathway, and it became useful and beautiful. The threat of the Corona virus is far more serious than the challenges presented by my creative project: a dilapidated, quirky piece of furniture. But when we have been thrust into uncertainty, possible harm, and significant change at least for a time—we need the Presence of God to steady us, and we need hope, creativity, and perseverance.
What do you need in these uncertain times? What do those around you need? Our lives have been slowed down by circumstances beyond our control and by the decisions of authorities seeking to care for our communities. The forced slow down provides opportunity for choices that we may not have considered otherwise.
Will we allow the slowing to produce space for renewal, rest, and maybe even repentance? We can re-order some of the rhythms of our lives. Is there anything that I want to reboot? In this season of Lent does God have an invitation for me? What does God have for us in this season? Even as we guide our children through this home bound season of uncertainty, limitations, some joys (sleeping in on a school day) and disappointments (events canceled, missing friends), God desires to lead us through this season. As we navigate the uncertainty, let us trust and align with our Lord Jesus.