Stay Strong

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Tell me what’s coming next, and I can prepare myself.

Once, about 12 years ago, Jim decided to surprise me for my birthday. He had taken the day off and had planned a few fun things for us to do. The problem was, I had already made plans with my mom and sister, and I wasn’t prepared for his impromptu celebration. Maybe that would’ve delighted some of you, but me, I hate being surprised.

A couple years ago, he tried again. He planned a surprise party for my 40th birthday, and I had no idea it was coming. As I began to realize that my best friend was leading me into a trap, I turned around, and headed back down the hall to leave. Of course I turned back around, and I was totally blessed by all the amazing friends and family that came out to celebrate me, but my initial reaction was to hide.

Is anyone else out there confused? Surprised by the world we are currently living in?

If someone had told me in January to start setting aside some extra supplies, because starting March 16, schools would be closed, restaurants would soon follow, and the supermarkets shelves would be bare, I could’ve been more prepared. This one caught me by surprise. I’m not living in fear over here, just a little frustrated and confused. It does make me want to hide a little.

Does anyone remember the story of Elijah? Most of his story is in the Old Testament book of I Kings chapters 17-19. If you haven’t read it, please do, if you haven’t read it in a long time, brush up on it (we all have lots more time to read ;)!

Elijah was a prophet and during his time here, God performed many miracles through him, but what I’ve always related to Elijah on is his raw emotion. He had just come off of calling fire from heaven in front of the ones who dared mock God and within a short period of time, his life was being threatened by an evil woman named Jezebel. What did Elijah, the mighty prophet of God do? He ran. First, he sat under a tree and begged God to take his life and then when God provided him food out of literally nowhere, he ate it, and took off for a cave to hide in. It’s really amazing how God gets his attention, finally. It’s not in the mighty wind that passes by or the earthquake that shakes the ground. God speaks to Elijah in a whisper.

What I understand and appreciate about Elijah, though, is how sometimes when we are faced with difficulty or uncertainty, our initial reaction, even as believers, is to freak out! We want to hide or run and we often allow fear to creep in. God understands that it’s human for that to be our initial reaction…but what follows should be our eternal reaction.

I stopped reading any reports on anything virus related last week, and severely limited my social media time, simply because I couldn’t handle all the confusion. That’s not to say I am not aware of what is going on, having a husband in health care and many close family and friends working the front lines, it is impossible to not be, but I know that God isn’t speaking to me in the chaos or confusion, He speaks to me in a whisper. A whisper of praise and worship music. A whisper of His Word that can bring peace and comfort. A whisper of His voice, reminding me that He goes before me, He knows what is happening and what will happen. He is never surprised.

So in this time of change and uncertainty, I would encourage you, my dear friends, to press in and press on. God met with Elijah while he was hiding in a cave, He will meet with us while we are quarantined in our houses. Remember God is not the author of confusion, but He can make crooked paths straight.

Also, if you need someone to pray for you or talk with you, I am here. I can offer you what I have, and that is hope in Jesus. He has been my Light in countless dark caves, and I am always ready to carry His light to anyone else that needs it.

Stay Strong

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