How are you doing, sweet Sister? For me, it depends on the day, hour, minute...
Quarantining is so many things, including but not limited to: frustration/opportunity, fear/hope, grief/rebirth, loneliness/connection, making messes/cleaning up.....do you see what I’m saying? It can be one thing and the exact opposite thing within the same minute!
Quarantining reminds me of the words of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8:
“There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing (WOW!)
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
I have read through a lot of the Psalms these past several weeks. Every human emotion is represented in that book of poetry and songs. People lamented, and people rejoiced. People have always had to grapple with questions, fears, discouragement, and seeking solutions from a God who has a far more profound and broader vantage point than any human ever could.
My son just found out that his senior year of high school is over. Not one game of his final lacrosse season, not one more day laughing with his friends in the hallways of the school, no senior prom, no senior class trip, no awards ceremonies to celebrate his and his friends’ accomplishments, and most likely the strangest graduation celebration ever imaginable. He is sad, he is angry, he is frustrated, lonely and over this whole thing. But, here’s the contrast: he is laughing with friends on Zoom, he is running with a neighbor (following the six-feet apart rule) every day, he is connecting with new friends from his future college lacrosse team, he is talking to family members more than ever, he is helping around the house without being asked, he is recognizing that many people out there are struggling with far greater things than his current hardship. He is growing into a young man of perspective, a young man who shares his frustration in healthy ways, a young man who cares about the people around him and a young man who looks to the future with hope. He has lost much, but he is gaining wisdom, empathy, patience, and peacefulness.
The Psalms often repeat the phrase that God is consistently and eternally “on His throne”. When I went through a hard time several years ago that led to me losing a job that I loved dearly, I remember that phrase coming into my head. I remember saying to myself, “This is terribly hard, but God is still on His throne’’. I ended up finding a job that was a combination of many things I loved, and that paid me more than my previous job. It was a time of fear and loss of purpose, but after a time of sitting in that loss, experiencing many disheartening job interviews, I found a new place to settle.
In Psalm 11:3-4, David says, “When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do? The Lord is in His holy temple; the Lord is on His heavenly throne. He observes everyone on the earth; His eyes examine them.” I believe these words are saying, no matter what difficult thing we humans see in front of us, God sees a much wider angle view. And he is the King. He has been forever. He knows exactly what is happening, He is watching, and He will show us the bigger picture.
In the New Testament, in the book of Hebrews 8 (verses 14-16), after we have seen the human experience, torture, death, and the hope of the resurrection of Jesus, Paul describes how Jesus is able to empathize with all that we experience as humans. And then he states, “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” His throne is available to us, at all times, in all contexts. In some of the final verses of the Bible, in Revelation 21:5, it says, “He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” His promises to us are secure and solid. He remains in his everlasting role as King of Kings.
I just don’t know what to make of this “big feelings” time we are walking through as a world. But I choose to believe that God is on His throne. He knows, He cares very much, He wants good for every single one of His children. He wants us to approach His throne, His lap even, like a Daddy who wants to comfort his hurting children. He wants us to trust and believe that this “time for everything” is everything to Him. He’s got it.
I love you ladies,