You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf.
(2 Chronicles 20:17a)
I know the temptation there is to feel the drudgery or the wastefulness of life, especially in this time of stay-at-home orders, economic uncertainty, an invisible microbial enemy, the endless waiting for a positive turn in the news, the exponentially greater hazard for those in at-risk situations (whether health, abusive environment, trafficked, in poverty).
Some of us cope by making lists of what to do in the worst-case scenario. We bury ourselves in research and follow up on our discoveries with changes in where we shop, how we cook, what products we use, etc. Lists and rules and preventatives will save us, and we tend to think this not because they actually will but because just doing something measurable seems more productive than just doing something immeasurable, something that doesn’t have results that can be seen or quantified, something like trusting God.
How is someone who can’t even wrangle the chaos in her own home supposed to be able to handle the unknown? Microscopic droplets in the air? We’re talking about kids who lick railings and handle everything they can reach from a shopping cart. Losing control is no longer the fear, but never regaining it. Safety becomes a stranger. Confidence that if we just know enough about this virus we can fight it slips away with every news update. Here we are, just a few weeks in and who knows how many weeks to go, and I can surely say I’ve failed this test already.
A few summers ago I wrote this post after the weather in Pittsburgh had seesawed back and forth for several days between drenching rains and bright sunny skies. I have been often reminded of the lesson in it these past few weeks. Yes, we’ve had our seasonal stutter start to spring, but we’re also experiencing on a grander scale uncertainty and confusion as a result of pandemic, economic instability, and the loss of what we’ve always considered normal. Now more than ever we need the exhortation that we not, as Bridges says, “deprive ourselves of the peace” of knowing that the hand that sends it is good, wise, sovereign and perfect.
The gospels record 307 questions that Jesus asked those he encountered. A simple way to love your spouse better is to spend time discovering things you may not know about them, explore how they think so you can understand them better.