Two messages have arrived in the last few hours, telling of friends diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus. We’re kicking them to the top of our prayer list.
The headline in this morning’s Jackson, Mississippi’s Clarion-Ledger reads: “Unprecedented, uncharted waters.” True enough. But many who read those words are doubtless remembering a promise that has never been more precious: When you pass through the waters, I will be with you (Isaiah 43:2).
The full verse(and part of the next) reads: When you pass through the waters I will be with you. And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fires, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I type those words–and posted them earlier on Facebook–and think to myself: I am not doing this to minister to anyone; I’m writing this to myself.
I am burdened with this oppressive, almost panicky fear of what is happening in the world and by the constant concern for what will happen, how many will be affected, how long it will last, what will be the collateral damage (economy, etc), and when “they” will perfect the vaccines and the treatments.
Unprecedented, uncharted indeed.
As they set out to cross the Jordan on their way to conquer the Promised Land, the Lord said to Israel, “You have not been this way before.”
And I think, “Boy, ain’t that the truth!”
That passage reads: When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests, the Levites, bearing it, then you shall set out from your place and go after it. Yet there shall be a space between you and it about two thousand cubits by measure (a thousand yards). Do not come near it, that you may know the way by which you must go, for you have not passed this way before. (Joshua 3:3-4).
The news tells of all kinds of rapid-fire development going on in pharmaceutical laboratories across the land, as scientists rush to find the vaccine and perfect a remedy for this virus which, so far, has no known cure.
My wife and I are in the group known rather uncharitably as elderly. I hit 80 a week from tomorrow and she follows in five months. We’re both in perfect health but from all we hear, that’s small comfort when attacked by this virus. The state health officer was quoted in today’s paper: “We remain very concerned for those over 65 and immuno-compromised populations–those most at risk to infection from this virus.” So, we do the things we can–isolation as much as possible, hand-washing, care in touching what others have handled, etc–and go forward.
They say not to touch your face. I smile and think, “Yeah, right. Who can do this? The habits of a lifetime are hard to end.”
Factories are shutting down right and left. The unemployment rate is about to skyrocket. The federal government is talking about handing out $2,000 checks to many people, but if one has no paycheck coming in at all, this is hardly a drop in the bucket.
Our state of Mississippi has just announced the first death from COVID-19: a male in his 60s who had “chronic underlying conditions.” We assume that means his defenses were already weak. God bless him. And all who have ministered to him, since they were exposed.
Meanwhile, it’s Spring outside….
The pollen has coated our landscape with a thin layer of yellow. That’s about to be washed away by the rains predicted for later today. The mallard couple who live on our pond are in a family way, it appears. She stays gone much of the time and the poor guy looks so lonely out there by himself. She shows up for an hour or so each day, then they fly off together. No idea where she is nesting. I wish it were nearby so we could enjoy the little ones.
The flowers are blooming, and the birds are crowding around my feeders. I keep it replenished. We do what we can.
Thank you, Lord. Thank you that “you’ve got this.” Thank you that we shall come through it.
BEST LAUGH TODAY: A friend sent this message. “We can save the human race by laying in front of the TV and doing nothing. Let’s not screw this up.”