Give me a word, Lord: NEVER BEEN THERE

Hebrews 11:8-10 It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going. And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith—for he was like a foreigner, living in tents. And so did Isaac and Jacob, who inherited the same promise. Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God.

Consider for a moment when you have traveled to a place outside of your comfort zone. It may have been to begin a new job, it may have been for a fun, filled vacation, or perhaps it was for a mission trip to a foreign land where people speak in a different tongue. All of those situations are uncomfortable at first. Although we may be full of excitement, at the same time there is that awkward awareness that we are a stranger in this place. We do not quite know what to expect, and that may cause a bit of fear. Now, consider where we are right now. We are sitting here in the middle of a pandemic that has been ongoing for a year. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never lived through a pandemic before. I’ve never practiced medicine in a pandemic. At first, it was awkward and strange, but now curbside patient visits has become common place. We still do not know everything that we need to know about this virus, but we are learning a little more each day. But still…I’ve never practiced in a pandemic. My teacher friends have not taught in a pandemic, and their students have never studied during a pandemic. Our preacher has never preached through a pandemic. Local businesses have never functioned during a pandemic. Come to think of it, no one that I know has had to function in the middle of a pandemic before this past year. Well, that’s not totally true. I know God, and I know He has continued to be God through many pandemics, plagues, and such. But, I’ve never been here before.

This season may be new to you, but it is definitely not new to God. Perhaps God has placed us right here and right now in this place we have never been so that we remember to rely completely on Him and trust Him like never before. God isn’t experiencing any of this for the first time, and the very best part about all of this is knowing in my heart of hearts that even though I am feeling overwhelmed, confused, and more tired than a cat with ten tails at a rocking chair contest, God already knows how all of this will work out, and because I have faith in Him and His plan, I know that it will all work out for our good and His glory.

I’ll be completely transparent with you, my friends, and tell you that this mess has worn me down! It has given a whole new definition to the word tired. A couple of weeks ago, I felt like I was on the brink of tears every single day. I felt lost in this strange land of COVID-19. I’m still learning the language, and I feel like every time a get a handle on this thing, it starts speaking in a whole new tongue. Although a few things seem familiar and have become second nature, other things continue to change on a daily basis. I have spent much time in prayer, and I begged God to show me the way and return me to my place of joy in Him. This past week went by with a winter storm, shortened work days, icy roads, and a big old mess, but guess what? I felt the joy of my Savior. I smiled through it all. He never left me, and he renewed my joy in His Spirit. Yes, I survived again, but i didn’t just survive, I thrived in the Lord.

You may be feeling like Abraham right now. You may feel like God has called you to leave your home and go into a foreign land. You may feel like you are not sure where you are going or where you will end up. We may feel lost in this land of COVID-19, but we have NOT been forgotten. This is indeed a confusing season, but we can all rest assured that even though we don’t know where we are going, God does. And when it is all said and done, we will reside in our heavenly home, and all of this will just be an old memory. God has got you! He always had kept you in the palm of His hand, and He always will. God’s got you!

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