“I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.”
Don’t give up.
Trust. The words will come.
God, I hope they will come. I want something good to overtake me. Something bigger than the fear and frustration and anxiety that has clung to me these past few days.
Have you ever felt this way?
Yesterday, I hurried to get all my errands done and buy food so I could get home and hunker down.
It was November 3, 2020. Election Day. The day when we in America choose those we want to lead and guide us into the future. Usually, it’s not that big a deal—which, if you think about it, is a blessing. Usually, it’s a day where you go to a local park or school, sign in, take your ballot, and make your choice. When you’re done, you put your ballot in a box, cheerfully affix the “I Voted” sticker to your clothing, and go about your day.
Not this year.
This year owners board up their businesses. Families hoard groceries and supplies. LAPD is on tactical alert—ready for trouble. The staff who upkeep my apartment building walk the grounds discussing contingency plans. The atmosphere is thick with unease.
I just wanted it to be over.
I just wanted the votes to be counted, the winner announced, and for life to go back to normal. Yeah, like anything can be normal in 2020. As I write this, it’s 12:20 p.m. Pacific Time on November 4, 2020. No one has won the presidency yet. I am waiting to exhale, waiting to breathe.
After staying up past midnight– and waking up several times before morning, I’m spent. I don’t want to do anything. Nothing. Certainly not write. I can feel the fear and hopelessness pursuing me, determined to take me captive…
Amid the outrage of George Floyd’s death, trying to stay out of reach of Covid-19, and thankful for God’s provision in a damaged economy, I still believed in better times. People were ‘awakened.” Hearts had softened. Consciences were touched. Collective cries for justice and unity arose from a variety of voices. Attempts to understand the history and pain of others were genuine and fervent. America would finally, fully embrace its creed that “all were created equal.” That all had value. During this worst of times, selfless, everyday-heroes shone bright.
Lord, have mercy.
Yes. Lord have mercy. Maybe we’re all so tired because we’ve been trying to fight Covid-19 and racism and injustice and national disunity in our own strength. We’ve been fighting our daily battles in our own strength. We’ve been “doing what is right in our own eyes.” Without God. Without His grace. Jesus’ gentle admonishment in John 15:5 says “without Me you can do nothing.”
I forget that.
Over and over again, I forget that my power and provision is from God. I try to think and scheme and plan my way out of the uncomfortable. But I am not all that. I’m not perfect. I don’t know everything. And, I can only do what I can do.
What I can do is remember.
I can remember all the times when my world was so out of control and God rushed in and delivered me. I can think about all those times when I didn’t have money, wasn’t sure where I was going to live, didn’t have a job—but God made a way. I can remember right now that God’s got me. God’s got you.
It’s 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time on November 4, 2020.
There’s no president. Covid-19 is on the rise. Our nation is divided. Our hearts are divided. But there’s a God in heaven in whom there is no darkness. Somehow, some way, He will bring us through this mess. And beauty will come.
Let’s not waste the darkness. Let’s not waste the pain. There are things to learn. People and things to embrace—even from a distance. God says there’s treasures and riches in this time that He will give us if we will receive them.
May our hands be open…