These days seem unprecedented with lock downs, toilet paper shortages, and social distancing. It seems ominous, even slightly apocalyptic. But it is nothing the world hasn’t ever seen before. There have been plagues and pestilences before. The news of the novel coronavirus, how fast it is spreading, and how many people are dying each day sounds so frightening when the media reports it.
How does anyone find comfort and peace during this time? Maybe the vice grip on your chest loosens when you know you have enough supplies stocked up for the next month (or two). Maybe the anxiety eases when you completely cut yourself off from the world to keep the virus out of your life and home. Maybe some peace sneaks in when you realize that COVID-19 acts like any other virus. It acts like the virus of the H1N1 Pandemic of 2009. Only during that pandemic millions of people died. Maybe you rest easier knowing that the fatality rate of COVID-19 is nowhere near that yet.
The weeks leading up to spring break are harried for teachers. Third-quarter grades are due, parent conferences need to happen, regular teaching must go on, and everyone is desperate for the break’s arrival.
When the days seem short and the weeks long, it is easy to feel that nothing will be done on time and that everything is out of control. Well, everything is out of my control, but I know the one who is in control. So as I counted down the weeks to the break, I turned my thoughts to consider God’s sovereignty. God’s sovereignty (or his supreme power and rule) is not limited to the ability to make something happen or keep something from happening. While that is certainly part of it, it is only a part of it. We are known and kept by God Most High more intimately than that.
In my endeavor to know and cling to God’s promises this year, I have noticed that I am more prone to look for them when reading the Bible. I just read Psalm 55:22: “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.” God promises two things in this verse. First, he will sustain you when you cast your burdens on him; and second, he will never permit the righteous to be moved.
It was the second promise that I took note of when I read Psalm 55 because as I was sorting through the stack of verse-inscribed index cards in my car, I found one of Psalm 16:8:”I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.”