Are we there yet?

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“Are we there yet?”
   Little voices coming from the back seat of the car, often when we were just an hour into the ride, asked that question. My children could not understand that 500 miles meant a 10 hour long drive. They just knew our destination was a beach house and a week of fun at the ocean.  When we did arrive at the ‘cottage’ they had only glimpsed in the rental brochure’s pictures, they would jump from the car to explore the place that would be their ‘home’ for the next week. The allure of the vacation just made them want to know “Are we there yet?”

Of course, being the kind and patient Dad that I was (smile), after the question was asked for the umpteenth time, my tone of voice as I replied “We will get there when we get there, don’t ask again!” stilled their inquiries.

This experience with COVID19 has made me like a kid wondering when it will be over. I find myself asking the Lord, “Are we there yet?” Along with the desire to renew patterns of living, I am full of questions about what life will look like even when schools are back in session, when restaurants are open, when churches gather in sanctuaries again, when we are told it is safe to resume our family gatherings.

Most likely it will take some time for many to feel a level of comfort that allows them to hug again, to sit in the company of friends, to resume those social engagements that once were ‘just life.’

And, there are even deeper questions than just rediscovering those patterns of life. I wonder, and perhaps you do as well, what will survive this crisis? Will there be a job to go back to? What institutions and/or companies may fail because of the economic hard stop that came with this virus? You are not alone and you are not strange if you are feeling anxious about security. Most of us are feeling terrible uncertainties.  One evidence of that are those dreams that so many report, sleep patterns broken as our brains try to sort out the issues of the world we now call home.

The world is not about to end. Remind yourself of that often. However, the world is changing and nothing is more difficult for human beings than change. Most of us do not even realize how hard we work to preserve the status quo. But, life constantly changes and those who will work to adapt, with faith and hope, emerge from trauma intact, discovering grace for each new day.  I love this quote:
“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
” – William Arthur Ward

We will get ‘there’ but it is going to be a journey. In no way do I want to minimize the struggle, nor do I suggest that the best response is the one I offered to my questioning children all those years ago. It is not healthy – spiritually or emotionally – to just shut up and go for the ride!

Especially those who are disciples of Christ Jesus have a real responsibility to one another. Paul, inspired by the Spirit, directs us to mutual care. “Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.” (Philippians 2:4, The Message)  We need to be patient with those who need to talk it out, even when they go on endlessly. We need to absorb the storm that is kicked up by some who deal with their anxiety in angry words.  We need to lovingly hold up those who become so overwhelmed that they want to drop out of life. We must carefully encourage those who have lost sight of the destination, who are paralyzed in fear.

The word from the Word tells us to ‘accept one another.’  God wants us to stay connected, to patiently encourage, to listen to the questions without irritation, so that TOGETHER we can get to that tomorrow that is secured in His providential love. Here is the passage. I hope you will spend a few moments with the Lord and pray for understanding, even if you’re asking, “Are we there yet?”  

“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” (Romans 15:5-7, NIV)

__________

Blessed Assurance

Blessed assurance Jesus is mine
O what a foretaste of glory divine
Heir of salvation purchase of God
Born of His Spirit washed in His blood

 This is my story this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long
This is my story this is my song
Praising my Savior all the day long

 Perfect submission perfect delight
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight
Angels descending bring from above
Echoes of mercy whispers of love

 Perfect submission all is at rest
I in my Savior am happy and blest
Watching and waiting looking above
Filled with His goodness lost in His love

Fanny Jane Crosby © Words: Public Domain

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