In the Stillness

Are you feeling fearful today? You are not alone.

I know a lot of people are very anxious right now regarding the COVID-19, or Coronavirus. My daughter is on the other side of the country as I write this. She will be safely home again in ten days, but still, I worry about her return flight, the crowded airport, and a bunch of worst case scenarios playing out in my imagination. I also have several friends whose loved ones are traveling internationally, bringing their families a whole new level of concerns.

How do we remain calm amidst all the chaos — even as we try to go about our normal lives? And how do we discern fact from fiction? The disinformation being spread through rumors and social media only feeds our fears. The chatter has become overwhelming.

Let’s all take a breath.

Turn off the noise. Be still . . . and just . . . listen.

God’s Calming Voice

It’s time to quiet our hearts and seek the calming peace and stillness found only in the Lord’s presence.

I’d like to share some of my favorite Scripture verses that always help calm my fears when I am feeling frightened or anxious. You may wish to write them down and carry them with you as daily reminders of God’s ever-present love.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” — II Timothy‬ ‭1:7‬

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;” — Philippians‬ ‭4:6‬

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” — Joshua‬ ‭1:9‬

“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ — Isaiah‬ ‭41:10‬

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” — Matthew‬ ‭6:34‬

If your children are feeling anxious too, you may wish to share these simple verses with them. Let them know that God hears their prayers and is always nearby to offer His comfort, any time of the day or night.

“Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.” — Psalms‬ ‭56:3‬

“I sought the LORD, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears.” — Psalms‬ ‭34:4‬

Always remember: there is no problem too great for God to handle. Trust that He is in control through this challenging time. Remember often to stop and listen for His voice, and know that you rest in the palm of His hand.

A New Season

Not everything in life is as predictable as the seasons. Some mornings we wake up only to discover that everything has changed while we were sleeping.

I awoke last Wednesday morning to the realization that I may soon be back in the job market. Faced with an unexpected financial predicament (related to my current job) I am now making some difficult decisions. Sadly, this could mean leaving a career I love.

This sudden change of events has been quite daunting. Just when we were planning for our retirement, I now need to polish my résumé. And I haven’t had a job interview in eight years.

My head is swirling. Where do I begin?

Diversionary Tactics

Saturday morning my daughter and I went plant shopping for our front garden beds. In the afternoon I did some yard work. Then I took a nap. In the evening we had dinner with friends. Since my day was spent creating tactical diversions, I managed to avoid the inevitable job search.

I know I can do this. The problem is . . . I don’t want to.

This is not how spring was supposed to begin. Everything else is on schedule. Our peach tree is blossoming and the Redbuds are about to open. The Peonies have emerged and the Forsythia is blooming. There are weeds to pull and flowers to plant. The patio needs sealing and the grill needs cleaning. A job search was not part of the plan!

A Song in My Heart

Today our children’s choirs sang a song called God Is Here With Me by Christopher Hogan. One verse in particular struck a chord with me.

God is in my heart when I am sleeping,

God is in my heart, right here in my sleep.

God is here with me, Alleluia!

It reminded me of how many sleepless nights I have had lately. But as I tossed and turned, I kept hearing songs in my sleep. Each time I awoke, a song was playing in my mind. Every night was a different song, but always a hymn or anthem we were singing in choir. I am certain that the Lord placed these songs in my heart to comfort me.

I have no idea how my current situation is going to end. Right now I am staying focused on each new day and trying my best not to worry.

God is here with me, Alleluia!