Hear my heart. I know that I am blessed and have innumerable things to be grateful for. I have my health, my family, and a safe place to live. There’s food in the pantry and clean water at my fingertips. Because Jesus is my Savior, I have heaven as my eternal home. Hopefully, you can say the same.
But I think it’s also okay to acknowledge that some seasons are harder than others and that disappointments hurt. Isn’t that why we love the Psalms so much? David is real, raw, and honest about what he’s feeling.
Look at these examples.
“I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears.” ~Psalm 6:6
“Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted.” ~Psalm 25:16
“My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O Lord, how long?” ~Psalm 6:3
“Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate.” ~Psalm 143:4
God remembers that we are dust. [Psalm 103:14] He made us, and He knows when we’re hurting, confused, afraid, or disappointed.
So with all that behind us, here’s my question.
Lord, can I please send 2020 back??!!
I realize that it’s not even three months old yet, but some hard things have happened already this year. My dad passed away in January. All of my younger daughter’s fine arts events for this spring are canceled. Today we’re heading to Florida to pick up our older daughter from college, her spring semester now moving to online classes. (She is not thrilled about this development.) Our summer vacation may be in jeopardy.
I know those last few are first-world problems, and those disappointments are small compared to what so many around me are facing. I know sickness and death and quarantine from this virus are real.
But it’s okay to acknowledge that some of these things are difficult for us and to tell God that. He knows how we feel about them anyway.
And after we’ve done that, it’s helpful to remind ourselves that He is in control. I’m glad that He is, and that I’m not. Somewhere in all of this madness, there’s a plan and a purpose. And I know it’s for our good because He is good.
Maybe it’s so we’ll more appreciate our regular routine when it returns. Perhaps we’ll not take our health or our ability to be out and about for granted. Or we’ll be excited about watching sports together again (we will miss you, March Madness!!) And hey, my husband and I get to spend about twenty hours in the car together over two days doing this college trip!
As with all trials, there will be lessons we learn from this experience that wouldn’t have been gained any other way. To trust God – that’s a constant theme for me because I default to self-reliance so easily. We all get to grow our patience as life looks a little different than usual for the next few weeks.
I do know that there’s hope for the future. I have faith in a God who cares and who tells us to cast every one of our cares on Him. [1 Peter 5:7]
One of my very favorite hymns is Day by Day by Lina Sandell. The students at our daughter’s college sang it together at the end of the meeting where the administration announced that they’d be sending students home. No matter what each day brings, it’s message is relevant.
Day by day, and with each passing moment,
Strength I find to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
He, whose heart is kind beyond all measure,
Gives unto each day what He deems best,
Lovingly its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.
So while 2020 is off to an unexpected, unplanned start for many of us, may we all trust God to provide what only He can in every circumstance we face. Grace, peace, comfort, and joy are all at our disposal as we look to God for strength and encouragement.