I'm at an undisclosed location on the southern coast of Oregon sheltering in place. From the windows of my AirBnB rental I can see the tidal influenced mouth of one of our beautiful rivers. I've been up long enough to see the shroud of heavy fog lift to reveal the sparkling hues of the sun kissed and wind blown blue currents Today, the river isn't very still on the surface, but neither is it still below. There is so much about this picture that is true of life, and especially in the Covid-19 era.
Kimber and I had plans for today. While we've kept them private, they would have been in very public places enjoying very touristy pursuits as we reconnect and restore our own souls as the first quarter of 2020 winds down. Life for us in busy. But busy isn't a badge of honor. Over the course of 25 plus years of ministry and her 25 plus years of professional employment we've always tried to prioritize some private down time. We literally have to escape in order to re-engage and re-energize. We could not have anticipated this long calendared mini-vacation would occur on the leading edge of a pandemic. Our plans have been altered. I don't mind so much. We'll still be outdoors. We'll still be together. And, what's more, we may benefit more from the slower, more private time we have together.
In the bigger picture of things, what lies ahead for us is still shrouded in fog. We don't know what's out there. It's hard to predict where the currents of our current circumstances are taking us. On the surface of things, the wind is starting to whip up some waves. The temptation is to become reactionary instead of prudent and responsive. A run on toilet paper? Come on!
What's more disconcerting, perhaps, is what's happening below the surface in our hearts. Are anxiety and fear getting the best of us? Are we becoming unsettled, whipped back and forth by the winds and waves of doubt and confusion?
I'm not any different than you. I have concerns, worries, fears, and doubts. I wish I could wave a magic want and erase all the negative impacts, the distress, death, and disruption Covid-19 is causing. But I can't! What I can do is decide to trust the One who created the rivers and established their courses. I can rely on the One who tells the wind and waves to be still when it suits his purpose. And, I can try to discern how the current is flowing and rather than fighting against it, find a way to harness its power and produce something life-giving.
I'm praying this morning for your peace and the prosperity of our community and beyond. Economic challenges loom, health concerns are growing, and uncertainty about tomorrow is expanding, but we know God's purpose will ultimately prevail. May we cling to this assurance, and partner in His plan
"Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit,[a] with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations...“Come.” Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life." (Revelation 22:1-2,17)