I began the morning while it was still dark–6:30ish a.m.
A quiet house
Heating blanket on
Furnace catching up from nighttime turn down to morning turn up
67 to 72 degrees
No coffee yet
Bible at side…waiting
A week ahead
The new way…
Last week I was “off” from babysitting because it was my daughter’s spring break; but the whole world is shuttering now for the novel coronavirus–isolation, lockdown, shelter in place…. On Wilmore Anglican Church’s Sunday morning sermon Facebook feed, Hule echoed musings by Andy Crouch who was referencing Osterholm, an infectious disease specialist, asking: Is this a blizzard? a winter? or an ice age? We went into this thinking–a blizzard–just a few weeks. Now it’s apparent it will be at least a winter. But with political stalemates and the tenacity of those numbers and climbing curve, and the falling stock market, we are all wondering if it’s ushering in a new metaphorical ice age.
Lord, You are in control and You are good! Hule’s quote of “Granny Rene” is right:
“God is God. God is good. And God loves us!” This is what we know.
But God, what are you up to?
I am reading the Old Testament book of Job. What God was up to in Job was not apparent to Job’s children, his employees, his country, his wife, his friends–not even to Job; but from heaven’s perspective it was made clear. In human eyes we might say, “That’s not fair!” “I don’t get it!” But God is God. His ways don’t have to be explained or justified. He is sovereign. We are not equipped to push back the works of God, or meant to question them. God allows Satan, with limits, to seemingly wreak havoc at times for His own purposes. Jesus himself experienced that:
His corona–His crown–His thorny, blood-stained crown, because God loves us;
His isolation and His own body shut-up, quarantined–in a cave, a tomb,
While hell was harrowed.
And Job lost it all: his livelihood; his house and farm; his children and his wealth. When he faced the sudden calamity, the sudden blizzard, he said:
Naked came I from the womb
Naked shall I return.
The Lord it is who gives
and the Lord takes away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord!
And “In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.” God is good.
Then entered winter.
Satan was given even more permission and Job’s body was ravaged. Was it a novel virus that was unleashed on him? His wife told him to “curse God and die.” And Job said, “Shall we receive good from God and shall we not receive evil?” “And in all this Job did not sin with his lips.” When we never acknowledged that it was the Lord who gave and it was the Lord who provided good all along–when we think it was our own goodness that brought it about—besides being extremely blind and arrogant–we don’t know what we don’t know.
How is it that we believe so often that we create the good but it is God who brings the bad? And how is it that we believe it’s all about us? That our purposes are at the center instead of God’s purposes? Do we fault God for acting like God? …for putting His purposes above our own?
The suddenness of Job’s losses brought on a stunning: a sitting together on the ground in silence together for 7 days before a word was uttered. A 7 day silence. 7 days of ground-sitting together before a word was spoken. Something gigantic is there–something absent from our culture; a language few of us speak! A practice foreign to our list of possibilities: sitting together 7 days in utter silence.
Be still and know that I am God
Be still and know that I am
Be still and know that I
Be still and know that
Be still and know
Be still and
It’s that empty, wordless nothingness–
No figuring out
No data collecting
But sitting still with the circumstance together with a few friends in wordlessness–on the ground:
We are but dust and to dust we will return.
Naked came we–Naked shall we return–Blessed be the name of the Lord!
This is part of practicing Lent.
And what we always know is:
God is God.
God is good.
God loves us.