One day, my husband dropped me and our two little boys off at the back door of our house, and pulled the car around to the street parking in front. I took the boys in the house, and they went off playing, but Steve didn’t enter through the front door. He was gone. I looked outside, and the car was nowhere to be found. Had this happened in 2020, I would have called him on his cell phone to see where he was. However, in those days, that option was not available. You can imagine Steve’s surprise when he walked through the front door about one-half hour later, and he was met by this screaming crazy woman. I was upset, but not just angry, I was “over-the-top furious!” In those moments that he was gone, I became convinced that something had happened to Steve. Any sense of healthy, rational thinking was replaced by outright terror inside of me. You see, in the early days of my marriage, I lived with a fear that my husband would die, leaving me to raise our children alone, as I had been raised. The problem was, I never realized that my past was affecting my present until that moment.
Where was he? Well, one of our senior “talkative” members of our church, was walking past our home as she returned from the grocery store. Steve, being a kind pastor, told her he would give her a ride, which was only a few blocks away. When he tried to leave her at her front door, she just kept talking, and he couldn’t get away.
Really, not a big problem if you are married to a rational wife, but he wasn’t. I yelled out, “I thought you were dead!” This experience would take me on a journey of healing that took some years. I am thankful for a husband who was willing to walk with me.
Right now, our country, and the world at large, is facing a crisis. How we all deal with this depends on so many things, but our life experiences play a big part. Every underlying fear wants to take control of our thought life. Whether you are fearful of getting sick, or those you love getting sick, or the financial implications of this crisis, or the isolation you may be experiencing, fear has a way of trying to grip our lives. But there is hope.
When we are anxious and fearful, it is always a good idea to “encourage yourself in the Lord.” There came the point in my life that I had to come to terms with this question, “do I trust you, Jesus?” Moments like this will test that foundational truth.
I love the account in the book of 2 Kings chapter 3. To give you a little background, King Ahab of Israel had a manageable relationship with the king of Moab, but he was now dead, and the king of Moab took this as an advantage to strike Israel, under the new leadership of King Joran. The account says that Joran got his troops together and went on the offensive toward Samaria. On the way, he sent a message to the King of Judah.
2 Kings 3:7-9 says: “On the way, he sent this message to King Jehoshaphat of Judah: “The king of Moab has rebelled against me. Will you join me in battle against him?” And Jehoshaphat replied, “Why, of course! You and I are as one. My troops are your troops, and my horses are your horses.” Then Jehoshaphat asked, “What route will we take?” “We will attack from the wilderness of Edom,” Joram replied. The king of Edom and his troops joined them, and all three armies traveled along a roundabout route through the wilderness for seven days. But there was no water for the men or their animals.”
Seven days in the wilderness without water for themselves or their animals! What started as an offensive march would turn into a death march if they did not find water. Water is life. Their response to the initial crisis was panic, but then a strategic moment occurred. The king of Judah said, “Is there not a prophet of the Lord with us? If there is, we can ask the Lord what to do through him.”
Asking the Lord how to respond to a crisis is a valuable tool that each of us needs.
So, they find Elisha the prophet and ask him to before God on their behalf.
You can read it in 2 Kings 3:15-20:
“While the harp was being played, the power of the Lord came upon Elisha, and he said, “This is what the Lord says: This dry valley will be filled with pools of water! You will see neither wind nor rain, says the Lord, but this valley will be filled with water. You will have plenty for yourselves and your cattle and other animals. But this is only a simple thing for the Lord, for he will make you victorious over the army of Moab! … The next day at about the time when the morning sacrifice was offered, water suddenly appeared! It was flowing from the direction of Edom, and soon there was water everywhere.”
My favorite moment in this account in the book of 2 Kings, chapter three, is Elisha’s response, “But this is a simple thing for the Lord.” What we consider difficult, God considers simple.
That gives me such hope!
We become anxious when we allow the largeness of the problem to become more significant than our God.
Philippians 4:6-7 “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
We become anxious when we allow the fear of the future to become more important than the one who HOLDS the future.
Proverbs 31:25 “She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.”
As the Women’s Director of PennDel, I would not have chosen this circumstance for my first year. I would love an easy year, where everything goes as planned. We all would like that in our personal lives too! But the truth is, we all need to be stretched to grow in our faith and leadership, and without unexpected, difficult circumstances, we don’t have the opportunity. So, let’s embrace the moment, call on God for His word for THIS moment, and trust Him with the rest.
Several more times during my early marriage, this fear would raise its ugly head, and I would be confronted with my humanity and lack of trust in Jesus. Not because Jesus didn’t love me, but because He did. I love that our lives are a marathon and not a sprint. We keep moving forward, and we keep growing. Life is a perpetual test.
This week, speak to God about how you are feeling in this coronavirus season and write it down. Listen to what He says, and then do those things He is asking you to do, boldly, bravely, and joyfully. Next year, we will all look at how far we’ve come and be thankful for all that was learned through this process.
Psalm 91: 9-10 says, “Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most-High, your dwelling place, No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways.”
So please wash your hands often, and while you are washing them, PRAY and DECLARE God’s word over your life!