This morning I searched into the depths of my notebook/journal, not exactly certain what I was looking for, but knowing that I needed to search. As I flipped through the pages a date caught my eye – February 24, 2020 – exactly one month prior to today.
My eyes scanned the entry, and I was quickly drawn in with curiosity. The first few paragraphs talked about drizzling rain and green grass, which stood in stark contrast to my current reality of a cold frosty snow. However, the latter part of the entry struck a cord deep within my heart. I was overcome with the fact that God had been preparing my heart for exactly where I would be today, exactly one month later.
On February 24, 2020 I wrote:
Small droplets of rain cling to the bare branches of the trees. They sit delicately as tiny orbs reflecting the eery light that is descending through the thick fog. It’s the last week of February and the grass is already green, some of the trees are even starting to bud. While today is gloomy and grey, we have already had days that were warm and sunny with spring floating through on a gentle breeze.
Everyday the birds birds sing more jubilantly, and everyday I am reminded more and more of the time marching onward. Seasons change, and so does life — both in seemingly unpredictable ways.
Our time here in Germany has flown by, and looking back it already seems like the blur of a strange dream. And if it is a dream, then to be completely honest, it is a dream that I am nervous to awake from, as I do not know what is to come after I awake.
Just as moving to Germany held countless uncertainties and question marks, so too does moving back home, perhaps not as many, but there are still some definite uncertainties.
Thinking about the uncertainties can be overwhelming and all-consuming. But here is what I am learning, even when the waves seem like they are going to crash down on you, Jesus is there to calm the storm.
“On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, ‘Let us go across to the other side.’ And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, ‘ Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing? And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘ Peace! Be still!’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?’ And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?’” – Mark 4: 35-41
While living in uncertainty, as we have been while living in Germany, we have seen God provide. We have seen Him calm the storm that we though would consume us. With my health, with uncertain work conditions, with finances, and with every single thing we worried and prayed about, God provided.
It can be easy to forget all the ways God has continually provided, and so we get stressed and worried. But God has been abundantly faithful with provisions in the past, and he will continue to be in the future. He provides enough of what we need each day, and that is more than enough, and more than we deserve.
So, today, may I take a moment to to acknowledge and remember what God is doing/ has done for us. May I praise Him with thanks. May I walk soundly in knowing that where we go , where he has called us, he is already ahead making a way.
That was a month ago from when I am writing this, and since then there has been more uncertainty that I could have ever imagined.
Within a month everything drastically changed, and I’m amazed when I look through my journal and can see all the ways God was preparing my heart for what was coming.
Now, rather than green grass, buds, and blooms, the trees outside are dressed in a thin dusting of powdery white snow. Upon the ground sits snow, and above me the grey sky has even more snow gently falling from the clouds up high. Currently, both Wayde and I have had our work opportunities fall through, we have no jobs, we are uncertain of where we should live, there is a pandemic sweeping the globe, we thought we would get stuck in Germany due to it, we are currently in quarantine, and a lot remains up in the air.
Somehow within the last month every plan that we made changed, changed, and then changed again. A month ago I was sitting in our small flat in Germany, looking outside at the rain and green grass. I was planning our trip to Greece, Italy, Amsterdam, and Paris. Coincidentally, I was also pondering all of the uncertainty ahead of us, and I was reminding myself that even though it can feel overwhelming God has a plan. I was reminding myself that God has faithfully, continuously provided, and he will continue to do so. I had no clue how important of a reminder that would come to be, or how desperately I would have to cling to that truth.
In this time of Covid-19, we can quickly become overwhelmed. Suddenly we are all faced with the reality of how little control we as humans have. Uncertainty is certain.
It has never felt more true to me that, as Proverbs 16:9 says, “the heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” We can make plans, but we will never walk in those plans if it is not something God has established.
The truth is we have so little control, which can feel scary and overwhelming, but the good news is that God is in control, and he is a faithful, ever-present, never changing certainty. He is the one thing we can trust amidst a rapidly changing world filled with uncertainty. God has been faithful in the past, he has kept us afloat when we felt we were going under, and he will continue to do so now.
Even in a broken, messy, hurting world God is present.
Jesus calmed the storm and questioned his disciples lack of faith in the storm, saying, “ ‘why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?’ And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, ‘who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mark 5:40-41)
The storms will rage and we might temporarily be overcome with fear, we might want the storm to stop immediately, but in the storm take heart and have faith! God has control of the wind, the waves, and all other things. Jesus is not panicked nor surprised by what is going on in this world, or in each of our personal lives. Draw near to him and trust that he will hold you through the storm.