These are troubling days. We are faced with a worldwide pandemic for the first time in most of our lives, and we don’t really know how to respond. Yes, we know that we are to practice social distancing, that is we are to remain no closer than 6 feet from other people so that we do not come in contact with the virus from others. We know that we are not to gather in groups of more than 10 because that creates a risk that someone in the group could be unaware that they are carrying the virus even though they are highly contagious at that point. We know that we should stock up on food because we could be housebound for a long time. We know that various businesses are shutting down with their workers facing furlough or unemployment, resulting in the loss of necessary paychecks for the household. We also know that if we are in the “at risk” category of individuals, we should remain in our homes to avoid contamination by the virus.
In short, there are quite a number of things that we now know which are different than our ordinary experiences had been before this virus hit. But one thing we see rampant, and that is the loss of toilet paper! People are hoarding it, taking it by the pallet-full, clutching their toilet paper in the checkout lines as if it were a lifeline. What’s with that?
Things are anything but routine now, and we are wondering if this is the “new normal”.
I don’t know when the virus will be contained or how long the housebound directive will be in place, but I do know the One who has that information, and He will not let us be housebound for a moment longer than is His plan.
The Psalmist says:
Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the LORD.
You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield.
It is a statement that is repeated in Proverbs:
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
And the Prophet Isaiah claims the same thing:
Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.
When I think of God as an “everlasting rock”, my mind wanders to the sights we saw in Yosemite National Park. Specifically, the view of El Capitan. It is a huge granite monolith that rises almost 910 meter (3,000 foot) vertically from Yosemite Valley. It’s massive size and strength is apparent when looking at it from across the valley.
But, come closer, and it is both intimidating and comforting.
More than one climber has tried to scale its height, and a few have succeeded. Some have turned back, and others have fallen to their death. It is intimidating and yet when thinking of God as our everlasting rock, it is comforting. Nothing is going to push El Capitan over. Nothing is going to move our God out of the way, either. Indeed, if God were to ordain an earthquake in the Yosemite Valley, El Capitan may well be toppeled, but it would only be at the ordinance of God, the ultimate Rock and the source of our salvation and redemption.
Beloved, if you are housebound, take heart. You can worship God even in the sanctity of your own home, of your own hospital bed, of your own apartment, of your own heart! Worship Him, the everlasting Rock and the author of our salvation. Then, praise Him for the opportunity you have to be housebound, to be able to focus on your relationship with Him rather than on the cares of the world, of work and or school. And you may want to think Him for giving you the time to clean out that closet, or tidy up the junk drawer in the kitchen, or the linen closet, or … well my entire house, actually!
The point is that we should praise God for all things, because we know that “for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
Father, I thank You for the blessings that are so freely given to all of us, including the freedom from fear of the coronavirus and freedom from anxiety for those who place their trust in You. Help me to be patient during this time of restricted activity, and help me to remember that You are in control of all things, even the most minute of activities by which we can honor You,