Where can we focus when nothing is stable?

I was swinging on a swing with one of our two-year-olds, when I was reminded how I have no stomach for anything that whirls, twists, or turns me too quickly. It seems so ridiculous, but honestly, ever since I was 18, I haven’t been able to do “spinny” rides. I vividly remember being at a state fair and getting off of some kind of spinning ride and wanting to puke all over the place. Of course, I didn’t/couldn’t, so instead, I just felt horrible for the entire day. I was so bummed. And that was that. I turned into an old lady with an aversion to all things fun and spinning by the time I was 18. Ugh!

As I swung ever so gently with said two-year-old, focused on NOT being dizzy and puking on my child’s head, I remembered how if you look at something NOT moving, you won’t get dizzy. I proceeded to stare off at a tree and thankfully felt so much better.

I tell you all this because it sure feels as if everything is shaking and whirling around us. It seems as if it isn’t nailed down, it’s moving. And not a whole lot is nailed down (if anything). So many things we thought were rock solid and unmovable are shaking. Jobs and businesses we thought would always be secure, may not be anymore (or in the near future). Many loved ones have been lost. Our very health and well being have been threatened. Who would ever have predicted this could happen here just a couple of months ago? In the United States? I remember speaking to a friend living in China earlier this year and thinking to myself, thank God we’re not there! That’d never happen here! How wrong I was.

I think there’s one thing that comes into focus right now. And that’s that we can’t rely on anything in this world. Everything in this world will fail us. If not now, then at one point or another. Even our own bodies will rebel against us sooner or later. Our health may be good now, but we’re reminded by this pandemic that it’s all short-lived – each of us is getting older and weaker, even without any external influences. Although many of us take care of our bodies well (as we should!), no one is invincible and lives forever. We may also be wealthy now and be able to trust that we will never be in want in our lifetime, but none of it will be able to help us at the end of our lives. Just ask those that are in ICU’s all over the world. So many of the things that may have given us security and peace in the past we now know can be stripped away in a moment. I’d say that’s a big take-away from this pandemic.

So with most everything around us unstable, what in the world can we keep our eyes on to steady us and give us hope? Only Christ. He is the Rock of our Salvation. All other ground is sinking sand. I love how Tim Keller put it in one of his latest podcasts: “We either crown Him king (of our lives) or kill Him. There’s no in-between.” He’s either the King of our lives who we submit to, Who steadies us and Who gives us hope or we choose other things to submit to, to steady us and to give us hope, thereby “killing” Him. That’s the binary choice we’re presented with when we are confronted with the biblical Jesus. One or the other (incidentally, we can’t just “not” decide either since not choosing is a choice in and of itself).

This pandemic will end eventually, but the reality that nothing in this world is truly stable will remain with us. This is not to be morbid. Just realistic. But because of the hope that we can have in Christ, we don’t have to walk in fear when situations rock our world. If anyone’s been paying attention, our world has been, is, and will be very broken. We are NOT enough. But thank God, He is. Thank God that we can be reminded of our limitations through this tough time rather than continuing on in the false notion that “we’ve got this.” Because look around, we don’t.

Although this is not something I would have ever wanted for my life or anyone else’s, I pray that this unsteadying time will clarify what is the only thing that remains steadfast and secure. This Easter, I pray we’re reminded that God incarnate came down to this broken world of ours because of His incredible love for us – to die for our sins so we wouldn’t have to. He took the penalty that we deserved so we could live. He came to a world that was broken and to a people that were broken, not because He had to, but because He wanted to. He is so good, and we desperately need Him. Not just now, when we’re scared. But always. I hope many of us will turn to Him and receive the amazing gift He offers when we repent of our sin and trust Him with our lives, so we can truly live with joy and peace no matter how our lives move, twist, and shake.

©2024 Mud Hen Mama


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