If I am being real with you, I am a coward, shaking under a façade of having it all together. Maybe you see through my bullshit and you laugh, because you know that I don’t have it all together. I worry. I fear. I speak these words to myself; “for you have not given me a spirit of fear, but of love and of power, and of self-control”, and I still fear. I pray it out loud, whisper it silently to my soul and still the words make invisible traction into a place so dark that few dare to enter.
Few, and by few, I mean God alone and my mom, see me weeping in the recesses of my closet when I fear that God himself will strike one more dear soul from my life; will strip me again. Lord, don’t please don’t strip me again! I am no Job. I haven’t lost all that he had, and I am not sure my faith could bare the tests that his did; I could hope that it would, but God please don’t test this frail servant.
God, he is timeless. My foundation since childhood, thanks to his faithful pursuit of this wayward stubborn child and parents who believed that if they give me nothing else than a healthy fear and reverence of the Lord, I will have received it all. I am grateful to them both for this. In spite of myself, my faith has served me well and carried me through painful trials I could not have predicted; not necessarily with grace because the truth is my passionate ways can often have some spice that require a humble request for forgiveness. Maybe that is endearing to some. My dear friend John says, “Zuny, you know what I like about you, you’ve got some spice!” I sheepishly laugh, because Lord knows he has seen just how spicy I can get!
But it all boils down to right now, in this moment, I am afraid. I can feel this ominous cloud enveloping our globe. I hear the murmurs, see the fear turning to anger; anger always comes from fear or sadness. And I hear my mom, and the plight of her fellow nurses and doctors, and my gut ties up into this knot and were this any other monster than the unseen, I would reach out to her and my loved ones who are afar and hold them tight. A kind hearted doctor I have known since childhood, refused visitation to her elderly father who suffered a stroke. What is going on in our world that this man should suffer alone?!
I remember weeping, borrowing trouble when I was a teenager after my dad died; what if I lost my mom? My soul would wretch from my chest and certainly die with her. I cannot lose another, I refuse it. Surely if you lose one parent, the reality that another can pass prematurely is not lost on a person.
My mom and I watched my sister pass into eternity ten years ago, within the walls of a hospital that is today flooded beyond capacity with far too many weary souls wondering if they will breathe their last breath without a loved one by their side. My mom didn’t curse God, quite the contrary, she requested a Bible while life slipped from my sister’s body and read eternal truths to her soul. “Carry these truths with you, to your Lord, the redeemer of your soul. Do not be afraid, my dear child.” These weren’t her words, but I know it was her intent. And the following Sunday, her hands raised high, to praise the Lord of her valleys.
It wasn’t God who took my dad or my sister. They died as a result of manmade decisions. That is the reality. How can we hate God in the midst of a storm that he did not create, but that was slowly formed by the acts of generations of mankind’s free will?
This current state we are in is no different. We have an invisible enemy more dangerous than the virus filling our medical facilities. An enemy that would have us live crippled in fear.
I refuse, for as long as there is strength within me and three precious babies watching me. The fear is there, I am fighting it and it aches to my core sometimes, but I will still stand even when I must hobble to my feet in excruciating pain. The enemy wants to rob me and you of the goodness we have. He wants us to believe that we are already crippled and not see a momentary affliction for what it is. Will you stand with me (from a safe distance of course 😉) and not let this uncertain time steal from you the greater good that you have that is laying untapped, under this cloak that covers us all? Someday soon we will shed the heavy garment and have learned we have all the treasures of the world within us.