Perhaps you can relate. [i]
Do you feel battered and bruised? Perhaps splintered? Like you are dragging half of yourself behind you as you “will” the other half to slog forward? Do you feel smaller, weaker, clumsier, dumber, slower than you did 12 months ago? Out of 62 years of life, 2020 was easily my most difficult.
Many of us experienced irretrievable loss – death of family and friends.
Some of us suffered new physical difficulties: Losing two senses–taste and smell–for the first time ever, wondering if/when they might return.[ii] Also, aches and pains in the joints that last for months, and still not sure they are gone.
Then there are the inner battles, the mind, emotions, our inner “soul and spirit” battling discouragement, fatigue, doubts about ourselves and are abilities to cope going forward. Mental health issues are more real and immediate and consequential than perhaps we had seen before. Welcome to this side of life!
And the struggles are far from done. Battles rage on. So, calling this the “aftermath” is not so accurate. But we also need to trust, to believe, that we are moving toward the end of this storm.
Can I suggest that this is a good time to Hear Divine Words?
Quite the nice promise here:
“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the LORD always, for the LORD GOD is the eternal Rock.” Isaiah 26:3-4 NLT.
Perhaps it is hard to picture solace or peace as a genuine possibility. Negative, debilitating thoughts have moved in and set up house. Dark questions, waves of doubt, have clamped down and are difficult to dispel. Mental fatigue has become the norm. What can be done?
If you haven’t learned this yet, it is time to learn it now: No human being can be healthy and well “in and of themselves.” We are not fashioned to be self-sufficient, to waltz happily “on our own.” Human beings are designed by our Masterful Creator to need one another and to need HIM. Dependance is not weakness. Needing others and being needed by them is the only way to thrive.[iii] It has taken me many decades to really see this.[iv]
Jacob in the Bible is a case study on learning dependence. His encounter with God (Gen. 32) left him limping, but on the right trail.
Deity promises “perfect peace” to all who depend upon Him; to those who “fixate their thoughts” on Him.
Let’s encourage one another on this path and rejoice together with the results. “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.” Phi. 4:6-7 NLT.
N.B. The picture is of the “farmers market” in our town of Wewak, Papua New Guinea. Come for a visit when travel opens up again!
[i] But aftermath is not the correct word here, because we are clearly still caught in the “math.”
[ii] If you don’t know what this is like, be thankful. Here you are, chewing your favorite food and “bang” the realization comes. You know what it should taste like, but your taste buds are mummified. The only sense left in your mouth is the sense of touch. Your tongue and cheeks can “feel” the food, but that is the only “enjoyment” you can grasp for. Texture and perhaps temperature is all you feel, meal after meal after meal.
[iii] In all the stories about Jesus, in the Bible he depended on other people to meet his needs for food, shelter, etc. See Luke 8:3.
[iv] There is a book with a strange sounding title that I would like to read but haven’t been able to afford it, the title is Jesus and John Wayne. It must deal with things like this.