Today, as we enter our umpteenth week of staying home I thought I would share a personal story. I think I got an inkling last year about this whole Coronavirus thing, but didn't understand it. I know a couple of others who had the same thing happen. See what you think of this:
It all began when my kitchen got ripped out last October. This old kitchen was in a shocking state. Bryce and I had allowed it to go too far. However, we finally got ourselves moving, made our plans, and the day came. Builders arrived and within hours the kitchen was gone. Left in its place was a cold, dusty hole. That same day, Bryce had to leave on a week-long work trip.
“I’ll be fine without the kitchen!” I thought. After all, how hard could it be?
Day one progressed with no sink, dishwasher, or oven. Within hours this was no fun. By day two, I’m sorry to say I was unhinged. The continual rounds of washing-up water I was lugging from the bathtub did it. I'm sure many of you have been there. It is surprisingly difficult to live without a kitchen.
“I’m sorry boys,” I would say to my two kids as I tucked them in, day after day, a less-than-perfect mother. “It’s the kitchen, it's making me feel so unhinged!!”
I kept trying to remember that compared to women in centuries past I was fortunate to have running water. This should have helped, but it didn't. I really was not prepared, then, to hear the following whisper from God:
“Ann, in the near future your home is going to be spiritually renovated and you're going to feel like this for a while. Be prepared.”
Gah! Really? My reaction was "Whatever You say Lord, I'll accept it!" But my mind began to wonder and I began to ask Him more. What did it mean? A couple of days later, this came to me:
“This coming change is about people being fed.
There are many, many people to be fed.
Like a new kitchen, this new thing will give you fresh ability to feed others.”
We don’t always understand what God is saying until we look back. I carried this sense of impending change for months, but I look back today and think perhaps it was about this lock-down season. Whatever it meant, this mysterious kitchen analogy gave me a sense that a new thing was occurring. And that I would feel the same as I did during that renovation -- Under some pressure.
So here we are, friends. Under pressure. We've all had things ripped away from us, much like the kitchen. For me it’s my freedom. How about you? I’m quickly learning to let go, and I'm understanding that I need to let God work in me during this pivotal time. All the while, my eyes are on Him. I can't take them off Him.
I say that last bit because the above words weren’t the only ones I heard. I don’t think God gives us a heads-up about tough stuff without also giving a promise. So here’s what I heard next:
You’ll cope, Ann; you have people on your side, and you have all you need: Sweet words and soothing medicine.
Sweet words. Soothing medicine. God. His words are sweet like honey is sweet and they are life. As for the new thing ahead, I think of it like my new kitchen which is now in place. Earlier today, Bryce and I were pottering there and he smiled at me, "It’s worked out, this kitchen, hasn’t it?" My reply: "I love it!"
Friends, I believe there is new stuff ahead and it's something sparkly. Will it make our hearts leap with joy? Is it Revival? Will it be our family and friends turning to God? How amazing would that be! We may well be saying, "I love it, I love it!"
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV).
Bless you, SUM family! How are you doing, and what are you learning to ‘let go’ of at this time?