I had a nightmare the other night that my daughter had contracted Ebola at school. Apparently when my mind stopped its survival-mode churning of the day (“wash the dishes do the laundry where are her shoes can’t find my keys why won’t the cat stop shrieking”), my real feelings on the day’s main news story came to the surface. It scares me. It does. I’m not panicking and I haven’t changed much of anything about my daily routine, but yes, I have been thinking about the virus and its unsettling proximity to my comfortable life.
And recently, every Sunday morning during church, my mind goes to the suffering of Christians in other parts of the world. I’m keenly aware that my own Sunday morning stress of getting to church on time pales in comparison to others’ real concern of having their faith discovered and being made a martyr. Really, despite what you might think from watching me, getting to church a few minutes late isn’t the end of the world.
More and more, though, I find myself looking at the world around me and wondering what is happening. There are terrible, inconceivable things happening today. Media outlets are having a field day with things that terrify, and my Facebook news feed is abuzz with one disturbing story after another.
There is so much going on – so many things to be worried about and so many things to be scared of. There is so much uncertainty and so much fear. So much…… I asked God the other day what I could possibly write or say about any of it. Because as a Christian – and even more so, as a Christian writer – it seems like I should have some powerful insight that changes how you guys see all of this. I feel like I should somehow have a perspective on all of this that makes you think, “Oh, well……I never thought of it that way!”
But guys, I don’t. I’m just a wife and mama and friend and sister and daughter, and I hear all of the news today and I react to it very much like you probably do. I don’t know what to do or think or say about any of it. I feel crippled and unable to do anything to make any sort of difference in this freaky messed-up world. I worry about the next stomach virus just as much as I worry about Ebola because truthfully, I’m equally paralyzed to do much about either. I don’t know what to do about any of the stuff I keep hearing about.
The only thing I’ve been able to do lately is cling to the only thing that is certain. I don’t know how religious militants will be stopped and I don’t know how far the Ebola crisis will go before it’s reigned in and I don’t know the next news story to hit the headlines and rock our world again. I don’t know where it will stop……..but I do know that it will. And I do know that eventually, it’s all going to be okay. I know that things aren’t as out-of-control as they appear. I know that as much as it seems like evil is winning and good is being extinguished, evil has already been defeated and the battle is over. I know that even when the world is chaotic, we still have a God who puts things in order. I know that even though it looks like there is no hope, hope is very much alive. I know that when things seem dark, that is when the Son is poised to do His most magnificent work.
So friends, sometimes I write from great revelation and I feel like I maybe I’m giving you something you need. Sometimes, though, I write because I need to figure out what I think, and putting the words down reminds me of what I already know. So today and this weekend and next week when you turn on the news to find out the latest inconceivable reality, remember this: we may not have all the answers or know how to respond, but we serve the One who does. The picture is bigger than we realize, and the story is far from over. Maybe that’s a simplistic way of seeing things, but I think maybe we could all benefit from making things a little more simple.