Crumbling and Knowing

We had a desperate day yesterday.

It felt like dreams were potentially crumbling under the pressure of the coronavirus situation, and emotions were running high…and low. The stark reality of fighting to stay afloat while we live out this hiatus of normal life suddenly hit us like a punch to the gut.

The ‘us’ of Jonathan and I were in different places – he still down in Louisville – which meant that I ricocheted from one phone call to the next, attempting to hold it together for the boys in between.

I’m writing at the end of the day after yesterday, and things feel more buoyant – at least emotionally. We are still in the fight, and dreams are still alive – very much in the hands of our Lord, to whom we are trying to take those desperate feelings.

I took my wise sister’s advice today, and ditched any supermum attempts in favour of an easy day to allow recovery, but also time to dwell in God’s word. Having said that, an ‘easy day’ isn’t that achievable when two little bundles of energy are in need of entertainment, and can’t quite resist winding each other up. With Rufus often in need of a villain or criminal to martial to prison, Billy is frequently heard squealing with delight edging on fear as he’s chased around the house. And then the tears come.

But, I’m grateful for snippets of Peter Rabbit and Postman Pat offering light relief amidst the chases and play dough catapaulting.

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With Peter, Benjamin and the Postman Pat crew drifting in and out of the background noise, I managed to get my Bible open and enjoy Psalm 46. I’ve been dipping in and out of it all week, and it’s been a steadying balm to my anxious heart.

The psalmist describes a world that isn’t as it should be – it’s as if the earth is giving way, mountains are moving into the sea and kingdoms totter. It’s chaos, and there’s no firm ground left. While fear might be the natural response, he says no – we will not fear, because God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in times of trouble. He is our fortress. Solid, unchanging, cannot be beaten down and will not disappear. I love that God is shown to be mighty and strong here, but also is ‘our’ refuge and strength. The psalmist – and God’s people – are in relationship with Him. He is for us.

Towards the end of the psalm, the writer says ‘be still and know that I am God’. That’s all we need to do, as it seems like things are crumbling and life is not as it should be. Be still (easier than usual in lockdown!) and know this God. Know His certainty amidst the uncertainties; His strength amidst our weaknesses; His refuge when it seems there’s nowhere to go; His help when we feel helpless.

As we encounter yet more uncertainty, after all the happenings of our last eighteen months, I’m reminded again that the only certainties lie with our steadfast, unchanging God. And so why wouldn’t we run to Him as our fortress, our refuge, the one who holds history in His hands and is so wonderfully for us.

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