Guest post by Lance Ingram, Marketing & Communications Specialist
Like everyone else, our country’s current health status has me rattled. Since this all started I’ve battled with anxiety, fear, doubt, restlessness and frustration. Where is God in the midst of all of this? Why did this have to happen to us? Is there an end in sight? It doesn’t help that we’re confined to our homes, which gives our minds way too much unwanted freedom to run amuck.
During my first week of isolation last week I noticed I was searching for an answer. Something that would calm my nerves and remind me that one day everything is going to be all right. I hate to admit how much my faith was faltering, but it was the harsh reality of my fear overwhelming me with little positive outside influences to rein it in.
To start the week, I’d find a random infographic that offered me hope that this perhaps wasn’t as bad as the news made it out to be. That would satiate my fears for a few hours and sometimes even most of the day. But the next day, the moment I turned off my alarm, that uneasy feeling was right back with me. So the search began again. This repeated itself every day. One day I’d find a passage of Scripture to take solace in, and the next it was the comfort of speaking with a loved one.
By the end of the week I found myself exhausted in my search. Every day was an operation that left me frustrated that yesterday’s comfort was no longer viable.
During a panic attack over the weekend I turned to Scripture in hopes of finding another morsel to get me through a few hours before starting again. Somehow I made my way to Exodus 16, a low point in the Israelites’ flight from Egypt to the Promised Land. The Israelites are livid. They’ve been promised the land of their dreams, but they’ve been met with harsh deserts, starvation and an endless tunnel. They cry out to God in frustration, and you know what God does? Surprise! God comes through for them. He provides manna from heaven.
There’s a lot that could be unpacked from this story, like how God always comes through in times of trial in unexpected ways (like raining food?!) or how the people weren’t afraid to hold back in voicing their fears to God. But what got me is there’s one condition to His provision: Take only as much as you need for the day. Anything saved for the next will rot.
In Luke 9:23 Jesus proclaims, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” He doesn’t say weekly, monthly or even every other day. It’s very specific — daily.
You can probably see where I’m going here.
Our walk is one that is daily, hourly and even nurtured by the second. In times of great uncertainty, fearmongering running 24/7 on every channel and outlet, when it seems like the world is moments away from collapsing, God has provided for that moment, and He’ll be there to provide again tomorrow. This continued dependency is a cross we must take up daily. Where I was growing frustrated that none of my comforts were sticking more than 24 hours, God was remaining faithful. Where I was looking for a feast that would leave me gorged and bloated, Christ was saying let’s take this one day at a time.
I’m ready to be off this ride. I miss going to concerts, having dinner with friends and worshipping with my church family on Sundays. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t still anxiety-ridden or stressed by what feels like the bleakest and darkest of timelines. While we can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, there’s comfort in knowing it’s there. We’ll reach it by walking with Christ minute-by-minute and day-by-day. Christ will provide today’s manna and it’ll also be there tomorrow.
>>Our Care Ministries team is eager to help you, even if it’s just to talk. Feel free to reach out if you need help with groceries, prescriptions or errands or just need to talk to someone. Don’t hesitate to contact us!
Rev. Ken Stewart, (901) 206-6377
Rev. Jesse Johnson, (901) 201-2473