I've been praying with about 100 of my closest friends (lol) for the last week and a half. We all committed to keep 24-hours of prayer going for two weeks, each of us taking a time slot and praying at that time every day. It has been a blessing to my soul, to say the least.
Today when I was praying I had an epiphany.
I had been thinking about this time as a time to breath, to take stock. Our world has been moving faster and faster as the years go by so that, honestly, I was a bit relieved for the time out.
Today it really hit home that, for many, this is not a time to breath and take stock. Many are terrified and hopeless. What does the future hold? Bills? Jobs? Even society, where are we all going to end up? Every day, every breath is a challenge.
The Bible calls this struggle, "the dark night of the soul." I've been there before, I think we all have at least a time or two (or three?...) in our lives. I have had stretches in my life when I wasn't sure I could make it through the day. Each step was a decision, each thought a cry.
What got me through those times? God promises a song in the night. Hope. The firm belief that if I didn't quit there would be a dawn to my night.
For me, it was taking the next (literal) step, the next breath...and not thinking too far ahead!
When our minds are riled up, we tend to think in the bleakest terms. Everything takes on shades of despair. Nothing is good. When I see myself starting to see grey at every turn, I've learned take myself with a grain of salt. Sometimes large blocks of salt--I am temporarily crazy so I don't consider my wild thoughts too deeply. And I've also learned that, as long as I keep taking the next step, I WILL EVENTUALLY GET THROUGH THE CHALLENGE. I WILL MAKE IT TO THE OTHER SIDE.
Matthew 6:25-34 is a great section about not worrying. It ends by saying, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." This is not a time to borrow trouble. Worrying about what is to come in the next several weeks and months doesn't change anything and it really does us no good today. Worry stops us in our tracks.
It's like 4-wheeling. On a muddy, yucky road it is a bad idea to stop. That's when the tires wallow in the mud and it becomes a lot harder to get moving again. Sure, powering ahead you may slip into a rut you were trying to avoid, or hit a a couple good sized rocks, but just keep moving. Eventually, you'll end up on solid ground.
This whole pandemic thing will end. There will be another side. Do I know what that other side looks like? Nope. But what I do know is that whatever our circumstances, whatever the day holds, we can all get through it step by step. And by doing so, we will be stronger! Hang in there guys. I'm praying for you, and God has a song in this night.