Where is Hope?

Last night I was on my knees, crying to God. Sobbing, really. My heart is broken for our kids, for our country, for our world.

I thought when all this started that it would be over in 2 weeks. Then Easter came and went. The people on the TV told us that COVID-19 wouldn’t fare well in the summertime due to the heat, so I began to have hope that this would be over this fall.

In Fulton County, where I live, schools are not reopening this fall.

Add to the COVID fear, there’s civil unrest. There’s anarchy in the streets of Portland, Albuquerque, and in Buckhead, a high-end neighborhood just north of Metro Atlanta, south of my home.

People on Facebook are looking for a place to park their blame. Some blame the non-facemask wearers; some blame the President, some blame Congress, some blame the mainstream media, some blame Fox news. I get it, I do.

Brene Brown taught us that placing blame makes us feel like we are in more control. But in actuality, “Blame is simply a discharging of discomfort and pain.” Makes sense, right? We are all in discomfort and pain. What causes discomfort and pain? Fear.

In a world where everything seems entirely out of control, fear becomes our constant companion. It’s natural that we would need to discharge that discomfort with blame. However, playing the blame game isn’t very effective. All it does is shower everyone else with your fear. We should all be wearing psychic masks to avoid spewing our discomfort, pain and fear on others. Blaming other people or institutions (like the government) isn’t going to work.

I was reading an article written by Bill Wilson, the founder of AA. He wrote on fear:
“ …The foundation stone of freedom from fear is that of faith: faith that, despite all worldly appearances to the contrary, causes me to believe that I live in a universe that makes sense… Before coming of this faith, I had lived as an alien in a cosmos that too often seemed both hostile and cruel. In it, there could be no inner security for me.”

While I poured out my fear and despair to my God, I recognized that I have been placing my hope in these benchmarks: the number of cases going down, the summer months, the death rate decreasing, a vaccine, a treatment, the CDC, the President, the Coronavirus Task Force, etc. etc., etc. Somehow I’ve forgotten that I too “live in a universe that makes sense.” In other words that there is a Divine Order.

I’ve learned that you sow what your reap. We can all agree that if you plant cotton seeds, you’ll get cotton plants. If you plant fear you’ll get fear. If I focus on despair, it will grow, but if I shift my focus to faith, that will also grow.

Today, I choose to shift my perspective. My heart is still heavy. My sadness sometimes feels overwhelming. And anxiety swims under the surface of my calm exterior. Even though all of that is true, I will still trust in an infinite God rather than my finite self.

Just for Today
I will choose to trust in the indescribable Goodness of the Universe. And I’ll lay off social media.

Prayer
Remind me that despite all appearance to the contrary, you are in control.

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