What a week! News nationally, state wide, and locally has gone from bad to worse. Our small town that seemed to be so isolated from it all has developed five local cases of Covid-19. I took comfort thinking, “At least I don’t live in the big city…” Now not so much any more…
Last night we decided to video chat with some friends we used to have a home fellowship with on Messenger. It was like water to a thirsty soul. For about 15 min or more we laughed at each other as we, a group of 40’s/ 50’s year old’s, tried the different effects out and lamented how we wished there was an app for playing “Village Idiot” card game so we could play once again together. It felt good to look at the faces of friends we have been doing life with for years, some of them for almost 20 years. After a while we started asking each other how they were holding up. In our group, we have a pharmacist, a nursing director for a nursing home, a nuclear professional, a building contractor, and a couple of stay at home moms. My heart ached as we talked about the fear people have and the measures we have had to go to in order to try to slow the spread of this dreadful disease. My friend who worked in the nursing home talked about how they have had to limit the old people to their rooms in hopes of isolating them better, families bringing dry erase markers and playing tic tac toe outside of their windows and exchanging smiles. My friend who works at the pharmacy talked about the extra orders of medicine and the lack of Tylenol for people who actually have something else, like the flu because of the panic buying. We rounded off our evening with praying for each other and specific situations we are aware of, such as a mutual friend in the ICU currently hanging on to his life while his wife is praying not only for him to live, but that sh0e won’t have to leave his side because of Covid-19 protocol that has to be enacted. Hard times…
As I laid my head on my pillow last night, I kept hearing the words, “Is Jesus Enough?” rolling around in my head. It seems quite unfair for all these bad events to culminate at once, and these are just the few I know of in my little corner of the woods. The more I thought about those words, “Is Jesus Enough?” The more I concluded, “Oh yes Lord, I know you are more than enough.”
Although these are crazy/ hard times, I have seen crazy/ hard times before. At age 21, I lost a precious friend in a tractor accident while working at a church camp. The very camp I came to know Jesus in. I’ve watched loved ones suffer as cancer slowly, but really not so slow, took it’s toll on their bodies. I’ve experienced the pain of miscarriage, loved ones deaths, limiting illnesses of those close to me, friends struggling with infertility, unfair abuse being heaped upon the innocent, etc. And in each of those situation, I have seen Jesus be enough.
My first and only experience with watching someone die has been my father in law. For a little over a year, he suffered as an aggressive form of prostate cancer ravaged his body, but with each visit, even up to his very last he never failed to grab ahold of us and pray for God to bless us. On his last day, I sat by him on his bed. As I watched him gasping for breath and then breathing so shallow, I saw him utter words after a complete day of saying nothing and showing no response. Moments before he took his last breaths. He suddenly began to speak, “Jesus… Jesus… Jesus…” and then he was gone. It was in that moment that I felt something that I’ve never felt so strong. It was God’s presence in the room. The most heartbreaking, gut wrenching moment of our lives was made peaceful by a moment and a truth that is engraved in my heart. “Jesus is enough.”
I am a creature of comfort. I would rather laugh, than cry. I don’t enjoy pain. I have no desire to walk through difficulty, but I know that no matter what may come in the days, weeks, months ahead, “Jesus is enough.”
Psalm 16 has been rolling around in my heart today. “Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing… Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure.”” This Psalm was written by David. David was a man that God describes as a man “after God’s own heart.” David pursued a relationship with God. He wrote many songs and poems expressing His love for God, at times rejoicing, at times lamenting, at times happy, at times sad. David expressed it all. He had times of great victory and times of great defeat, times of overwhelming joy and times of overwhelming grief. But in it all He said, “God you are my portion.” “You are my everything.” David didn’t allow fear to rule over him because he had confidence that he would see God’s goodness. I can be confident of the same.
Things may go well,this virus quickly passes by, and my life returns to normal. Or, things may never be the same, pain, sickness, and death may come to me or those around me, but I have this confidence, “My Jesus is Enough!”
I’ve mentioned before on this blog that I am practicing social isolation with four others, my husband and kids ages 16-21, here in a home that a few months ago seemed too big for us because it was often empty as we all ran our different directions living our lives. Now it seems too small as we all hunker down in one place together and it continues to rain outside… To lighten the mood we have posted some crazy videos of us singing “La Bamba” and rapping a rap I wrote 30 years ago in college about accidently hitting a cat with a car: Purely a joking/ crazy song intended for laughter, not violence against kitties. (I have one I dearly love living in my house right now.)
I’ve posted these videos on Facebook and had friends from decades ago, laughing and sharing crazy stories of fun times passed by. It was one comment that my cousin I haven’t seen in years stuck out to me as I laughed at the different replies. “Had to share your post with pride– this is history and you are handling it with some awesome sauce instead of panic that is out there. Making the best out of our situation.” I thought about what she said, and contemplated what has made the difference. Once again I come back to the answer of why I can have peace and joy in the midst of times of fear and sadness. Jesus is enough!
(I’ve not really went here before on my blog, because I usually write as a therapeutic aid to my soul. But I want you to know you too can experience this hope, peace, and joy. I would be happy to point the way and pray for you in the things you are facing.)