Wow, what a week. I heard someone joke that they feel like a 4th grader is writing life right now: “and there was this virus and everyone was scared, and then the world ran out of toilet paper…yeah and then there was no school for like a month and then it snowed!”
In light of recent events, this “new normal” may have you feeling isolated or afraid and wondering where God is. It is hard to see how and where He is working in this when an itty-bitty virus manages to bring our entire world to a grinding halt.
It might feel like God is disinterested in our plight, or that He is absent in our time of need. I understand that. You may be feeling torn between alternating waves of faith and fear of the unknown, combined with guilt that the wave of faith didn’t completely wash away the fear.
My sweet friend, God is not only present and active in our situation, He is big enough to love us through all our fears and doubts. In Isaiah 40:26-28, God is responding to the Israleites who were feeling weary and afraid too, and they are reminded just how big God really is.
“Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out like an army, one after another, calling each by its name. Because of his great power and incomparable strength, not a single one is missing.”
This scripture paints such a beautiful picture of God’s sovereignty and power, but also His attention to detail. I couldn’t tell you the name of more than five stars, let alone all of them. In fact, I can’t even see all of the stars from my limited perspective. I certainly couldn’t tell each one where to go and how to shine, night after night, without fail.
But God can behold the entire universe in one glance. He created each star in every galaxy and knows each one’s name. He pays attention to every single detail. Nothing escapes His notice and care.
Scripture then goes on to remind the Israelites that God gives the same close care and attention to the details of their own lives.
O Jacob, how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles? O Israel, how can you say God ignores your rights? Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth.”
God sees their troubles. He pays attention to them and cares deeply for their needs. Then He calls them to a deeper understanding of who He is.
We have exactly the same opportunity that the Israleites did. God sees our troubles now. He pays attention to us and cares deeply for our needs. He is calling us to a deeper understanding of who He is: strong, capable, constant, present, attentive, powerful, creative, caring and just. He is big and strong enough to carry the oceans in the cup of his hand and yet He wants us to know Him and be in a personal relationship with Him.
He is here now, walking through these bizarre times with us. He holds us when we are lonely and is patient with us when we are unsure and fret. Later in the book of Isaiah, God reminds us that He will give us strength and power when we are weak and weary.
So even if we feel isolated or powerless and small in the wake of current events, remember that we are not alone. Our Heavenly Father is right by our side, working powerfully in the world. Look up, keep your eyes on Him. Then look for glimpses of Him working in the world around you.
He is working through the person serving their neighbor, and the family putting together free lunches for kids in need. He is working through the kindness shown to the grocery store clerk and gas station attendant. He is working through the creativity and brilliance of the scientists looking for ways to cure this illness. He works through the nurses and doctors caring for their patients, and through parents as they comfort their children. He hears every single prayer of praise and concern, and takes them all to heart. He is present and active this very moment, both in the world and in your life. Because of His great power and incomparable strength, there is not a detail he misses, nor a care that gets overlooked.
He is the Everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. Before there was anything else, God was there, as He is now, and will be tomorrow. Let’s continue to look up and follow him, so that we may remember His character and experience His peace. May God may work through us to bring joy and hope to those around us, in any circumstance.