What in the world is even happening? I find myself sifting through the media, shaking my head in wonder at all the different perspectives that claim to be true. I read statistics from experts in every field, see photographs that prove the arguments without a doubt, absorb the shocking headlines. I hear yelling from every imaginable direction. Everyone knows the right answer. Everyone knows the truth. Everyone is telling me what to do, threatening me with the irreversible consequences of failing to heed their words. And the irony is this: everyone is telling me something different.
Through this crisis, I have become painfully aware of one thing. I do not trust my eyes. I do not trust “facts”. I do not trust what is told to me by people I do not know intimately. Seeing is no longer believing. It takes an incredible amount of faith to adhere to any point of view in the current climate of our world. Because we see over and over again that there is “proof” on both sides. That there is no system that is flawless, and there is no guarantee that decisions being made for us are for our good. We see that information is sometimes withheld, that the media is not only keeping us “informed” of what is happening but it is also keeping us living in a state of discontentment and fear, feeding our drive to want more than we have and to buy more than we can afford. We see that there is money and power and the struggle between good and evil at work. And we are often left in the dark as to what is really happening in our own lives.
Sometimes I really freak out about all of this. The world is in crisis, but it is more than a virus that threatens to kill us. There is a poison that is already festering in our collective souls. We are desperately looking for truth. We are not finding it. We are trying to live out our happily ever-afters, but our stories are being written by unreliable narrators. And there is no way to know where they are going to take us. Or if we will even survive our own stories. And if we do, will our stories be worth sharing? Not to mention our children, our children’s children, and all the generations to come… What is going to happen to them? The future can feel so ominous that I literally just want to get under the covers and hide until the scary chapter is over.
But I don’t. Because there is one person that I trust. I tell you this humbly, and with trembling in my voice–God cares about the details of our lives. I am not watering down the word when I tell you in all honesty, I see miracles on a regular basis. This is not the first time in my life when I have wondered where the money was going to come from to pay my bills. It is not the first time I have walked a path that was much darker and scarier than any I would have chosen on my own, wondering if I would even survive to the other side. It is not the first time that I have been tempted to live paralyzed from the mind down with fear. In this last month where the world feels so crazy and out-of-control, when my tendency could easily be to panic about how we are going to support a family of seven children in an economic crisis, or possibly walk them through the end of the world as we know it, I have been reminded of all the times (some of them as recent as yesterday) He has shown me that He is going to meet our needs. I have never stopped believing that, and I never will, because we have seen literal miracle after miracle of Him providing for our family with such tender details that there can be no mistake: He cares. And I trust that. And I am going to keep pressing into His voice, praying that He will help me to discern it from all others. Because He has proven to me over and over that He cares about this little story that is my life. He is writing it for me. I wake up to his mercies and they are new every morning. That is why I continue to have hope. Because there are miracles all around us. Not just for me and my family. But for anyone who turns to Him–there is always hope. Even when everything around me is dark, when the news says this many people are going to die and this is going to happen to our economy, and it is going to throw us into a season of this kind of life. Yes, I listen. I take precautions. And I pray. But I refuse to open the door to fear. I am not going to spend one precious ounce of my energy being afraid. I have to much to do. I have a husband and seven children to care for, love, and nurture. I have books to write. I have breath in my lungs. And as long as I do, I will praise God for his love and kindness, that in the midst of complete chaos and the clamor of so many voices, He is speaking into my life. I am learning what it means to hear and listen, to trust and obey. To turn from fear and from despair. And to walk in hope and miracles.