In 2012 my dad died and one of the many new things I experienced was a temporary inability to make a decision. Even the simplest things seemed huge to me. A simple “what time do you want to meet for coffee” would overwhelm me. Luckily, I had a friend (Nancy Purtlebaugh) who knew how to help me navigate these feelings because, sadly, she had experienced the loss of a parent too and knew EXACTLY what I was going through. I remember feeling “stuck.” And that I wasn’t confident of anything anymore. Social situations unnerved me.
The loss I was feeling took me by surprise. My Dad was 85 years old and had COPD when he died. I knew it was coming. The very fact that I was prepared for his death and yet it still rocked my world confused me. Nothing seemed clear in this new grief I was living in.
Friends, we are daily inundated with the feeling that we have to make these weird, sometimes vague decisions. And we are grieving right now. We’re grieving for our carefree lives…our “before pandemic lives.” But the decisions still have to be made. Masks or no masks? In person school or virtual learning? Is church safe? What about the risk of spreading Covid19 when we sing? But wait…are “they” just trying to take away our right to worship together? Should I stock up on TP or will people accuse me of being a hoarder? Am I being too careful or not careful enough? I have the sniffles!! Is it Covid? Do I need to be tested? How long should I wait? Should I get the vaccine? And then there’s politics!! Just figuring out how we feel on any given day is hard. AND WE ARE GRIEVING! Some of us have lost people we love. Some have lost their health. Some of us have experienced anxiety and depression like never before. We feel like we have to decide what to do about something every single day.
Therapists are calling our current state “chronic confusion” and I think that is a very accurate term.
Where do we, as Christians, land in all of this?
Jeremiah 6:16 says “This is what the Lord says: Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”
If “rest for your soul” is what you are truly seeking, here is the way there. First, stop for a minute at the decision making “crossroads.” STAND and breathe. Feel Jesus move through you as you breathe in and out. That breath will not be taken from you until it’s been appointed by God. On the day I watched my Dad take his last breath it was a beautiful thing. I KNEW his name had been called and he was going home at the exact moment our Sovereign God had chosen. The minute we take our FIRST breath, our LAST breath has been determined.
Next, pick up your Bible! God left us a love letter full of “ancient paths and good ways.” He went to the trouble to not just give us instructions, but also to choose ordinary people to give us examples of what those instructions look like when they are carried out and also when they are not. And then, before you open your Bible, take some time and earnestly ask God “what do you want me to know about you today?” And as His will becomes more and more apparent to you, that’s when you quit STANDING and start WALKING in the “good way.”
That is when your peace will come. It’s right there for the taking. Every single morning you can claim “rest for your soul.” My prayer for you is that you will claim yours today!
May His favor rest on you today,