This Time

I know that we are all wondering what next year will be like, when things get back to normal. Thanksgiving is two days away and I almost can’t believe this year is nearly over. It has been dream-like, though not dreamy. All we have to do is stop and hear for the first time ever that we should cancel all of our Thanksgiving plans and the jarring nature of this year reminds us just how real it is.

Though I don’t typically appreciate anyone taking on a pessimistic perspective, I don’t know that this year and all the impactful changes won’t indeed affect our years to come. I hope I’m wrong. But what if life as we know it becomes a thing of the past?

This weekend we hiked a ways in the snowy forest landscape nearby. I thought over and over how much a gift it was to be with my family in nature’s glittery, fresh house of unlimited beauty and free invitation.

There was a time, not so long ago but so far away, that on those mornings we’d wake to snow blanketing the neighborhood the initial thrill I felt was quickly accompanied with a get out the gloves, hats, snow boots, and coats mindset. If there was snow, there was sure to be snow play. The kids delighted in the cold, wet wonderland every chance the weather provided it.


My husband and I recently spoke of nostalgia and how it’s appearance always takes place in the rear-view mirror. We reminisced and agreed how nice it would be to recognize the time that is here now as one of those times we’ll look back on and appreciate, maybe wishing we could go back and live it for a day or two more.

SNOWBALL FLYING FROM DAD TO SON WHO IS HIDING BEHIND A TREE – SNOWBALL SEEN TOP RIGHT

I look around our yards and remember all the snowmen that have visited us over the years. I’m tempted to give myself over to melancholy, missing those days of children’s wonder and laughter and rambunctious excitement (even the snowy puddles all over the floor inside the house).

Things have changed. Our children have become young men. The most snow activity around here these days is me shoveling our neighbors driveway when needed. But we are making new memories in a new time. It is a sheer delight to have our grown children choose to spend time with us. They are beautiful in their adulthood, learning what works and what doesn’t, working out a life for themselves.

The times are changing. Each day is new. Our loved ones, cherished.

This time is that time.

Solid Rock

There are many perspectives floating, or should I say flying around, these days about all that our country, and the entire world for that matter, is experiencing this pesky year of 2020. At the very beginning of the pandemic, fear of the unknown caused unanswerable questions to run rampant. Then, a little further into the crisis, we moved along with a lot of intentional positivity about the good things this trying and frightening time has taught us all. More time to spend with our loved ones, slowing down and paying attention to what really matters and learning a deeper level of gratitude were all part of the realm of perspectives shared among our fellow humans.

Those positive take-aways help to bring comfort to many, but not to all. So many have suffered devastating loss. So many are still suffering with no end in sight.

What can any of us do to change the way things are heading? Redeem all that’s been lost? How can we secure our future when it seems to be increasingly uncertain? Will there ever be a time when we can say that we feel we are standing on solid ground again?

My own soul has been in a state of unrest. This is not unfamiliar to me as I am one who has always struggled to obtain deep down peace in my heart. I have tried to understand this unsettled soul of mine, but only God can fully understand the workings of my heart.

But with all the examination of my heart, I feel I don’t know my own soul. I don’t even know if there is anything in me that is redeemable by the time the self-diagnosis is complete. To be sure, there is not. The final word of hope is always the same: surrender to God. Every hope, dream, sin, grievance, fear, comfort and plan to His will. The only thing that makes my life redeemable is the blood of Jesus Christ.

Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from Him. Psalm 62:1

God knows the depths of my heart and, like the song says, “He loves me the same”. Is there even anything close to as lovely as knowing that? Is there any hope that can compare to the salvation and redemption of our souls? A salvation that was bought with the blood of Jesus Christ unto death on a cross to pay the debt our sin accrued? That God could see our weak and sinful hearts and lay His life down to save us still?

Why am I talking about these weighty spiritual issues when the issues of this world are the palpable, felt concern right now? Don’t we need to focus on the problems around us before we can consider eternity?

Truthfully, our future in this life isn’t any less certain than it always has been. It feels like it, it looks like it, but it isn’t. All of the terror of the pandemic, along with the political and social turmoil screaming around us at every turn just causes the uncertainty of this life to become more obvious to us all, even those who have never considered eternity.

When things appear to be quiet, predictable, stable we are tricked into believing or at least lulled into feeling as if tomorrow is guaranteed to be what we imagine it will be. To the contrary, none of us has ever known what tomorrow will hold.

There is a superficial and dangerous comfort to having things always go as planned – the controlled outcomes our earnest efforts dutifully created. Planning and preparing with hard, diligent work and research will indeed yield profitable results. There is wisdom in all of that, but let’s not forget we still are not in control of tomorrow. This kind of security in predictable cause-and-effect outcomes can create peace of mind, but if we’re not careful it can also breed false security.

I don’t think I’m alone in feeling as if the ground beneath us feels less supportive than in past times. But our earthly, man-made foundations have always been untrustworthy.

Now that we are all in a place to recognize with more acute clarity that we have no idea what the future holds here on earth, our eyes are wide open to consider where we can find unshakable hope. The only thing that we can be sure of is our eternity. Please don’t make the mistake of putting off the reality of eternity. Our salvation can never be taken from us, the greatest provision of hope.

If we reject Jesus, we go to eternity without Him. Hell is real, but so is Heaven. We choose. Where will you place your hope, your future, your eternity?

So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him. Hebrews 9:28

When peace is nowhere to be found and fear reigns, the final word remains the same: surrender our tomorrows, our eternities to Jesus.

“On Christ the Solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.” Edward Mote

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12