My mind and heart have been all over the place this week. I’ve been walking around with this nagging anxiety. I’m not sure what has provoked it or maybe it’s just that the atmosphere of the world, shaping the reality of my heart. Who knows? But it has felt like someone is holding me by the throat. I can’t seem to think straight and my heart races every time I look at a definite end to this moment, only to find that there are no solid outcomes, there is no certainty and the reality of living day to day is what is being asked of me and you right now.
The critic within me seems louder now than every before. I’m not doing enough. Not exercising enough. I’m not present enough. I’m on social media too much. I haven’t touched base with this person or that person. My kids schooling reality has been harder than anticipated. Am I killing their love of learning? Why can’t I be more like what I see this person doing or I wish I was calm like my husband- immovable and strong amidst the greatness of the uncertainty. I’ve become more and more harsh with myself over the past few days and I wonder when I’ll give myself a break?
After a few days of wrestling with my own self I arrived at this profound point. I have no idea what TO DO next. And so I just asked the question, what do you do when you don’t know what to do?
I don’t know about you but the access to information and media is slowing blurring my vision. On one hand there is so much good news but on the other hand there are harsh realities for so many. When I close my eyes I see a planet that is weeping. I see humanity crying out for mercy. I hear so much talk of economics and business. Projected realities and future outcomes and my heart beats faster as I think of thousands of people without food and shelter. The jobs lost. The big hole in educating those without access to technology and resource. There is so much that is real and I’m finding it increasingly more difficult each to day to shift my gaze from the brokenness and look with intentionality at the good. There seems to be this enormous paradox in society. One that is glaringly obvious as we watch this season unfold. For some lock down is full of baking and exercise challenges. Loads of Netflix. Dinners around the table. Long days that lend themselves to greater connection with those we love most. And yet for others there is no food let alone baking goods. There is little or no order and space. There is strife and fear. There is great loss and pain. This is a mess. And it is highlighting like never before the big holes in our cities, nations and the world.
Writing opens my mind and my heart. And as I laboured to say what has been brewing inside me I felt yesterday the familiar nudge towards a prayer that I have prayed many times before. It was first prayed by King Jehoshaphat as he stood facing a vast army far greater than anything I can fathom (2 Chronicles 20). This King was young. Fully unqualified and under prepared for the task at hand. As he faced the reality of what lay ahead of him he says this simple and profound thing …
WE DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO, BUT OUR EYES ARE ON YOU.
So what do we do, when we don’t know what to do? We keep our eyes on Him.
I feel this may encourage someone today. Just as it breathed life and courage into me.
An unknown writer said this – “This season is allowed to feel hard. You’re not failing when you bristle at every bump in the road. You’re not weak for wanting the wind to die down. Just remember to keep your eyes open, even just a crack, to hold on to Him. To see HIM. Because you’re doing it. You’re walking through something hard once again. Learning and growing again.” (Emphasis mine)
The Old Testament King’s prayer seems so simple and somewhat weak if I’m honest. There are no grand words and he doesn’t justify His point. He just courageously articulates his heart to a good God- that He doesn’t have all the answers and yet is still choosing to look beyond the circumstance to who God is. I am reminded today that there is an invitation for me to do the same.
I don’t know what to do next God. I am uncertain about what tomorrow holds, God. My feelings and the strength of my mind are often times failing me God. BUT MY EYES, THEY’RE ON YOU.
The story of Jehoshaphat is a remarkable one. The scriptures record other statements that the prophet says to this young King and they have stirred faith and courage in my heart as I have read the story over and over again
‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but Gods. (AMEN)
You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, (THIS WILL END. WE ARE VICTORIOUS AND DELIVERED- IT IS ALL WORKING ITSELF OUT)
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’
(I CAN FACE TOMORROW BECAUSE OF HIM. ISN’T HE SO GOOD AND KIND?)
This is not my fight. And when I confuse the order of things I get muddled in my heart and mind. I can not deny the problems exist but I can refuse to allow them to have an unhealthy influence in my life. Empathy is powerful when it stirs us to action. When it stops us to pray. We must choose it in this season. But we can not allow our feelings to navigate us when we see the brutal truth of what is happening.
And so as I prepare to face today. I have a strategy. TO LOOK FOR HIM. TO LOOK TO HIM. TO KEEP MY EYES FASTENED AND FIXED TO THE ONE WHO STANDS ABOVE ALL THE THINGS. I may not know what TO DO, but my eye are on YOU.