Last night I watched the news and began to worry. What if supplies run out and we have to spend 2 weeks on lock down for this Corona virus. Do we have all we need?
This morning I showed up at Kroger before the doors opened. I did not grab a cart but went straight for the toilet paper. When I had 2 packages I went back for a cart and began my hunt for two weeks’ worth of groceries, dried beans, yogurt… I was trying to remind myself to be kind and gracious which is a stretch for me when I’m worried and wanting. If I could just get my stuff for two weeks I would be unworried and comfortable, then I could be kind and gracious.
In the checkout line the lady behind me looked at my supplies and said, “Oh, they had Clorox spray? I didn’t know they had Clorox spray?” “Would you like one?” I asked. “I picked up two and don’t really need both.” She thanked me and took the one I handed her.
As I headed for the exit I thought maybe I should just see if they still had another Clorox spray. I could replace the one I had given away. A little voice in my heart said “don’t… just trust.” I didn’t heed it. Instead I asked the gentleman at the self-checkout if I could leave my cart sit for a moment and went straight to aisle 19. I picked up and paid for another Clorox spray (that kills 99.9 percent of bacteria and viruses) and pushed my cart out the door. I had gone four feet when something fell from my very full cart and hit the ground. It was the Clorox spray. The lid was now cracked and the liquid was pouring out on to the road. As I picked up the ruined bottle what came to mind was moldy manna…
When God supplied his people with manna in the wilderness he had one rule (Exodus 16). Take only what you need for the day. He was trying to teach them to trust him a day at a time. Those who gathered to hoard found the manna molded if they kept it overnight. I felt convicted. I knew God brought this story to my mind as a caution to my heart. He wants me to trust him deeply. And this virus outbreak is a perfect opportunity for me to practice the trust I want to have.
Will I walk by faith through this? Will I allow my cart to be less full in order to leave room for trusting? Will I train myself in this smaller crisis how to act in a bigger crisis? Will I become the person I want to be when things get really hard and truly frightening? Here is my opportunity to act on what I say I believe, that “God will supply all my needs according to his riches in glory” and that His mercies are indeed “new every morning.”
Later that day I pulled out a devotional book I had not looked at in a long time. When I turned to the bookmarked page here is what I read:
The Cure for Care
… Casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 NASB
We imagine that a little anxiety and worry are indications of how wise we are. We think we see the dangers of life clearly. In reality, however, our fears are only an indication of how wicked we really are.
As Charles G. Trumbull says,
“Worry is a sin; a black, murderous, God-defying, Christ-rejecting sin; worry about anything, at any time whatever. We will never know victory over worry and anxiety until we begin to treat it as sin. For such it is. It is a deep-seated distrust of the Father, who assures us again and again that even the falling sparrow is in His tender care.”
The only way blunders and destruction can occur in our lives is when we forget to trust God. When we take things into our own unskilled hands…
(Clippings from My Notebook– by Corrie Ten Boom)
Forgive me for trying to take comfort in a stock pile (toilet paper, paper towels, water bottles…) I want to walk by faith and not by sight. I want to heed your still small voice. Teach me how to live with open hands and loose ends. Help me to be generous like you. Give me the grace I need to take faith steps each day. Thank you for your Word. It is a faithful corrector, a trainer and a guide, the truth. Thank you for blessing me with a huge stock pile “in the heavenly realms” and “with every spiritual blessing in Christ!” (Ephesians 1:3)
In Jesus name,
Finally, brothers and sisters, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable… think about such things.
Philippians 4:8-9 NIV