My dad brings us on a business trip to Disneyland.
We buy a three-day pass, a big deal for a family of five that doesn’t typically spend money. We all cram into his company-funded hotel room. Day one, my mom and sister fight.
I don’t remember the details, but I can picture my little sister slamming the door to our tiny bathroom; I can recall the raised voices. I think the episode ended with a spanking. (Yes, parents still did that back then.) We hadn’t imagined our family vacation like this.
After the first couple of days, however, the tension eased considerably. We ended the trip happier, more relaxed, and better connected as a family. Squeezing three kids and two adults into one hotel room will have that effect. We needed the conflict to help us grow.
That vacation taught me something valuable about rest. Any time that you take a break from your normal, busy routine, you tend to unearth problems in your own spirit as well as in your relationships. Resting forces you to confront those hidden emotional issues.
Now, I’m not claiming that this quarantine qualifies as a vacation: hardly! However, I am noticing many of the same uncomfortable sensations that always seem to accompany downtime. Battles we thought we’d won—against anxiety, depression, eating disorders, marital strife, etc.—suddenly resurface. We feel confused, discouraged, and exhausted.
Remember, friend: God only allows your suffering because He longs to make you whole.
I don’t claim to know the cosmic reason for COVID-19, but I do know that the human race procrastinates. We live in denial. Left to our own devices, we would ignore our problems until they killed us. Sometimes, God forces us to pause long enough to heal our wounds.
Maybe you feel like this global pandemic will never end. Maybe you wonder why God continues to ask so much of you. Maybe you don’t see the purpose of this pain. Maybe the past few weeks and months have knocked the stuffing out of you. I know how you feel.
I also know that the initial discomfort of transition always, always yields rich rewards.
… being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. – Philippians 1:6 (NIV)
Your days of distress do not surprise God.
I’m not saying that God caused the coronavirus pandemic, but maybe He knew you needed to face your own trauma fully before you could begin to recover. He loves you!
God doesn’t want a little improvement. He desires total restoration. Trial by painful trial, He continues to reveal your deepest, unacknowledged wounds and heal them completely. Trust Him as hard as you can because God never wastes a moment of stress.
Pray this with me: “God, forgive me for the sin of self-pity. Teach me what trust means. Help me to surrender to Your care. Show me Your plan, and grant me patience for now.”
The Reluctant Bride