This post is a part of the five-minute Friday link up. We write for just five minutes on a one-word prompt and see what happens. I cheated a bit this week because I started this post several days ago and didn’t get to finish it then. Today’s prompt is “adjust.”
Being socially distant used to be something that was frowned upon, wasn’t it? Parents worried about their children’s mental health if they spent too much time alone. Now, suddenly, kids are being encouraged to be online with their friends, spending lots of time in front of a screen, interacting at least, and learning virtually.
It’s a whole new world, and I gotta say, not one I’m particularly fond of. I’m not sleeping well, but not because I’m worried about getting sick. And not because I think that God is in heaven wringing His hands saying “Oh, my! Oh, my!” It’s just the thoughts that come rushing in every time my mind is conscious.
But here’s a small but powerful practice I’ve been using lately to calm my mind and bring my focus back to where it should be: I’m turning my “what if’s” into “even if’s.”
Here’s an example: about 2 weeks ago I was diagnosed with melanoma. Nobody wants to hear the word “cancer,” so of course my mind went to worst-case scenarios. What if it’s traveled beyond this one spot? What if it’s gotten into my lymph system?
Those thoughts can be crazy makers, especially when I didn’t even know anything beyond the diagnosis. And so I turned those “what if’s” into “even if’s.” Even if it is worst-case, God is still good. He still sees me. He still loves me. He will not leave me alone. He will work all things together for my good. (It wasn’t, by the way, worst-case. This week the tumor was removed from my right arm and the doctor thinks that’s all that will be necessary. And I’ll have a really great scar for my efforts.
Another example: what if my son, who works at a restaurant as a server, loses his job because of this Covid-19 pandemic? He just moved into an apartment with his 2-year-old son. What will happen to them? (And yes, he is out of work temporarily, and getting about 1/3 pay from his company’s emergency fund, which is at least something, but he’s currently applying to grocery and hardware stores that are still hiring.) Because of God’s grace to us, we are able financially to help him during this time. Maybe this will be the push he needs to start walking with Jesus again.
We don’t any of us have guarantees about tomorrow. We’re doing what we can today to try to “flatten the curve” in the U.S., and we are living with a lot of uncertainty, but God is always certain. He never changes. He is still sovereign and he can be trusted to walk with us through this.
Recently, that aforementioned 2-year-old grandson took my iPhone 11 and started taking pictures around the yard (included in this post are some of his shots.). His usual MO is to hold down the button and so take 100s of shots of whatever the camera is pointing at. But this photo shoot was different. He purposely pointed and then pressed the button for just one shot.
We have some pretty purple flowers on a line of bushes around our pool enclosure, and Zayne went right up to one of those, putting the phone almost right on top of the petal to take a picture. Of course, all he got was a screen full of purple. I told him to pull it back a little and so he did. The resultant photo was a beautiful image of the full flower and even some of the wood walkway near it.
Perspective. That’s what he needed to see the beauty and not just a purple blob. It’s what we all need in this trying time. Pull back and see what God is doing in the world. Yes, there are some things that are really terrible, but we can be assured that this will not last forever, because forever is way longer than this.