I was walking into a grocery store the other day, and while dutifully using the antiseptic wipes provided for me at the front door, I began wiping the handrail on the cart. An older gentleman walked up next to me and began doing the same thing to his cart. I looked over at him and smiled, to which he said, “It’s a new world, isn’t it?”
I kind of laughed a little and replied, “It will be back to normal before you know it.”
I started to walk away, but not before hearing him mutter under his breath, “I don’t know about that.”
I stopped and looked back at him. He looked at me, and what I saw there wasn’t belligerence or rebellion. What I saw was uncertainty and fear. I smiled again and said, “God is still God. Things will be fine.”
But my words didn’t comfort him. He simply smiled wanly back and walked into the store, the same look of fear plastered across his weathered face.
His face has plagued me these last couple of weeks. It’s the same face I see on every news broadcast, every special report, and all across social media. There’s no doubt that what I’m seeing is the face of fear, but I don’t think it’s necessarily fear of a virus or a pandemic or any kind of impending disaster. I think this fear has come because the rug has been pulled out from underneath humanity’s illusion of control.
We are traversing through unknown waters, and it is that unsurety that has left us reeling, not necessarily some virus that we might catch. What will tomorrow look like? What will happen to us in the aftermath?
We’ve reacted to this sudden change in our circumstances like a child does when someone unexpected snatches away his security blanket. We’re looking around in bewilderment, wondering what will happen now that the blanket is gone.
The truth is, we never had a security blanket about our futures on this side of eternity. In truth, every single day we breathe on this earth is a walk through the unknown. Every step you take, before, during, and after a disaster is a step that reeks of unsurety. This is true of all of us, but we who know the Savior have a greater anchor on which to hold during the unknown of every second of our lives on this earth.
And we do have surety in this unsure life. We have Jesus. We have a Father who never once falls off of His throne and who is always in control.
You see, that very lack of control that we think we are experiencing is actually a constant state of reality for all of humanity. But we belong to the only One in all of the universe who actually has that control! And this is the very One who loves us with a love that is enduring and everlasting and triumphant.
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on the earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, NLT)
During these times of struggle with what tomorrow might hold, we who know the Hope and Deliverer of all futures should remain calm and at peace. God does not fail; he cannot. After all, God is either God over everything, or He’s not really God at all. And there is no doubt: He is God.
Dr. Deb Waterbury is a biblical counselor and the founder of Love Everlasting Ministries, a ministry dedicated to educating and empowering women all over the world. She began two trade schools for impoverished women in Malawi, Africa—The Reap What You Sew School for Women (www.RWYS.org) and Project Malonda (www.ProjectMalonda.org)—and has authored thirteen books, including her most recent titles, We are Mother Abraham and The Lies that Bind: And the Truth that Sets You Free. Dr. Deb travels extensively, both nationally and abroad, and hosts two weekly shows, “Real Life with Deb Waterbury” and “Get Real with Deb Waterbury.” Both are available on YouTube, iTunes, and Spotify. Dr. Deb holds a Masters in the Art of Teaching from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona, and acquired her Doctor of Ministry in Biblical Expository Studies from Pillsbury Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. She currently resides in Tucson, Arizona, with her husband, Jeff. For more information, visit http://www.DebWaterbury.com.