This morning I looked at my calendar. I use washi tape to mark trips for Eric, for the kids, for myself. April is covered in tape. There were loads of trips planned for our April 2020, at least one a week all month long—some for Eric for work, some for the kids for school (actually, every child had a school trip scheduled for April, come to think of it. . . ). But we aren’t in Florida or California or Indiana, we are here at home, together. And together isn’t a bad thing at all.
Early on in this whole situation, I found this verse in Job, “You will know shalom in your tent, and you will take stock of your home and find nothing missing.” (5:24, TLV) Okay, I admit that my first thought was of toilet paper!! Just being real—I mean, at that point having peace about having toilet paper was PEACE, y’all.
Having “shalom” is more than just having peace. It’s having a contentment. It’s having the knowledge that you are doing exactly what you are supposed to do at a certain point in time and you have an ultimate hope for the future. Shalom covers it ALL. Three plus weeks into quarantine, this verse is even more resounding than before, more for the peace and hope it promises than for the stocked inventory list.
I am astounded at how many times we have discovered in this process that we have more than we thought at home or we have discovered we can solve a problem in a new a different way with items we have on hand or how we have been able to glory in moments that are just US. How beautiful!
We love to travel. Mostly because that is our US time. We can’t get away from life unless we actually get away. We certainly are not getting away from life now. We are completely immersed in it. My husband guides people as they plan for their future. As we all know, it is easy to guide through gentle waters, but through rough seas? And when rough seas involve a 40% drop in the stock market? Shut up, y’all. That’s serious stuff. We are holding God’s hand through each moment, praying for His wisdom to share, rather than our own. My oldest son is missing moments he has looked forward to for years. He is missing his friends, he is missing his last goodbye. To him, online school is an empty, zombie-like shell of the school he loves—his home for the last five years. My two younger children are missing opportunities, as well, ones they have hoped of, dreamed of, for years. But still there is peace in these bittersweet moments.
I have friends who are arming for battle each day in masks and PPE. Friends that are praying for the health of their own families and loved ones, even as they fight battles for those they do not know. I have friends who have had babies in the midst of craziness, those that have postponed weddings, those that have had to leave parents alone in hospitals and those that have had to completely isolate while fighting COVID-19 on their own. This time is monumental. We are all fighting, we are all protecting, we are losing moments, even as we are gaining others and hopefully, gaining wisdom as we look at our “old lives” through a tunnel.
I really have no take aways for all of this. These are just my thoughts and as my mind is a rather crazy, chaotic place, my thoughts tend to bounce around. I will tell you this, I love words and phrases that share wisdom and make you think. I tend to speak in similes, like that old uncle that you read about in books. I do this so much that Clayton made me a mug this Christmas with a whole list of “Angelisms.” I keep thinking of a few. One I learned while teaching English in Arizona: “De dos malas hierbas viene una rosa” (or something like that!). Basically, it means that out of two weeds comes a rose. Now, I have to be honest, when I learned this one, the people were telling me about a particularly beautiful child of two rather plain looking parents! That being said, it stuck with me. “Out of weeds, comes a rose.” Out of bad times comes good. Out of the ugly comes beauty. Most of us know Romans 8:28 (TLV), “Now we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.” This is God’s Lemonade verse. You know, “if life gives you lemons, make lemonade?” God is telling us that He will make lemonade with our lemons! He will make roses come from the weeds. We can have “Shalom in our tents” leaning on His hope.
My heart hurts at moments, y’all, but right now I am really focusing on that lemonade.