Photo by Felix Mittermeier on Unsplash

The city of Austin has gone through a hectic week.

Two cases of the virus have arisen within UT Austin, many companies have instated mandatory work from home for the next several weeks, and all gatherings with 250+ people are enforced to be suspended (including my church’s prayer gatherings and Sunday Service).

As I watch all this unfold, it’s been painful to experience, and it all seems too surreal.

Most of the time, this devastating news seems to happen in other areas of the world, and I only view it from a third-party perspective — detached with only a bit of fluctuation within my emotions.

But to have the news be a reality, having a detrimental impact on not only myself, but the environment, my coworkers, and friends/family is a shocker.

In this specific season when trials are especially hard, I honestly find myself helpless. I feel painful grinding of my teeth and deep levels of stress as I yearn for freedom from this suffering.

Why must we undergo this suffering? Why must life be hard?

The only conclusion I can have in these moments is to recognize that even as the storm rages on, with outward peace still a distance can be achieved, God takes these moments to expose where I put my trust in, and challenges me to find inner peace in Him.

As one older brother told me, rather than focusing on progress, it’s important to find enjoyment in God — to worship. We will never have patience and find peace if we look at each moment and compare it to the previous.

Rather, we will be sustained if we learn to worship and enjoy Him. Because no matter how life fluctuates, whether there are highs or lows experienced, the constancy and goodness of God will provide an outpour of security, love, and hope that nothing else can provide.

I find that less do I need to put my hope on big life decisions to be made, and more do I need to go back to simple spiritual disciplines to bring peace and assurance:

  • Meditating on God’s Word
  • Sitting and enjoying His presence
  • Worshipping Him through songs
  • Fasting to grow in desire for Him
  • Praying for self and those in need

I’m still wrestling right now in specifically doing “Enjoying His Presence” as well as “Worshipping Him”, but through this process, I am learning that this relationship with God is not a one-way street.

God has His arms wide open for me, and even when I don’t see or feel Him working, He is ready to welcome me back. A love and grace that is not dependent on my inconsistency, but on His covenantal consistency.

I guess that is my hope, not only for myself, for y’all as we take on these next few weeks.

Regarding the Coronavirus, I don’t think it’s going to get easy, and I anticipate more hard news to roll out as individuals, corporations, and countries scramble to take action amidst the chaos.

But I hope we can trust in God through everything. Let us not let the worship we sing to Him be only something we rest in during the good times, but also hold fast to amidst the stormy trials of life.

Let’s believe in His promises and continue to fight that good fight. We may come out with some bruises and a black eye during the fight, but the victor has been decided already.

Anyways, run hard my friends. It is tough, but I’m glad y’all are pushing through (as I also am doing my best to push through). Thanks for tuning in, weather this upcoming week, and I’ll catch y’all in the next update!

✝ ~ Type 2w3 ~ ENFP - SWE @ RetailMeNot & Substack writer ~ pointing self and others to Christ ~ "Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing" ~ ericjmlee.com