I have not had the opportunity to listen to Mitch Album on the radio as much lately as I used to, but one of his segments that I particularly enjoyed had Mitch saying, “Is it just me, or … ?” He would then compete the sentence with an observation. It seemed like nine times out of ten, I was in agreement with him. However, this does not mean that I expect nine out of ten people reading this to agree with me!
Is it just me, or have you also noticed that the longer we all stay home, the more polite we are becoming in public? While walking in our neighborhood, everyone is smiling and friendly – while staying over six feet away. The other day I had to go into the credit union (long story), and the atmosphere was the same. I have been contacting about 25 people a day through phone calls or texts, and, wow, well over 50% result in two-sided conversations … and no one (so far) has been upset that I reached out to them. And on the way to church another morning I heard of a bipartisan plan that flew through the Michigan legislative process.
Is it just me, or is it possible that God is actually working some good through this time that is so challenging … scary … exhausting … unique …?
Yesterday morning I was reading Psalm 137, a psalm written by an exile in Babylon. “By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion. On the willows there we hung up our lyres.” (Psalm 137.1-2) He was talking about how difficult – joyless and depressing – life can become when massive change is forced upon us. While he was talking about being forced to move 2700 KM from his home, he easily could have been talking about the isolation of staying home.
Is it just me, or do you also think we can take what’s happening in two different directions? We can become angry and uncooperative – blaming anyone and anything for how it’s hampering our lives. Or, we can roll up our sleeves, and combine our creative juices with those of others to get us through this the best way possible, while also producing beneficial biproducts that we would not have had otherwise.
Yes, this is a very difficult time. Many are dying. Many more are sick. Those who are working may well be working harder than they ever have in their lives. Many others are not working at all. No matter where one fits into the puzzle, God’s intention is to produce a positive result in you. For those alive in Christ Jesus, there is always hope … always something positive to find.
“How can this be?” you may ask. “The Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8.26-28)
Is it just me? No, this is for everyone. We – as people … as a nation … as families … as a world – will be very different by the end of 2020 than we were at the beginning. The question is, better or worse. I believe we will be better (and I hope it isn’t just me).