Good Friday looks different today. Not just because of the obvious limitations and empty streets, in central New York, it snowed! For some of us, we are feeling even more like nothing has moved forward but rather, behind. It's like being in the movie, Groundhog Day, and until we figure out the changes we need to make in our lives, like actor Bill Murray, everything will continue to remain the same.
The same, can work for a little while, but not forever. This week I tried to pushback from this stagnate place of COVID-19 and it left me feeling disjointed and misplaced. I wasn't where I wanted to be physically, emotionally or geographically and because of that I found myself stuck in the emotional responses to this pandemic. I was mad, sad, and disappointed. I am missing my family, friends and oldest son. I planned to spend the week of Passover in Washington and Vancouver, as a complete family, seeing Sam off before his long deployment, not still at home, unable to engage with the people I care about on a more intimate level than what a phone or laptop can produce. I thought this week would mark and end to this madness, yet, it appeared to create more.
I don't know about you, but sometimes when I let myself tap into one disappointment, my thoughts become flooded with other losses. I quickly became consumed with what has been changed from the coronavirus instead of gained. Momentous birthday celebrations, visits with my parents and siblings, dinner with friends, cooking, work, exercise, homeschooling, and the dreaded fear of you or someone you know getting seriously ill. It can be easy to not see the joy in all of those changes when they are thrown at you all at once. However, while wallowing in self-pity, I began preparing to release a podcast that I had taped months ago with ministry leader, Season Bowers. When listening to the playback she reminded me of a truth that I had conveniently set aside;
Joy isn't based on our circumstance, Joy is a promise from God.
It didn't take me long to realize that the reason I was struggling was due to the fact I was looking for joy in all the wrong places. Circumstances will always be changing. But God's intended joy for us is unchanging. It's fair to say that this pandemic situation does increase frustration, disappointment, and worry, however, we don't have to let it strip us of our joy. Joy is ours for the taking, we just need to be willing to receive it in both the easy and hard times. It's already been bought and paid for us on the cross. There is nothing more joyful than the promise of eternal life. No pandemic or any other crisis, can separate us from the joy God has promised.
Looking ahead I'm still faced with the same unanswered questions most people have; When will all of this end and What can I take away from this time? But, the question of where to find joy in the midst of this and other times of uncertainty has already been fulfilled, joy comes in the morning, every morning, but only if we are willing to seek and accept it.
God Bless and Happy Easter