The world is looking different these days and questions circle: What is the truth about this virus? How can it be stopped? What should we do? Do we really need to stay home all the time and not see anyone? And what is the deal with the toilet paper? The shelter in place order feels surreal, like something out of a movie, and it’s getting old. 

Sometimes, I ignore reality and go about my day, but sometimes the uncertainty is suffocating.  The future can feel bleak when everyone starts talking about the “new normal.” Will this ever end? 

But then I see entire families taking walks around our neighborhood.  Families connecting, neighbors connecting, technology connecting friends and family who cannot meet in person. School “parades” through the streets. The outpouring of love, generosity, and the coming together of community (with social distancing) has been beautiful. Can you see it? God is at work in this unrest.

For me, last year was a year of darkness and unrest. Though our family was settled and our community was stable, I was sickly pregnant, trying to homeschool and keep my kids alive, and going to school to finish my bachelor’s degree. It was chaos in one sense, but rich with blessings. Yet I was depressed and saw no hope for the future or the next breath. I felt incapable of enjoying anything. I was barely getting by and I had no idea why. 

But God was working in my darkness and unrest. 

Through counseling, Regeneration, and community, He revealed Himself to me as He worked to heal my heart. He revealed my sinful patterns, unhealed wounds, and lies I believed and would tell myself over and over. Even as I thought I was walking in darkness, He showed me His character, and that because of Who He Is, I can live in freedom and hope amidst uncertainty and suffering.

“He sent from on high, He took me; 

He drew me out of many waters. 

He rescued me from my strong enemy

And from those who hated me,

For they were too mighty for me

They confronted me in the day of my calamity,

But the LORD was my support.

He brought me out into a broad place; 

He rescued me, because He delighted in me.”

~Psalm 18:16-19~

The Lord rescued me and brought me out into a broad place – a place of safety, freedom, and light. Through my valley of the shadow of death, He was with me and revealed His faithfulness, compassion, and nearness. “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” (Ps 34:18). This is who God is. 

He is near to you. He is near to those suffering from this virus, suffering from isolation, suffering in an unsafe home, suffering from the loss of a job, a home, a loved one. He is near, so we do not need to fear. He is a good Father, and He beckons us to come. Bring your doubt and worries, your anxiety and fear. He does not leave us in the darkness and unrest, but walks with us through it. “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). He is near. 

As we walk in times of change and uncertainty, in “unprecedented” times, we can rest in the God who is near and unchanging. Just as He was near to me in my struggles last year, He is near to us now. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).  We do not have to ignore reality to cope with the uncertainty of tomorrow because we know who He is. When we do not feel His nearness, and the uncertainty becomes suffocating, we know He does not change. He is at work in the unrest.

So in this time, may we rest in Who God is.

May we trust in His unchanging character.

May we relish in His nearness and His love.

May we be ready to share the reason we have hope (1 Peter 3:15).

May we wait expectantly for what God is going to do.

May we wait for the Lord.

“Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!”

Psalm 27:14

(Thaïs Brown and her husband, Pastor Jacob Brown, have been a part of SBC for over 4 years. Thaïs is a mother of 4 and enjoys being a mentor to others. 

She also serves on our music team as a lead vocalist. She also has a secret talent of crafting exceptional homemade kettle corn and used to play the flute.)

7 Responses

  1. Thais, thank you so much for your strength and courage and vulnerability! You are always an encouragement to me!

  2. Your words are tenser and inspiring, just like you, Thais! A wonderful testimony of trust and faithfulness.

  3. Thais, I am so thankful that our Heavenly Father put you in my life. You are a breath of fresh air as you reflect the goodness and beauty of Christ.
    Love, Jane.
    2 Corinthians 2:14 “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in His triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.”

  4. You have a very full plate, but to those around you Thais, your cup is always overflowing with God’s grace.
    Sue, thanks for clarifying. Beings as you are a librarian, I thought ‘tenser’ was something that we didn’t hear about when I went to Parlier High School ;-).

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