It’s worse in the morning.
Before you’re fully awake, before the first cup of coffee has had a chance to take root in your soul and your system, before the cobwebs fall from your brain, the worst moment of the day is when you wake up but you aren’t quite fully awake. Because some how overnight, you forgot. You forgot that something very bad happened. Then as waking-awareness comes, you suddenly remember.
This was my painful reality when my father and mother died. This was how I woke up every morning when my kids left for college. This happened to me every day when my daughter had just been diagnosed with cancer. If you have experienced loss of any kind, you know what I am talking about.
It goes like this: You wake up in your normal fog and immediately your brain goes through its usual check-list: I need coffee…what day is it…must get coffee…what do I have to do today…where is the coffee…is it really time to get up already…why am I not drinking coffee…can I hit the snooze button for another 10 minutes…then BAM. Oh, yes. I remember now. The Pandemic.
The scale and scope of this thing are still building toward some unknown peak. The economic trickle-down will be devastating.
Here on the Outer Banks we are spinning with angst. Will we have visitors this season? What if they bring the virus with them? Will we lose our foreign students who come every spring and fill important jobs that help our economy survive? Will our tiny little hospital be able to handle what’s about to happen?
Churches are closed. Financially, we will never recover. If we have just one snow day a year, we don’t make our budget for that year. This…well, this is something else entirely. What will we do?
ENOUGH. We can only take so much of this endless speculation and worry. It is grinding us down, and the truth is, we can’t control what comes next. So why let it control us?
Psalm 95 (New King James Version)
Oh come, let us sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
3 For the Lord is the great God,
And the great King above all gods.
4 In His hand are the deep places of the earth;
The heights of the hills are His also.
5 The sea is His, for He made it;
And His hands formed the dry land.
6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
7 For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture,
And the sheep of His hand.
Whenever the people of God have struggled, they have always known the remedy…to sing. Sing of God’s greatness, sing of his provision, sing choruses that remind us that he holds the deep places of the earth and the heights of the hills are in his hand. Just sing!
When we enter into worship, our minds are focused on God. Maybe this can be a time of perpetual worship, and that may be the one thing that gets us through it. On a normal day, our minds would be focused on getting tasks done, going to work, figuring out the kid’s schedules, making dinner, and getting the laundry and shopping done. Much of that is altered now. God is not.
The unchangeable nature of God is where we need to focus right now. Worship has to become a daily (hourly) thing, rather than once a week on Sunday. We can’t control our circumstances, but we can control our reactions and responses. When we worship, we hasten the joy. Now is the time to worship.
So when you wake up tomorrow and remember, do this. Sing in your mind. Enter into a moment of thanksgiving that WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS. Consider the ways that God is the King of all creation. Give praise to the Rock of our salvation. Bow down your fears and kneel before our Maker. REMEMBER WHO GOD IS. And pray through your tears.
Then get up, and realize that you are now one day closer to the end of this. Thanks be to God.