It is kind of hard to write about anything being ”forever“ right now. My concept of forever has changed in the last two weeks. Here are some things I just assumed would always be available forever:
Unfettered air travel.
Disney World open whenever I wanted to go.
Lovely, perfumed ladies hugging me in church every Sunday.
Tuesday morning staff meetings with my peeps, laughing, drinking coffee, and dreaming God’s dreams.
Attending my college’s Alumni Association Council meetings on our beautiful campus.
Going out to any restaurant on any given night.
Kissing my husband.
That last one might seem strange, but we have enacted a quarantine protocol in my house. My husband is a commercial airline pilot, and so he is considered essential personnel. Even with the drastic cut-back of flights, planes are still flying, delivering medical personnel and equipment to where they are needed, ferrying essential cargo, and returning families to their homes from far away places.
When he returns from a trip, he comes directly into the house and we begin a quarantine for 14 days. He sleeps in a separate room, uses a separate bathroom, and does not enter the kitchen. (This part may grieve me the most!! He is a great cook.) We don’t touch the same door knobs or light switches, and I sanitize everything. He doesn’t even pet the dog, and we maintain a 6-foot separation at all times. For 14 days. When he gets called out to fly again, the 14-day protocol will start all over again.
Like all of you, my concept of forever has changed.
So what is really forever?
Psalm 23 (New King James Version)
The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Dwelling in the house of the Lord is the one FOREVER we can count on. God’s mercy is forever. God’s love is forever. God’s salvation is forever. And thank God, his forgiveness is forever.
So when things get back to normal and I can kiss the cook again, I know I will be forever grateful for the true and unchangeable forevers that we all can claim.
And guess what? We are one day closer to the end of this thing.
The traditional translation of the 23rd Psalm contains my favorite example of the way Biblical poetry is structured with repetition. In this case, the meaning intensifies as the reader progresses. The valley (I am low) of the shadow (I am in the dark) of death (I am nothingness to the world).
Isn’t that amazing? I love the progression.