As I write this, I’m sitting in my antique cushioned rocking chair in the corner of my spare bedroom/study, listening to the soft rat-a-tat-tat of rain on my roof. The sound soothes me, like a mother humming a lullaby; it reminds me that in spite of the monsters, life is good. I am loved. And everything will be okay.
These past weeks have proven the monsters are real. COVID-19 is real. We’ve all faced difficulties, but this pandemic has left even the most experienced among us scratching our heads. There’s not a soul living on this earth today who can remember anything like this.
So how do we reconcile these two truths? Monsters are real. It will be okay.
I’ve thought a lot about this during my stretched-out shelter-in-place quarantine. Each time my fretful, over-anxious brain tries to convince me the world is coming to an end and we’re all gonna get Corona and die, I hear another voice. A soft voice, whispered, but clearly audible: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world,” John 16:33.
In that one verse, Jesus gives the ultimate spoiler. He tells us the end of the story, so we can watch the movie of our lives with confidence. It’s gonna get dicey, but He wins. Good wins. Love wins. He tells us this so we won’t worry. He tells us this so we won’t freak out. He tells us this so we can have peace, even when the monster thrashes and roars and claws at our doors.
During our confinement, the people in the Green household have watched a lot of Marvel movies. Some I’ve seen before; others are new to me. Yet, in each one, I can have confidence in two things: 1. I will, at some point during the film, hug my knees to my chest and squeeze my eyes shut because I’m scared and, 2. In the end, the good guys will win. It seems Marvel took their play-by-play from God’s Word.
As a writer, I know an easy life makes a boring story. It’s the hardships, the tragedies, the monsters that make an interesting plot structure. God is an author, too, and He longs to turn our lives into a creative masterpiece. “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God,” Hebrews 12:2.
Today, whenever I feel anxious, I’ll remind myself of the spoiler. I’ll pray for the doctors and nurses and front-liners in this war against an unknown enemy, and I’ll pray for its victims. And while I pray, I’ll grab the popcorn, hug my knees to my chest, and squeeze my eyes shut. And I’ll keep watching, because even though this particular action/adventure is running longer than I want it to, I already know how it ends. I already know who wins. I already know . . .
It will be okay.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus,” Philippians 4:6-7.