Darkness descended over Milly’s Realm. I kept my head up against the wind. The Strength of the Most High supported me and protected my flank. The storm clouds became black with greed, lies, and corruption. Sickness invades and death follows. Fear runs rampant through the inhabitants. We hide our faces. The economy crashes and jobs are lost.
The Realm shifted as forces war for power. I am tired of standing against the wind. I feel like Moses unable to hold up his hands [Exodus 17]. Exhaustion and pain won for a moment. I took my eyes off the Star and let go of the wheel. I covered my face in sorrow.
When I stay close to the Savior and hold onto my joy I do well. Last Friday, I left His side, venturing off on my own. I found myself in the grocery store. Before I got in the door they asked me “do you have a reusable bag in your purse?”
“What?” I asked.
Then I was told, “Those are not allowed!” Finally, after following arrows and rules as best as I could, I got in line with a cart full of groceries. I wore my strongly encouraged since they might not let me in the door, gloves, and a double-lined mask.
As I stood on the designated wait here line. I looked around. Every customer was in lockstep following the rules under the watchful eyes of the employees stationed around the store like sentinels. I started to hyper-ventilate. My breathing, already hampered by seasonal allergies and sinus pressure, became even more labored. I’m in a communist market raced through my mind. I can’t get out. If I mess up, they might not give me my groceries. I need eggs.
The panic tightened my chest, making it harder to breathe. I stepped forward to the cashier and stood like a good girl on the designated pink spot on the floor. She is behind a register shield and a mask. I cannot understand her muffled words from ten feet away.
I determined I now hate shopping! The thought brought a muffled chuckle to my lips and my breathing slowed. She waved me over to pay the bill. Funny that the only time they want me close is to turn over my money.
The darkness surrounded me in my mind. This is how the evil one works. He wants to see us fearful and following his rules. I have to say the whole thing depressed and stressed me. As usual with stress, my chronic pain flared. I spent Saturday and Sunday seeking relief and the face of my Lord.
“Rest in Me.” He whispers. There’s that phrase again.
During the weekend, I thought about what I have learned since walking into this maelstrom after our trek back down the mountain in March. Let’s see:
- I can find good in all things;
- Find the Joy;
- I discovered my sewing machine;
- My government or media cannot control who I am;
- I rediscovered the pleasure of written correspondence;
- Don’t trust the government or the medical establishments;
- I do not like shopping as a communist or a socialist;
- Deep inside I am an American;
- I must keep my eye (my focus) on God my Deliverer (Psalm 18:3);
- I trust in God; and
- I want to take risks, like going to Church.
I am not alone in battling fear and loneliness. On Sunday I found this little Psalm. I hope it comforts you as it did me:
Humble Trust in God
1 A song of ascents. Of David.
Lord, my heart is not proud;
nor are my eyes haughty.
I do not busy myself with great matters,
with things too sublime for me.
2 Rather, I have stilled my soul,
Like a weaned child to its mother,
weaned is my soul.
3 Israel, hope in the Lord,
now and forever. [NABRE*]
I know I am not the only one feeling this way. This has been a long hard road of panic and fear. Here is what I discovered as I recovered:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 [NIV*]
I lost my way in the storm and did not look for the Spirit. In the storm, I found the acts of the flesh described in Galatians 5:19-20. I found hatred, discord, jealousy, rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, and factions. It made me sad, angry, fearful and hurt me physically. Don’t let this happen to you.
When I sought His face, the Spirit was working with gentle forbearance, showing me how He wants me to be faithful, and gentle with self-control. As I picked my way through the brambles, His kind good Spirit surrounded me with love and peace filling me with His Joy.
Push back on the darkness and find your way back to Him. Look for the fruits of the Spirit and you will find Him there.
Peace and love,
* New American Bible (Revised Edition)
** New International Version