I have never dealt with anxiety well. Even writing that sentence- and seeing its unfortunate truth- makes me anxious. How easier this life would have been if we could see exactly what we were to do at the exact moment God wanted us to do it. I sometime foolishly believe that I must be in a minority. Surely most take steps in confidence, as I can only see the outward fruit and success of others around me. Then 2020 happened, and I realized a lot more people have my same problem. The constant thought worldwide became, “When will this end?”
At the time of writing this, it is Tuesday, December 22, 2020, and I had a terrible Monday night. Everybody has terrible nights, and its selfish to think my night was worse than anyone else’s, but as selfish people, we are affected most strongly by our own troubles. Jolted awake at midnight with worry about a potential job change decision, things went from bad to worse. Thoughts on top of thoughts kept a restless body awake, with the added bonus of an upset stomach from worry. At 3:13 a.m. my phone lit up with an email notification from Doug telling all of us that Bob Haehnle had passed away earlier that night. I thought about Diane, and I prayed for her. Then I felt guilt as if my own COVID case was the reason Bob got sick in the first place. That led to thinking about my other friends who became sick because of contact they had with me. The spiral continued.
At 4 a.m., I gave up on any chance of sleep and went upstairs to make coffee, trying not to wake up the whole house in the process. After pouring a cup, I returned downstairs and opened up my Bible for my daily reading. I’ve been doing a chronological read that began at the beginning of December. Today’s passage was Job 1-3. As I read and sipped my coffee, I felt better. Awake even, surprisingly. Subconsciously, I was even happy that, “Hey, at least I’m not THAT guy.” Then of course, I see Job’s quote at the end of chapter 1:
21 And he said, “Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” 22 In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.
Things got worse for Job. A lot worse. But he remained faithful and understood the Sovereignty of God. I spent some time in prayer and closed my Bible.
Well, I thought that was the end of lesson, and it was now 4:45- still a few hours before I had to go to work. With a second cup of coffee in hand, I turned on the TV to watch an episode or two of “The Mandalorian.” Great show, and I was few episodes behind, so why not watch a little more before one of my friends or the internet spoils the ending for me? Business as usual.
5:30 a.m. and I check my phone and open up YouTube out of habit. What’s that? A new song and video from Sovereign Grace music? Sure, why not. A half hour later, I’m still trying to stop crying and doing my best to get my emotions under control. The song in question is called, “All Of Our Tomorrows.” The songwriter was, for lack of a better term, inspired by 2020. Hearing the song at that time was such an encouragement, and I believe a Divine intervention for me in a time of despair. Here’s an excerpt:
May zealous youth and cautious age
Determine not the steps we choose
Great Shepherd guide us through each day
Oh how we want to follow You
Come Living Way; Our way make clear
Let perfect love drive out our fear
Be thou our vision now and here
And all of our tomorrows
It was time to get up and get ready for work. God saw fit that I should make it through that Monday night, and He sovereignly reigned over that tomorrow. Coincidentally, I found our song of the month for January 2021. Look it up and learn it well so you’re prepared come next year. Oh, and I took the job by the way.
God gives and He takes away. Pray for Diane, brothers and sisters…and now for Monica Ortega as well (with the death of her mother). We must grieve with these during this hard time. We trust God that He is still sovereign, and every day that we’re all given is another outpouring of His love and mercy.