Looking at the Stars.


In the first 3 months of this year, we’ve faced threat of a world war, an economic crash, and a global pandemic unlike anything we’ve had before. Anxiety, death, and toilet paper have monopolized media and information streams. Jobs have been and are being lost, families stranded, and celebrations cancelled.

Having grown up fairly privileged, experiencing no crises except those resulting from my individual circumstances, a worldwide panic has been… overwhelming, to say the least. 

Social distancing and the closing of businesses came about two weeks after I found out that the job I had lined up had fallen through, and I learned I needed a new place to live. 

While this is nothing compared to the issues that countless people are facing right now, the last month has been anything but calm.

One of the unique things about our global situation is that it is, in fact, a global situation. We’re all in this together, and in so many, it’s brought a kind of community-focused spirit that has been so beautiful to see. I’ve never talked to so many of my neighbours before, or had so many friends reach out to check in. 

Isolation, while lonely, has brought out a kind of intentionality that I love. We can no longer rely on work, church, or coincidence to connect us to each other, and because of this people are stepping up in all kinds of new ways that I hope become permanent.

But even despite the community, and the FaceTime calls, and the encouraging posts, it is easier to sink than to swim. To drown in the noise, the bitterness, the fear, the unknown. 

The longing for a world we may not know again. A past “normal” that won’t be mirrored on the other side of this. 

It has been a rug-pulling, heart-stopping, floor-dropping season, and the temptation to spiral is one that has overwhelmed me more than I care to admit.

It’s playing out the movie—the what-if, worst-case-scenario, end-up-in-a-ditch kind of storyline that I can’t seem to get out of my head. 

But in the middle of it, the chaos & the terror & the waiting for things to fall apart, I keep coming back to this question:

Where are you looking right now?

Trust and peace are easy when things are good. Gratitude takes no effort, and praise feels only natural. 

While I’m not under the assumption that your identity is reduced to your stress behaviour, there’s something to be said for trials exposing where your priorities lie.

And my eyes have been fixed on the gutter. 

Not only on the brokenness around me, but on every potential fracture, preparing for and expecting nothing good.

What kind of life is that? 

What kind of faith is that? 

I’ve seen the hand of God enough in my life to know that He is good and faithful. 

I’ve been pulled out of the very gutter that I now feel stuck in on more than one occasion.

Realizing that I have fallen back into a pattern of doubt and fear is convicting, a little scary, and honestly, kind of embarassing. 

Because isn’t this the point? If life was perfect and easy then what in the world would we need a Savior for?

It’s the very chaos around us that screams our need for God. For wholeness that we are incapable of on our own, forgiveness that we don’t deserve, and healing of our most devastating wounds.

In John 16, Jesus told his disciples these words: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (italics added)

Suffering was never supposed to be a surprise. 

You can search the Scriptures, but there’s no promise of ease or happiness. There are, however promises of peace, of salvation, joy, and the goodness of God written throughout the entire Bible.

There’s no exemption from the symptoms of a broken world. But the cross is our victory—Jesus already won.

And yeah, sometimes it feels like we’re still in the battle. We live in the Saturday of the Easter weekend, having seen the cross and now find ourselves waiting desperately for Sunday.

But we know what’s coming. 

We know how this ends, and this isn’t it. 

It doesn’t make it fun, easy, or comfortable, and a global pandemic is not something to “be okay” with. But no matter what happens here, you’re not condemned to the gutter.

This isn’t the place you stay, it’s not where you belong. 

Take a deep breath. 

Stay 6 feet apart. Check on your neighbours. Stay home and wash your hands. 

But keep your eyes on the cross, remember whose you are, and live in peace knowing how this ends.

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