uncertainty is in the air
Uncertainty is in the air. Yet, the world looks normal. The spring trees are starting to bloom. Charlotte weather goes from hotter than expected back to chilly and back again. The TV works. There is plenty of food and water. But everything has changed. Life looks normal on the outside, but sure isn’t.
In Charlotte, the coronavirus itself really hasn’t hit, but it sure has changed life. Businesses are closed. Friends are not going to work and some are losing jobs. Everyone lives with a sense of financial and economic gloom and fear. Where will we be in two months?
Hospitals know the pandemic is coming. We all pray it will be small in its impact here. But we watch pictures day after day of tragedy. Who would have thought that beautiful Italy would be so damaged?
California is basically living in self-quarantine. Governor Cuomo in New York doesn’t have enough generators. We are slowly getting more test kits; we all want to “flatten the curve.”
Anxiety is everywhere. Will I survive? Will I or someone I love die? Will we recover economically?
But the hardest of all for me is the sense of isolation. After 9/11, we could rally each other. When you were down, I could physically reach over and pick you up. But in this pandemic, picking you up might perpetuate the problem – or even make it worse. “Social distancing,” which is really “physical distancing,” which is really “Don’t come near me!” is the primary vehicle to minimize the damage and destruction. To help is to stay away or alone. How can that be helping?
But in the midst of all this uncertainty, God has not changed. He is not surprised or overwhelmed. And this week He reminded me of an old, very simple verse: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6-7)
During this time, I often don’t know what to pray for, but I do know that I feel an inordinate amount of fear and uncertainty. And when I do, I know God wants me to say thanks and bring it to Him. His answer is rarely something clear to do or say. But He often answers with peace and a sense that He has “got me.”
I am praying for that peace for you right now as you read this.
Palmer Trice is an ordained Presbyterian minister. He is married to Lynne, has three children and has been in Charlotte since 1979. In his spare time, Palmer enjoys golf, tennis, walking and reading.