Are you OK?
There is one question that has become very popular during these days of upheaval and uncertainty due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It contains only three words: ‘Are you OK?’ After being asked that question so many times I was convicted to remind myself what the word ‘OK’ actually means. Through the means of technology, I found several definitions, but I landed on the one that truly expressed my particular feelings in that moment - ‘satisfactory, but not especially good!’ Wow, how about that!
As I read this my heart lifted and I couldn’t help smiling! This definition was exactly what I needed. It truly gave me permission to ‘feel all the feelings’ that are presently invading my heart and my mind as I continue to embrace life during lockdown! Do you want to hear my interpretation of this definition? This definition tells me that it is OK not to feel OK.
The world continues to spin in the grip of this devastating virus. Untold numbers of people are dying every day including family members and close friends. Countless numbers of people have lost jobs and income. Homeschooling of children is putting enormous strain on families. Domestic abuse towards women and children has risen to levels beyond our imagination. Countries are continuing to extend lockdown restrictions, with no certain end date of returning to some form of ‘normal’. Shall I go on? The world is weeping! God is weeping!
We are all affected by this virus and our emotions are wild and untamable! On our good days, we celebrate every little accomplishment, but on our bad days there may be absolutely no motivation or inspiration coming to us or from us! Days when we feel hopeless and helpless! You’ve been there. I’ve been there. Let me remind you again: it is OK not to feel OK!
A familiar verse from Scripture that has helped me in recent days to focus on where my help comes from is found in 1 Peter 5:7, ‘Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you’. I hold more tightly to that promise and the hand of God than ever before!
A book that I have read in recent days is He Chose the Nails by Max Lucado. It has provided me with great inspiration and solemn reflection. The author encouraged his readers, in their thoughts, to climb the hill of Calvary and stand before the Cross. He encouraged us to focus on its significance before leaving the challenges that are causing us grief and weighing us down at the foot of the Cross in an act of commitment. He writes ‘What can you leave at the cross? Start with your bad moments. And while you are there, give God your mad moments.’ Those words were so powerful as I read them. That’s exactly what I needed to do at that moment and what I will need to keep on doing every day as I navigate my way through these unprecedented times.
In a world full of outrageous pain, knowing that our risen Christ is fully aware of our not feeling OK, he will continue to fill our hearts with his power and his compassion so we can pour out his outrageous love to others!
I have been so inspired and blessed in recent days by a song performed by Christian artists Kari Jobe and Cody Carnes called ‘The Blessing’. It is sung with great passion and vibrancy. Let the words, taken from Numbers 6:24-26, be my blessing on you all today:
The Lord bless you
And keep you
Make His face shine upon you
And be gracious to you.
The Lord turn His
Face towards you.
And give you peace.