by Caryl Moll
“God has got me through this!”
Despite struggling with a topic for today, here I am… with God’s help. It’s been a horrible year in so many ways. Over the months, I’ve seen so many people on the edge. Some folk have battled illness and some have sadly lost this battle. Families have been devastated. Folk have lost their livelihoods, their social structures and their work. The hardship of people is reflected in their eyes – behind the masks. The numbers of desperate people at the traffic lights seems to have exploded. I often keep them in mind during the day – occasionally resorting to going back to the same traffic light to simply hand out some food.
But for me, my personal struggle has been mainly mental. I’m trying to navigate a way through the deep changes that have happened to our world. The lack of interaction and social meetups has resulted in massive changes in our social etiquette. It’s lonely, confusing and heart-breaking. I miss my family. I miss my church. I miss the simple things that were. Indeed, my world has shrunk to the confines of my own home – no visitors and probably no prospect of visitors any time soon.
Yet, both Les and I have managed to avoid the virus. We’ve discovered new things about ourselves and I’ve had the joy of having him home with me every day – slaving away at his computer, constant video calls and virtual meetings. I have to admit that sometimes I don’t recognise this new world – let alone the people behind the masks.
Each morning, I reach for my Bible and search for God’s encouragement – a means to face the new day. I’ve taken up Bible journaling now and find profound joy in being able to express myself in my various art forms; writing, drawing, painting and prayerfully meditating. It’s a new way of transforming my quiet time into something really memorable. And it usually gives me something to hold onto – knowing that God is right next to me.
For the past couple of days, I’m being drawn to the whole concept of an “Ebenezer Stone” and today I’m going to paint one for myself – a reminder that, “Thus far, the Lord has helped us.”.
(If you’d like to read up about the symbolism of the story of the ‘Ebenezer stone’, then check out 1 Samuel 7 – where Samuel sets up a large stone with this very reminder.)
Today when I paint my own stone, I want it to remind me that trusting in anything or anyone short of Christ is a precursor to failure. I need to constantly keep Christ as the primary equation of my life. I need to recognise that anything besides him is misplaced trust; any defeat or failure in my life is a springboard for introspection and repentance. I must remember that God is always faithful – in His mercy, he forgives us and provides protection. He is ever faithful and I will praise him – trying to always “Sing a new song to the Lord.”
I pray that you too, dear reader, will find renewed strength in our gracious Lord. Perhaps you, too, can create a symbolic ‘Ebenezer stone’ which can serve as a reminder that God is always in control. We will get through this pandemic… Together! Remember, God has really ‘Got this!’
With love, in Christ