Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
— Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)
The national “stay at home” order has provided more time for me to watch nature outside my dining room window. Using binoculars I observed two woodpeckers gyrate, twirl, and perform acrobatic feats attempting to balance while aligning their beaks within the wide ports of the hummingbird feeder. While watching this drama, suddenly the neighbor’s green, flowering bush, 30 feet away became my focus. With magnification, the background I was seeing behind the birds resembled an enormous, thick overgrown jungle. As I lowered the binoculars, the dense foliage dwindled and I regained a balanced perspective.
During the spread of this devastating COVID-19 virus some of my days feel like I’m looking through binoculars. After hours of news about the growing number of cases, the deaths, the shortages of equipment and loss of jobs, all I see is a jungle of massive, overwhelming difficulties and collective fear. My world can easily turn into a thick bush, a plant flowering with doom and despair — sad, dismal, and overwhelming.
Isaiah’s words are for such a time as this. God is with me. I need not be dismayed. I realize now the feeder outside my window is my reminder to lower the binoculars and regain a better perspective; achieve balance and remember that Almighty God is with us. It’s time to really trust God, lean on scripture, and focus on ways I can help my community. I need to gather my talents, not my fears, and put them to use. I will not let fear or the enormity of this situation overwhelm or paralyze me. I will not let this deadly virus engulf my perspective. The virus is but one chapter in our history. There is much more beyond this chapter.
Prayer: God help us focus on you and give my attention on ways to show your love. Amen.
Beverly Taylor (Arizona