I’ve spent a lot of time recently thinking about how we respond to unusual situations, about our need for control and routine and about how we all respond differently to the same external circumstances. A popular phrase going around has been “we’re not all in the same boat, but we’re all in the same storm”, reflecting the truth that each of us will be facing the same lockdown, but our different personalities and personal circumstances will vary, affecting how we respond.
The disruption to our normal routines, habits and way of life has brought positives as well as negatives for most of us, and we have worked hard at identifying these – a change of pace, more time with family members in some cases, the opportunity to spend time with God and in His wonderful creation, for example. But the loss of so much much which we value – financial stability, time with our extended family and friends, the purpose gained from employment, the security of our former lives – has left us disoriented and perhaps also feeling fearful, uncertain, unable to plan ahead. It’s not surprising that we feel cast adrift in a storm at times. We have worked hard at adapting – Zoom meetings for church and work, online ways of maintaining hobbies and seeing friends and family – but the pace of change has been so swift that much of the day feels like we’re on a roller coaster or suffering from motion sickness.
In science, we are told that there must be a ‘constant’ in experiments so we can evaluate our results accurately. For believers, the only constant we truly have – at any time, not simply now – is God. He does not change like the shifting shadows (James 1:17) He is faithful and true in all His ways. He becomes the anchor for every boat in this storm.
That’s not to say He is like a genie in a bottle, there to grant us our every wish. He is no vaccine against pain, suffering and sorrow. But He is the constant who can hold us steady in every situation and who will never leave us or forsake us. (Listen to ‘The Constant’ by Worship Central here).