Perspective: When the World Seems Upside down

If you are like me, you have certain ideas set in your mind about how life should go. It can be a combination of the ideals your parents instilled in you when you were young and lessons you learned the hard way and are determined to never forget. It can also be influenced by your culture or your belief system.

We all have this list of factors we need in order to feel safe and content with our lives. When something goes wrong, we can get derailed easily. It’s at this point when we tell ourselves to take things one day at a time. We try to convince ourselves that we must just keep going and eventually things will right themselves.

But what if they don’t? What if the loved one dies instead of recovering? What if the adult child walks away and rejects the family? What if the dream job suddenly evaporates into thin air? Or maybe the perfect marriage comes apart and cannot be mended?

At some point, we have to decide what we really believe about life. Is life just random and there really is no reason for anything? Just dumb luck? Or, is life a series of events that all flow together for some future good?

As the world is dealing with this pandemic that seems surreal, we have to change our perspective about what life is supposed to look like. We cannot go back to the way things were before and we don’t have any experience to help us understand what the future is going to look like. All we know is that the world seems upside down and we wonder if anyone has the power to make it right again.

There is only One who has that power. There is only One who knows what is going on and can see the final outcome. God has always known this season would come. He is able to bring good from every situation we will ever face.

Just because this has become a global crisis doesn’t mean that God is any less capable of handling it. Remember that He is the one who created this earth. He is still sovereign and in control of everything that happens here.

So now we must decide to change our perspective. We are at a moment in time when we must decide that life doesn’t have to look like the mental picture we’ve always had. It’s time to be open to allowing God to work in new ways. It’s time to set aside our list of requirements for a good and happy life. It’s time to seek God and listen to what He is saying to us. He knows what lies ahead and He will be faithful to see us through.

Perhaps God is saying to us what He said to Isaiah.

“Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.” – Isaiah 43:19 (CSB)

A World in Need of Hope

We were just going about our business. We were living life the best we could. It wasn’t always easy but it was at least manageable most days.

Then, with little warning, we are suddenly confined to our homes. Suddenly learning new phrases like “social distancing.” Trying to figure out how to feed our families, and many becoming instant homeschoolers.

For some, a sense of fear has taken hold. For some, it has grown into panic and dread of tomorrow. But we feel helpless to do anything that will slow the spread of this virus as we see it taking over our homes, our cities and our nation. Most of us will not become sick but the fear that someone we love will die hangs in the back of our minds.

So what can we do to calm our fears? What we need is a large dose of hope but what does that look like? What exactly is hope, anyway?

Hope is not crossing your fingers and wishing for something good to happen or for something bad to NOT happen. It isn’t closing our eyes and holding our breath while we wait to see what happens.

The biblical concept of hope is to have a strong and confident expectation. The modern dictionary calls this definition archaic or old-fashioned. Biblical hope causes us to focus on the future. It makes us see beyond the present circumstance. It brings anticipation of what’s to come. It gives us the strength to live with courage and to remember that nothing in this life is forever. It gives us peace and joy in the midst of the trials and suffering of this life.

This difficult time we are living in reminds us that we can be thankful for the simple things in life. It reminds us that things can change overnight and everything we assumed about life can disappear with little warning.

We can’t wish this virus away but we can grab hold of the truth. Perhaps it’s time to embrace a little of that old-fashioned kind of hope. The hope that doesn’t disappoint.

“This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” – Romans 5:5 (CSB)

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” – Romans 15:13 (CSB)