Many mornings these days, I find myself preparing two bags on my countertop–one is filled with laptops, chargers and supplies for my kids attending virtual instruction at new schools. The other, clothing, reading material and other needs for my mother who is now in a nursing facility. I find myself, perhaps like some of you, caught in the “sandwich generation,” providing care and praying unceasingly for the lives I’ve been called to grow in my household while also providing comfort and reassurance for one who lovingly grew me. In this COVID-19 reality, my heart has been heavy for the disruption and isolation the people I care for most have had to endure. If I’m honest, on some days, my petitions to God for stability for the young and healing for the elder have felt increasingly like unanswered prayers.
We often hope to have our prayers answered so as to achieve a particular outcome. This is natural in the human experience. However, we may find the measure of our faith tends to change because of this seeming lack of response. During these days, I have held tightly to two words: one from scripture in 2 Peter 3:9 (MSG) which says, “With God, one day is as good as a thousand years, a thousand years as a day. God isn’t late with [God’s] promise as some measure lateness.” The other, from Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, who prayed, “Above all, trust the slow work of God.” I often have to remind myself that the work of God is not just about transforming the situations I’m praying for “out there,” but also about growing within me resilience and strength when I find myself restless in uncertain times.
Not all of the situations that keep us up at night are caused by God, but God is always at work in the aftermath until God’s loving, redeeming work is done. There is no time better than today to believe again that God is actively saving all that seems lost. During this time where we are all experiencing the unknown and new, give our Lord the benefit of letting go of the desire for control, opening yourself to a deeper trust and attentiveness to God’s action around us and within. ■