Earlier this year, I was talking with someone about my books. I was asked for my Twitter handle and I hesitated, trying to recall it. Jokingly, he said, “Oh, no Twitter? You must be a nonprofit author!” Um, no, I just haven’t gotten into Twitter. It’s a little too raw for my liking. I have a Twitter account, but I don’t really use it. I much prefer Facebook over Twitter. In fact, Facebook is my happy place. I cannot control what others post, but people who habitually post negative profanity don’t remain on my friends list for long. I post happy thoughts and love to see them pop up later as Facebook memories. Seeking not to be a nonprofit author, I have been trying to use Twitter more, but it is not a platform I like.
This week, during a particularly stressful Zoom meeting where some of the unknowns about the opening of school in August were being discussed, I received a Twitter notification that made me gasp. Foolishly, I read some of the replies, which worsened my anxiety. I clicked over to Facebook, my happy place, and it was the discussion there, too. As the governors and school district personnel across the country have been monitoring the virus situation in their area and working to develop plans that will accommodate the wide variety of needs by students, teachers, school staff, parents, and the community, in the face of a serious contagion, it troubled me to see doubt cast on the Centers for Disease Control. Their sole agenda is to keep the public safe and healthy. They are an organization of scientists who conduct studies, weigh evidence, and make decisions and guidance based on data. The CDC is not a person. I would believe that no CDC guidance is publicized without the review and consensus of multiple science professionals. They don’t publish opinions. The CDC makes statements based on data and scientific evidence. The tweet cast doubt on what may be the only organization left that has a single, objective, non-political, agenda. They study data and make data-driven recommendations. Period.
I felt compelled to make a Facebook post, but I didn’t know what to say. I wanted to say something to put my friends at ease. There was anxiety and different opinions being shared, great tension. I thought and prayed about it for a while and realized there was great confusion. I went to Google thinking there was a Scripture on this subject, but couldn’t recall where. It’s 1 Corinthians 14:33. For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.
I cannot recall any other time with more confusion. Having been an educator since 1998, never have we, in July, had this much uncertainty about August. In some areas, we have not even pinned down the date schools will begin. Working parents have both questions and concerns. Teachers wonder what will be expected of them, and students want to see their friends, but no one knows if any of this will happen in August. This is uncomfortable. I am a planner and I know that many others are, as well. Not being able to develop a solid plan because we are waiting for the bigger plan is unnerving. While we may know Jeremiah 29:11, I wanted to expand that passage.
11For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14I will be found by you,” (Jeremiah 29:11-14)
As we continue with our largely uncertain future, I ask you: Have you called upon the Lord? Have you prayed to the Father? Have you sought the Lord? 1 Peter 5:7 tells us, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
We have so much to thank you for. You have given us so much. We thank you for our family and our friends. Lord, we thank you for the technologies that have enabled us to remain connected to one another for the past few months. Lord, we come to you with anxiety in our hearts. Lord, we never knew the future, but we thought we did. We never controlled the future, but we thought we did. Lord, through this virus our hearts have been humbled and realize that we neither know anything nor control anything. We come to you, Lord, because you have the answers, we come to you because you care. Lord, we ask that you be with our state, local, and federal officials as they attempt to make decisions for the good of everyone. Lord be with us as we navigate this new normal. We thank you, Lord. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
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