The Search for Information


So much input…so little understanding. If only there were an information desk where we could find out everything we need to know about Covid-19.

We all want to understand, to get control of this microscopic virus and to live the life we all took for granted until a few weeks ago. A new reality is beginning to dawn on us, and we haven’t come to terms with it yet.

It’s difficult to find out what is actually happening when the news reports sensational cases – one day last week I was treated to multiple stories of unusually severe corona virus cases; not helpful – infectious disease experts are preparing us for worst case scenarios and the government is trying to keep a lid on selfish and panicked behavior.

The future is unknown.

Of course, the future is always unknown, but in a stable world we think we know what will happen tomorrow with a fair degree of certainty. Not now. We have been humbled by the realization that we simply don’t know what tomorrow, next week or next month will bring.

The last time I felt this way was right after I was diagnosed with cancer. I was stunned, and I wanted information.

I was desperate to know. The doctor didn’t have detailed pathology of my biopsy yet and I had an appointment with him a week or two in the future. Eternity. I made the mistake of searching the internet for helpful clues. I wanted to know what my chances were, what the treatment would be, if I would need chemotherapy, and all I learned is that every case is different. The doctors eventually answered my questions, but responses came in pieces and it took time.

What I remember most profoundly from those days are the comforting messages I received from the Lord. That may sound weird, but I wrote the following in my journal the day after  Dan and I drove through a random blizzard on our way to the first doctor’s appointment:

His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. Nahum 1:3

“God stirs things up, sometimes, in a whirlwind or a storm. That’s his way. Driving through that snowstorm last night was so symbolic of how I feel. Visibility was poor, we had to drive slowly or we would have spun out of control.

I don’t know what’s around the next bend in the road – we can only see what’s right in front of us. And we have to move slowly and carefully – it’s slippery.

But the snow shower was brief and, in a way, beautiful.”

What are the odds that I would read Nahum 1:3, of all things, the day after we drove through a blinding ten minute snow storm? Slim. Very slim. I believe God wanted me to notice and apply it to my situation.

Another passage that I believe was given specifically to me during my treatment was:

But now, this is what the Lord says – he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When  you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy one of Israel, your Savior.’ Isaiah 43:1-3

My brother and sister-in-law and my pastor independently stopped over to pray with us the day or two before my surgery, and they both said that they had been led to Isaiah 43:1-3. That was no coincidence. I memorized that passage and mentally repeated it every day throughout treatment.

When I watched chemicals drip into my veins, I reminded myself that rivers would not sweep over me. During radiation treatments, I remembered that I would not be burned.

Those experiences help me to face each day during this pandemic with confident faith. Isaiah’s words to Israel are true for all believers. Fear not. He has redeemed us. He will be with us. He is our Savior.

Yes, I want information about this virus and the impact it will have on people I know and love, our communities, our economy and our medical systems, but God generally doesn’t tell us those sorts of things. What he does tell us is what he told me daily during my cancer episode: Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name, you are mine.

Is that enough? For now, it will have to be. When we step back and consider what is ultimately important, I believe it is enough.

Has the Lord been speaking to you during these surreal days? If so, we’d love to hear it!

Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

Posted in Covid-19 | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Non-Fiction Books that Expanded my Thinking

This gallery contains 1 photo.

As I wrote this post about non-fiction books during the middle of a pandemic, I realized that many of them took on deeper meaning. That’s the mark of a good book. Following are topics and the books that have expanded … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Escape to an Alternate Reality

This gallery contains 1 photo.

If you’re tired of the virus infected reality in which we’re living, here are a few good novels that will allow you to escape. A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline This was one of my favorite books … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Faith in Uncertain Times

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Normally this morning I would have read my Bible while enduring a half hour on my elliptical machine, hopped in the shower, grabbed a quick breakfast and driven to work in a rush. Not so today. Today, I spent some … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Merry Christmas!

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Another year. New experiences. Expanded knowledge. A baby granddaughter! Growing family. Curious challenges. Blessing upon blessing. The conclusion of 2019 brings the same thoughts and questions as every other year end: Where did the year go? For who and what … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Narratives We Live By

This gallery contains 1 photo.

What is the overarching narrative upon which you model your life? Many of us, consciously or not, run our lives according to the the American Dream. If we get a good education, work hard, save our money, then we will … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , | 1 Comment

God is Working – Even if We’re Clueless

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Recently I’ve had several conversations about the state of our country that have ended with a bewildered shrug. We clearly see a problem or concern, but the answer seems impossible.  No one knows what to do about it. The conversation … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

My Eternal Bucket List

Talk of bucket lists elicits thoughts of adventurous activities like skydiving or mountain climbing or traveling to exotic places.

While I understand the human desires and goals expressed in bucket lists, and even the wisdom of writing them down and remembering them, bucket lists seem a little short-sighted to me.

Read the rest of this article here at The Perennial Gen.


Posted in Christian Life, Eternal Life, Following Jesus | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Above the Confusion

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Confusion happens. When information doesn’t make sense, when both sides of a story are compelling or when there are too many options to make an easy choice possible, I’m confused. It takes me a while to sort through complexity, get the … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Losing My Voice, Finding Humility

I was studying the Bible, teaching what I learned, leading a class full of people that I genuinely loved and had just finished a master’s degree in Communication and Culture. I felt like I had arrived. I would use my voice to the glory of God.

Then everything changed.

A stroke and a change in my teaching role caused me to lose confidence in my voice. See the full article at The Perennial Gen.

Posted in Christian Life, Humility, Stroke, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment