Let's Talk About the But.

I’ve been rather quiet since the Corona Virus has become a household name, but today that ends.

You see, I’ve had a lot of thoughts concerning the first blog post to be made in this season but today I finally landed on the right one.

I worked last Monday at the coffee shop where I am currently “employed” and told them that I would like to take one week off. That isn’t how things are going down. Legitimate reasons, no hard feelings, BUT today a couple of things have happened that have had me all up in my head and heart and NOT in a healthy way.

Which is why I am now sitting at my desk which happens to be right up against my War Wall. You may be familiar with the movie “War Room“, but a one bedroom apartment lacks the type of spaciousness allowing for an entire room to be converted into a prayer closet. Hence…war wall. I have a white board covered in prayer requests and scriptures that God has laid on my heart for various reasons. Oh look, here comes one now.

“Let this hope burst forth within you, releasing a continual joy. Don’t give up in a time of trouble, but commune with God at all times.”

Romas 12:12 (TPT)

As I re-read that verse today, the second sentence jumped out at me. “Don’t give up in a time of trouble…”. That jumped at me because…oh boy howdy, are we in a time of trouble?!? I’m checking the status of my unemployment today, my teacher friends are finding out that distance learning is going to last a month longer than they thought. And so far in this, I’ve been able to keep a pretty light-hearted attitude but today, buddy. Today feels like a time of trouble.

Then I noticed the next word in the sentence. You see, The Word of God is such a healing salve because it so often gives us a direction to drop something with a command to pick something else up. Can I tell you one of my favorite words in Scripture?

BUT.

That’s how we ended up here. Ended up with me looking at my own words on a computer screen and a Greek word on my phone. I looked this verse up in the original Greek and it is all of nine words. Literally translated, it reads: “in hope rejoicing, in tribulation being patient, in prayer being constant”. Now “being patient” comes from one Greek word which is hypomenontes and the definition is “to stay behind, to await, endure”. That could probably be helpful enough for this season, but what caught my eye is the “cognate” section of the definition.

Turns out, the original form of the word, hypoménō, means:

literally, remaining under (the load), bearing up (enduring); for the believer this uniquely happens by God’s power.

biblehub.com

Here is what I see: I see you and me. I see us underneath this new load that we never expected to carry. The load of a life that has changed a lot.* The load of a world of people who are concerned about their jobs and their families and their top of the line toilet paper collection (you know I had to). That’s what a lot of us see and it is what a lot of us are anxious about. But that’s because we didn’t follow to the conclusion of the definition.

Does it say that we are “remaining under” and leave it there? Nope. So if you’re looking around and seeing people “remaining under” as in crushed by this load…LOOK AGAIN.

What I see is a group of people who are under a load for a minute (no matter how long that minute lasts) but they are still on their feet. These people got hope, these people got peace, these people got endurance to do both things at the same time: be under and be up.

“we are afflicted in every way, BUT not crushed; perplexed, BUT not despairing…”

Romans 4:8 (NASB) *emphasis added

LET’S TALK ABOUT THE BUT!!!!!!!

These people might be afflicted with a new virus and a new now but they are not crushed under this load…they endure. These people might be confused by all that is happening in their world but they are not despairing about this new load…they endure. By the power of God they endure. The Message Bible tells us that Romans 4:9 follows this proclomation with these words: “we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do.”

So let’s plan, and make Zoom appointments, and buy toilet paper and all the bread, and hopefully learn how to take care of each other…but let’s also remember that we can do both at the same time.

Be under. Be up. Stay well.

*While on this topic I need to climb on my soapbox for a minute. Can we stop calling quarantine “The New Normal”?!? That gives me anxiety. And I don’t know about you…but this is only my “New Now“. I’m believing that MY God is going to put an end to this and I am believing that life will be normal again though with more people washing their hands. This is my now…not my normal.

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