End of the Month!

Today is March 31, 2020. My how life has changed in the 31 short days of March! Growing up, in school, we learned a North American idiom about the third month: “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.” The meaning was all about the weather – starting out in winter, but transitioning into spring. For this year, on many fronts, March has been just the opposite as fear upon fear, regulation upon regulation has mounted. Very little is the same as when we started this month. The “lamb” has changed into a “lion” and more.

This morning my wife and wife got to Superstore at 7:20am to take advantage of “senior shopping.” We had not been to the store in two weeks. It was not bad, but the security personnel, the yellow caution tape, the huge plexiglass barriers at checkout, and the absence of certain staples, frankly told us things were different. Then a trip to Costco, to catch the tail end of their “senior shopping.” The line up began outside at the back of the huge warehouse, and we had to listen to one irate senior berating every staff member she saw because she felt non-seniors were being allowed in. Once inside, we were constantly admonished to keep moving, grab something and keep going. (And we saw the same woman loading up her cart with 6-7 huge water bottles… I wanted to ask her if that was hoarding, but God gave me grace not to ask.) I heaved a big sigh of relief when we were able to buy our regular bag of “three whole chickens” that, according to reports, had been missing for several weeks. I began to wonder, have we all come to this?

A pastor friend of mine texted me today. He commented on the Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry’s statements on keeping physical distancing and other restrictions in place. He then asked if we were going to continue with LiveStream only for our services. I replied with a quote from Buzz Lightyear, “To infinity and beyond!”

Yes, this has been a month filled with the unexpected and the unwanted. Our lifestyle has been radically altered, our routines upended, and our comfort zones torn apart. But there is much that has not changed. We have a Saviour, our Friend, who sticks closer than a brother and who has promised never to leave us or forsake us. He knows nothing of “spiritual distancing” when it comes to His children. When another news report brings more bad news on the health front or the economic front, I claim His promises. When I am getting frustrated and stressed, I remember He invites me to cast all my care upon Him, for He cares for me – and of course, for you, too.

To be honest, when I look back over this month of March, it makes me a bit concerned about April. Will it be as much of a lion as March or worse? Will my life be made more uncomfortable, will my schedule be rearranged even more? Will I be able to buy chickens next time? Then I must pause, quiet my heart, and remember the same God Who brought me through March, will lead me safely on through April, and May, and every month, regardless of the turmoil of this world.

Isaiah 43:1-3  But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.  2  When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.  3  For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour:

John 16:33  These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

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