Where are the Directions?
In these pass almost five months, everyone's lives have drastically changed. There's more stress, more controversy, more negativity. For my family, it's easy to get lost in these things, things that could be damaging to their mental health and focus. The world seems to be in a dire position. I think a question on everyone's mind is where do we go from here?
Before COVID-19 was seriously effecting the United States, my brother's family began the process of a moved from Mississippi to Chicago. This put them moving in the middle of June, right in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, the best of timing. A concern for our family was the change in my brother's prospective. His family was about to go there a drastic culture change as well as a major temperature change. That would be a shock to any system and the possible outcomes were it could go well or... not so much. Did I mention he has three children under the age of ten?
I have been able to witness my parents struggle with virtual learning. The school experience this year will not be the same for students and the teacher's workload will doubled, if not tripled, with only a few months to learn a whole new way of teaching. Keep in mind an education degree takes at least four years. What is even worse is that they don't have much help in figuring this out so they have turned to their children for this. Have you ever tried to help your parents with technology? It can escalate very quickly and I don't get a paycheck like the people at the IT help desk.
My family is going through stressful times. Everyone is going through stressful times. What we are all wondering is where is this headed? And the answer that is given from the world, in varying degrees of vagueness, is no one knows. But God does. In the passage today, God has just sent the Israelites into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon, giving them three promises. Number one: God will sent them back to Jerusalem but they will have to be in exile seventy years. Number two: God has a plan for the Israelites to have a prosperous future once out of exile. Number three: Because of the previous two promises, they will seek God will all they have, receiving what is asked for in abundance. The thing I want to point out from this passage is, yes, God will give abundantly but these blessing might take time. For the Israelites, seventy years plus however many it took to regain the fortune they once had.
My brother moved this June, so they are now settled in the new house after a short time with my grandparents in Mississippi and then another short stint in Chicago with my sister-in-law's parents. Once they could move in, they had to make this new place into a home for the family of five. My dad and sister went to visit this week to see how the move turned out. The report from both Dad and Michaela was even with being newly moved and still figuring things out, my brother's family wasn't only doing well but thriving in these entirely new surrounding. It took several months to finalize the rough transition but once the groundwork was set, the construction of adaption for them was simple.
My parents transition to online teaching was far from smooth but it has worked out. With help from coworkers, three out of the five children, and the all-knowing internet most of the lessons are as spot on as they can be in a virtual setting. The hours were long, the work tedious, but this year's students will get an education one way or another.
In all three of these examples,the process of change was not over night, not even over a few nights. The Israelites had to wait seventy years. My brother had to wait about seven months. My parents had to wait five months to get to this point which isn't the finish but start. For all three, two things were necessary, two things we all should remember. We must have faith. We must be patience.
"As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience." Luke 8:15 (ESV)