Autumn is having a hard time showing up this year. Perhaps it’s confused. No yellow school buses are barreling down the streets, making frequent stops to pick up children. Temperatures here are still in the nineties, making it seem like summer is fighting its annual exit. The town is relatively quiet, the usual frenzy of employees rushing to work after seeing that their children are tucked away in a safe environment is missing.
Nothing is as it should be.
Computer screens at home have replaced white boards in classrooms. ZOOM meetings connect stockbrokers, teachers, office assistants, and friends. Face coverings appear everywhere— grocery stores, dentist offices, playgrounds, open air picnics—a device that is considered a form of submission in some cultures.
Something to think about.
The tension is reflected in the eyes of masked strangers, everyone tired of being treated like a captive in their own homes. Like fugitives in a foreign country, we’re not comfortable with the status quo and are not accustomed to such regulation. Pictures of buildings being burned in nearby cities doesn’t seem real.
That’s something reserved for a third world civilization, not ours.
All of us wait, wondering when this turmoil will end. When can we return to being the land of the brave and the home of the free? Unrest is everywhere. Is this how it felt at the eruption of the Civil War? Did people fear like this when WWI and WWII broke on the horizon? Did our parents and our grandparents know this kind of uncertainty?
In John 14:27 Jesus makes us a promise.
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” This peace is not like the fragile security we long to feel again. It is one based on eternal promises, a future we can aspire to, requiring a commitment of faith. It means surrendering what we know to be true, and reaching for truth that we can only sense.
The truth that God is.
Placing our trust in a higher being takes courage. But God has promised never to leave us, nor forsake us. In the midst of this chaotic world where we find ourselves, God remains stalwart, unchangeable, and in control. That alone, brings peace.
Autumn is ahead and so is heaven.