God’s providence is everything to me. I rarely used to recognize it in the midst of it happening. I dumbed through the grace of God blithely most of my life. Don’t most of us?
“He makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust”~ Matthew 5:45
More often than not I was in that unjust and evil group, being what a human is; fallen. Not that I sought out an unjust or evil path, but let’s face it, what lurks underneath much of what we do is our own, pride, vanity, and selfishness. What works best for us. And, you may say, “yeah, well that’s normal, so what?”
Well, God created us for so much more than that. Our lives are to point towards Him, just like all works of art point to the artistry of the creator of that art. So yes, it may be normal, but it certainly isn’t how, or for what we were designed, and thus most of us on a regular basis fall into the negative categories in that scripture.
So just as I plodded through life often unaware of God’s grace raining, or shining down upon me, He did and he does, and does for you as well, whether you accept it or not.
This past year has not been one of those times however, where I ignorantly sauntered through life unawares of God’s providence, guidance, love, and flat out mystery of how and why He does what He does. Like Noah, last year at this time I was preparing to enter The Ark, which is what we had named the home we purchased to live generationally with our parents (Michal’s and mine), and eventually my son Alex and his wife Haley and our daughter Katy Beth. Don’t forget the five dogs; Sherman, Leia, Athena (my Alaskan Lover), Mazie, and our grumpy old man BJ.
Our parents are frail (except for Bobbo, Michal’s Dad, who will probably outlive me!) and all have health conditions that are difficult, to say the least. My mom has diabetes, and some dementia, my dad has heart disease and Alzheimer’s, and Michal’s mom has Parkinson’s. They all need extra attention, and this past year has been a learning experience.
My parents have an end of life care insurance plan which, if yours don’t, I highly recommend looking into it. I will be getting one for Michal and me. This plan is a life saver for us, maybe even more so than it is for my parents. While it greatly enhances my parents’ lives on the daily, it allows Michal and me to keep working knowing that every day of the week there are caregivers within the home caring and being life companions for Art and Alice.
Believe you me, there is a reason children are to leave the nest. Caring for elderly parents is no picnic. It is emotionally draining, physically demanding and seemingly never ending, but this insurance plan has freed us just enough so as to help us keep our sanity.
Another thing you’ll want to keep in mind, if you ever embark on generational living, is you HAVE TO BUILD IN escapes, try to get away for little getaways of a weekend here, a week there, or an over-night somewhere else.
So, I mention things like getaways (ESCAPES) and insurance just in case any of y’all reading this are crazy enough to follow our lead. Because if you aren’t crazy beforehand you absolutely will be after!
But this wasn’t just our doing, it was clearly God’s. Of course, He needed our acceptance of the idea He, somehow, infiltrated into our minds and hearts. And He got it on that day I shared about in https://theebloominidiot.wordpress.com/2020/06/11/the-ark-part-1/.
As I shared in that post, God had planted the idea of The Ark in my innermost being some time ago, and on a night in April, 2019, at my parents’ Assisted-Living Facility, He aligned within me and my wife the same desire. It went unsaid between us, because we knew it before it had to be said, such is that mystery of God and His providence.
The providence of God was all over The Ark and its building and use. Let’s just say this year it has rained on each of us for well over 40 days and 40 nights with COVID-19. We have been floating through this pandemic oblivious to a firm landing; truly the dove keeps coming back with branches but we still seem to be floating, with no landing in sight.
Thirty some odd residents from my parents’ former assisted living facility died from COVIID-19. When we started the building of the Ark none of us had ever seen such a pandemic in our lifetime, sort of just like Noah had never seen rain, let alone a flood. We couldn’t have possibly known what we do now.
To be certain, this world wide disaster is far less deadly than the great flood Noah and his family managed to survive.
But we’ve had to trust God in ways that are just as mind blowing powerful as building an ark in a land that had never even seen rain. Wearing masks? Of course we wear them as prescribed by businesses, but, it is impractical to put our faith in them. Having been a first responder, masks are not the end all when it comes to protection from a virus. Sure they may help, but it’s not a guarantee. Social distancing, with caregivers and nine lives (and a baby on the way (Haley and Alex’s first son) is next to impossible and, again, impractical. Let’s face it, if God is not for us in this scenario we are in big trouble. Our faith stands firmly in Him. With all the mixed messages from so called ‘medical experts ‘, which in many cases have contradicted my direct training on such topics as virus transmission, we’ve had to rely on God. Think about it, Noah’s weather men (experts) back in the day couldn’t have helped him get his family through the great flood either. Some things are best left in God’s hand.
“I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.”Psalm 121:1-8
Psalm 121 is a reminder that someone has this COVID-19 and that someone is infinitely trustworthy. Amen? Oh, and I’m not talking about Doctor Fauci.
What are you trusting in through this time? Your mask? The news? If so, God help you! And, may I suggest, trust in God and not those other things, Sure, practice as much as you can safety measures but don’t delude yourself those measures alone are going to keep you safe. Are you sanitizing mail, and packages, groceries, your dog or cat? Is your face mask dirty on the outside with the virus when you take it off, do you use a clean one all the time or the same old dirty one. Oops, forgot to wash your hands? Life happens, right?
What about all the people in your life? We are having to trust those who come to our home to help. Thankfully, we have a good team and they have shown to be trustworthy, yet. After all is said and done, I suggest that we trust in God’s hand; after all, it’s His world and He knows all about the virus, just as He knew all about the flood. He’s the only one that understands this enough to help you through this flood of COVID-19.
I think about the Noah’s Ark cruise itinerary and what the down time looked like. Gratefully, it was a big boat so I bet they could get away from each other from time to time. I’m pretty sure that it got more crowded along the way with births. Well at our Ark we’ve had a heavy dose of FAMILY TIME during our boat float this past four months. A heavy dose, but God has blessed us even so with some time to be alone and some blessed celebrations and expectations! Check em out!
Grammy’s 77th Birthday bash, in consort with the 4th of July the 4th of Gramerica!!!
I don’t know what to tell you other than I’m grateful God’s providence has made all this possible. Despite the ups and downs of this COVID-19 flood, He has blessed us amidst the trials of life and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Thank God we’re all on the Ark together!