I Will Not be Shaken (Psalm 16:8)
Updated: Sep 8
Wow! How much I need to focus on this verse right now! "I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken". (Psalm 16:8 NIV) Doesn't the world and our country seem to be spinning out of control right now? I think we can all agree that 2020 has been a year full of things we never imagined we would see; phrases we never thought we would say; situations we never thought we would be faced with. I think it is only natural for us to experience some fear and uncertainty. I know that I have.
I think back to how this year has unfolded. 2020 started out pretty well for us. I graduated with my bachelor's degree (finally) at the end of 2019 and we had planned a celebration vacation cruise to the Caribbean in late January 2020. We had an amazing time on our cruise, but within just a couple of weeks of us getting home, all of the coronavirus stuff started happening. First, it was just talk of some strange virus far away in Asia - it didn't seem like it would be a big deal to us, and then pretty quickly I remember - as I"m sure most of you do - the world around me changing very rapidly. I was hearing of cities going on lockdown, and all kinds of different regulations being put in place, cruise ships being quarantined, and airlines shutting down travel. It seemed like every day, and sometimes every few hours, things were changing.
We can get the local news on our TV, but it is a bit of a process because we mostly use a streaming service, so we have to change things around to use our satellite. So we were not paying a lot of attention to national or local news in early spring. I distinctly remember going to my parent's house probably in early spring and they always watch the local 10:00 p.m. news and the newscasters were talking about people hoarding toilet paper and water. I was shocked - this was the first I had ever heard about any kind of stockpiling going on and still at that time the coronavirus seemed like such a distant thing to me. I could not imagine what all the fuss was about. We were at my parent's house all weekend (when I would normally put in an online grocery order for pick up), and when we returned home I attempted to put in an online grocery order that Monday and saw that they were not accepting online orders. I then tried another retailer and they were accepting orders, but nearly everything I tried to put in my cart was out of stock. What the hell was going on?! That was my first moment of some panic as things started to hit home for me. Things were changing and at that moment I could sense it. Do you remember your first trip to the grocery store and seeing empty shelves? When in your life have you ever seen that? It was the weirdest thing.
Within a week or two, my employer was putting into place strict guidelines about social distancing and wearing masks, and then within only a couple more weeks, our entire office was on a mandatory work from home protocol (although I already work from home). Our local government was shutting businesses down and implementing strange regulations that we had never seen before. Those words "unprecedented times" started to be heard more and more.
So as if things weren't upside down enough, on March 18th we were shaken out of bed by a magnitude 5.7 earthquake. It is not unheard of to have earthquakes in Utah, but it has been quite a long time since our area has had one this large. Honestly, as I was being shaken out of my bed my mind immediately went to "it's the end, the world is coming to an end". Definitely a little dramatic, but I was scared! I needed that verse "I will not be shaken" right then, because I was literally and emotionally shaken!
Summer came and along with that came racial tensions that we haven't seen in this country for many years. Protests and violent riots sprung up in cities across the country, including here in Utah. I was shocked to see downtown Salt Lake City, which is typically pretty quiet, become vandalized and dangerous.
On top of all of this, it is an election year so in the backdrop are political tensions, and the country seems to be more divided than ever. The "us vs. them" mentality is running rampant and civil conversation and understanding seem to be unacceptable.
Through all of this, Ron and I have weathered the storm pretty well especially compared to so many others. So many people have lost jobs, become ill, lost loved ones, missed out on major life events like graduations, and weddings, or have not been able to attend funerals. People have lost businesses and have had their lives turned upside down over the past six months.
I find myself getting easily wrapped up in all of this, becoming anxious; getting frustrated at how things are being handled, and worrying about the future. I try really hard to remind myself of this scripture "I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken". As a Christian, I know that God has a plan and even though it may seem that the world is spinning out of control right now, God IS in control, and in the end, He will have the victory. I know that there will be trials and bad things are going to happen before Christ returns to this world and perhaps what we are seeing now is some of that. I have to continue to pray for patience and to ask God to help me to keep my eyes on Him when my eyes want to focus on all this craziness going on around me. It is HARD! I struggle with it every single day. What I can do is have faith that God has this - he has the victory in the end.
I hope that a reminder of this simple scripture brings some hope to you today.
"I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken". (Psalm 16:8 NIV)