We are together, but not alone.

These are crazy times. Heavy times. It feels like every night we go to bed praying and every morning we wake worrying and wondering.

What will we do? When will this end? How will our kids go to school? Will they be safe?
Are we making the right choices? What about our jobs? What about our finances?
What about community? How do we serve? How do we protect?

Life is chaotic, ever-changing. We have choices to make, but only clusters of incomplete information with which to make them. It’s exhausting. Frustrating. Draining. Isolating.

But we are not alone.

There are two sides to this that I want to explore.

We are all in this together.

The other day I was speaking with a dear one who insisted that “no one understands” what she’s going through. She complained about having to wear a mask and not being able to go everywhere she wants to go, but that was the end of her woes. Now, this is not a competition, but I know many people who have suffered much more than these mere inconveniences. Even so, she was beside herself with grief and pity. She couldn’t see that we’re in this together.

Side One: Everyone is enduring inconvenience and adjustments.

No one is living their “best life” right now. We’re managing a global health crisis and that means EVERYONE is affected. None of us — not you, not me, not the neighbors down the street or across the state line — are alone in this crisis.

Let me be blunt: Some people need to stop expecting exceptions and recognize that we’re all in this together. And no one is particularly happy about it. So let’s try a little harder to make the best of it.

Now for Side Two. I promise to be a little kinder with this point. 😉

We are together, but not alone.

Society wants to sing “We are the World” and exalt shared community. Okay. Sure, we’re “all in this together”, but I find little comfort in knowing I’m surrounded by other fallible humans who are in the same sinking boat. We’re all struggling. No one knows the future and few know what to do in the present. Frankly, I’d rather know who’s controlling the waves than who’s clueless next to me.

Fortunately, we are not alone. There is Someone who is standing with and fighting for us.

“Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.”

– Hebrews 7:25 (emphasis mine)

Not only has God sent his Holy Spirit to indwell those who belong to Him – this Spirit granting strength, guidance, and comfort to those who call upon his name – but He has kept his Son, Jesus Christ our Savior, close by to serve as intercessor and advocate on our behalf.

Beth Moore wrote this:

“The Son of God occupies the seat at the right hand of God
where He is the designated High Priest, the divine Intercessor for His people.
Christ LIVES to pray for us.”

After extrapolating the exact definition of the Greek word for intercede, she continues:

“[Christ] prays for us with familiarity. He is completely familiar with the Father
and with us. He prays for us with complete knowledge and understanding of God’s perfect will, His ultimate plan, our deepest desires, and our greatest needs.
He qualifies, therefore, as the perfect ‘go-between.’”

Oh, how thankful I am for an advocate that SEES. One who KNOWS. Not just what’s going on, by who knows ME. Who knows my deepest desires and needs and doubts and fears and he fights for me. And for you. He IS the perfect High Priest.

We get to choose where we look.

Do you remember the story of Peter walking on water? It’s found in Matthew 14. The disciples were in a boat, the waves and wind going crazy, when suddenly they saw Jesus walking toward them. They were terrified, thinking he was a ghost. He called out to them, “Have courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Peter being Peter responded, “Lord, if it’s you, command me to come to you on the water.” Jesus did, and Pete got out of the boat. He walked on water.

Now, we love to read this story and criticize what comes next. Pete notices the waves and the wind (which have not calmed down) and gets scared, immediately beginning to sink. We want to point out Peter’s insufficient faith (which Christ does in the next verse), but I want us to note – Pete got out of the boat. He walked on water. Not only that, as soon as he started to sink, he called out to Christ – and Christ saved him.

Taking eyes off of Christ does not negate the courage required to get out of the boat. Peter showed tremendous faith, faith not exhibited by any of the other disciples on that boat that night.

Taking our eyes off of Christ is not fatal. It’s human. And we all do it sometimes. We begin to focus on our circumstances rather than our Savior. Doing so definitely makes our journey more perilous, but it doesn’t sentence us to isolation. Christ is still there for us, ready to save when we call out to Him.

We have lots of choices these days. We can focus on ourselves and how upset we are that life isn’t great. We can focus on our fears and what we don’t know or what we imagine (or whatever new conspiracy theory threatens our peace). Or we can focus on God, trusting Christ to advocate and intercede for us during these difficult times.

And here’s some really good news: every day we get to choose.

The choices we made yesterday don’t define today and today doesn’t define tomorrow. His mercies are new every day. We can choose Him every day.

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