Our Daily Bread
Some of you are going to empathize with this and some of you won't. I grew up in an era where the internet was becoming popular. I didn't have an email address until I was in college, heck I didn't have a cell phone until after I was married! I grew up the time when we were moving from analog to digital, from research being done in a library (or from those encyclopedias you got from the guy selling them door-to-door), from driving yourself nuts to remember the name of a song, movie, or book to the phrase "just google it" becoming normal vernacular.
What I'm getting at is we are now in the age of information. We can find anything we want in a matter of seconds. We don't like unanswered questions. We don't have to live with them anymore. There are so many resources at our fingertips that we get anything answered in an instant. Now, I want to be clear. I am ok with that. It used to drive me crazy growing up when I couldn't remember the name of the band that sang that song that I couldn't get out of my head. Who was that first baseman for my Cleveland Indians when they went to the world series in the mid-'90s (Paul Sorrento, just googled it). How many miles is it between Los Angeles and New York City? I know you just stopped and googled that.
Right now there are a lot of unanswered questions. How long will this Pandemic last? Will I, or my family, get the virus? Will things go back to "normal" after this. Will the store have toilet paper when I need it? We have unanswered questions and we want answers. Where will we look for answers? What will we accept as fact and what will we accept as opinion? What will be our source material for how we will look at our current situation?
If I lived on an island in the middle of a septic treatment lake. All-day, every day all when I wake up and before I go to sleep all I see is this smelly, nasty colored, unfriendly looking lake. I would begin to think that the whole world must look like this. It would consume all my senses all the time.
I fear that is what our environment is like today with the pandemic and the news and social media. The source material that we are consuming each day, what is attacking all of our senses each day, is leaving us with more worry and anxiety than we should have. Anxiety is real. In a time of uncertainty anxiety, fear and worry can become more prominent and more consuming. I am not going to feed you the line of "you just gotta have more faith!" If you are a Christian and struggle with any of the aforementioned things you already know you need more faith. We all do! It's not a matter of more faith. It's a matter of what is consuming our thoughts, our time, our senses each day. What is our source material?
I came across the Wisdom Pyramid that is pictured below in my daily reading this week. The originator of this pyramid (Brett McCracken) is trying to lead us to have the best source material. We need to consume more of God's Word at this time than we do any other resource. We need the truths of His word to be present in our hearts and minds during this uncertain time so we can recite them to ourselves when attacked with the lies of the day at hand.
I am not talking about the debate over who released the virus, or if it came from an undercooked bat or a government lab. I am not talking about the political debate on whether one side of the aisle or the other is handling the situation well. I'm not even talking about the debate over how socially distant you should become at this time. I am talking about the lies from the enemy that put fear int our hearts, that cause us to doubt that God is sovereign, to make us wonder if God does love us, that cause us to begin to rely on our wisdom and self-sustaining during this difficult season.
Doubt is real. In Matthew 28:17 when the disciples, who had walked with Jesus during his ministry, watched him die on the cross, knew where he was buried and had seen the empty tomb and now face to face with the risen Jesus, Matthew tells us that they worshipped him (and rightly so) but also that some doubted. After all they had seen some still struggled. Matthew doesn't tell us that Jesus sent them away for their doubt or gave up on them. He gave them all the same mandate. Go to the city, wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit. When Thomas was doubting that Jesus was really alive, upon seeing Jesus, Jesus told him to touch the nails marks in his hands and feel where the spear pierced his side. Jesus didn't send Thomas away banished for life. He helped ease his doubt and show him He is alive!
What are you spending your time (since we have more of it now) consuming? What is your source material? I encourage you. Download a reading app for daily reading from scripture. If you are still working and have a drive to work each day longer than 5 minutes any app for the bible has a feature that will read it to you. Get your Bible (the actual book one) and start in one of the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke or John and let the life of Jesus and words of Jesus be your source material. Don't wait. Start today!