On Schedule

My human world has shut down. No going to the office. No worship in our church building or bible study with my ladies group. No family dinners or game nights.

I’m not typically an anxious person but it’s hard not to think about the future. What if this lockdown continues? What if our donors cannot keep giving to our ministry? What if I catch the virus? What is someone close to me dies? What if my children lose their jobs and can’t find new ones?

Then I have guilt because my worries seem so petty. Some of my colleagues can’t even take walks outside their homes, hold planned weddings, or travel to see family members. And of course, there are many worldwide who will not eat today if they cannot work, who will most likely die from poor medical care if they contract Covid-19, who do not have the luxury to self-isolate, or who have already lost loved ones.

Outside my sliding glass door, a bird lands on the patio, grabs a twig in its beak, and then ascends to the nest it is building in our live oak tree. I’ve seen far more feathered creatures in my backyard than previous years.

And the flowers! Unable to get to a garden store for my yearly purchase of herbs and annuals, my garden was left on its own. And would you believe, I have the most beautiful flowers I’ve had in years. My gardenia plants are covered in buds and blooms. The dianthus are peeking out. The ferns and mint are thriving. The roses are big and plentiful. And the Easter lilly is preparing to make it’s entrance around Mother’s Day.

Everywhere I look, I see that Spring has not been cancelled, but has emerged on schedule. Creation did not get the government memo. Life marches on glorious and triumphant.

While mankind has taken a step back in fear, God’s creation marches ahead in confident praise to its Maker.

Jesus expressed it like this:

Look at the birds in the sky: They do not sow, or reap, or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you more valuable than they are? And which of you by worrying can add even one hour to his life? Think about how the flowers of the field grow; they do not work or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these!

Matthew 6:26–29 NET

The beauty and on-time arrival of my flowers points to my God’s provision:

And if this is how God clothes the wild grass, which is here today and tomorrow is tossed into the fire to heat the oven, won’t he clothe you even more, you people of little faith? So then, don’t worry saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the unconverted pursue these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.

Matthew 6:30–32 NET

He knows what I need and reminds me what to do instead of worry:

But above all pursue his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. So then, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own.

Matthew 7:33–34 NET

What are you worried about today?

Find some signs in creation to remind you of God’s on-schedule providence over this world.

PRAYER

Jesus, thank you for the on-schedule arrival of the flowers and birds—never late, never early— just right when you want them. My flowers give me joy in the midst of this trying time, but also the reminder that you care for me and my world. It is in pain, Lord. Please heal us. Take care of your people everywhere, clothe and feed them, dear Jesus. And teach me what it looks like to pursue your kingdom in the midst of a pandemic.

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