Last summer, Aaron had a dentist appointment…and in his usual fashion, he plotted and planned where we could hopefully eat afterwards.
“Mom?” he asked. “Tomorrow after my dentist appointment, can we eat at Jimmy’s Eggs?”
Yes, he calls Jimmy’s Egg – Jimmy’s Eggs. I mean, who just eats one egg, right?!
The next day found us sitting at Jimmy’s Eggs enjoying a delicious lunch/breakfast. And yes, Aaron did happily eat every bite of all this food!
There was, though, another big reason why Aaron loved Jimmy’s Eggs. Well, it was actually a very little reason that was quite big to Aaron.
Can you see it?
Aaron wasn’t alarmed at all by having an ant join us for lunch. In fact, Aaron put a little piece of carrot from his salad on the table so the ant wouldn’t feel left out about not being allowed to order lunch. Next, he added a piece of bacon.
The server was embarrassed by the ant, but I told her not to worry. Aaron loved having the ant company, and it made me happy to watch him trying to care for the little guy.
We haven’t been back to Jimmy’s Egg(s) since then. It just hasn’t been on our dining list, but not because of the ant.
One day not long ago, when the closure of restaurants during this virus was hitting home with Aaron, he thought about Jimmy’s Egg(s).
“Mom?” he asked, “remember Jimmy’s Eggs and how we used to eat there before the virus?”
He said it so wistfully that it made me sad. Like now he measures time as Before Virus (BV) and After Virus (AV).
All of us, though, are having similar thoughts.
Remember when I had a job…was planning that trip I had to cancel…was going to march in graduation…could be with my mother in her nursing home or hospital…was having a huge Easter celebration…could go to church…didn’t fear for my family’s life?
I certainly don’t understand everything that’s going on around us and why certain decisions are being made, but here we are.
What I CAN do is pray, a lot, for God’s wisdom and protection for all involved in this mess. That’s basically the whole world, and for our nation in particular.
When I zoom down to my own life, or the lives of so many that I love, I do find myself at times remembering when…and if I’m not careful, fear and sadness can rule my thoughts.
That’s why yesterday morning, when I read these verses, I was so tremendously encouraged.
“But as for me, I trust in You, Oh Lord. I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in Your hand.” (Psalm 31:14-15a)
The word “times” here doesn’t just mean that my lifespan is in God’s hands. David also meant “…all the kaleidoscope of circumstances that meet him left and right. Calvin rightly draws attention to the plural form – ‘times’, and says that David uses it to ‘mark the variety of casualties by which the life of man is usually harassed.’ (Dale Ralph Davis, In the Presence of My Enemies)
Beside verses in my Bible, I often write a date and sometimes a note to remind me of when and how God especially spoke to me through that verse. I call them my memorial stones.
Beside those two verses above, I had written “Nov., 1994.” I was going through a stressful time concerning a possible health issue and the death of my Grandma. We lived in Leavenworth, Gary was deployed for training in the military, I had three little ones, Aaron’s special needs were getting more difficult, and I was far from home and family. But God reached down in that chaos and stress, and He told me very sweetly and clearly that those times…MY times…were in His loving hand.
Now here I was yesterday, with COVID-19 and all its issues swirling around us and those we love, and I was remembering when…
Remembering when God spoke to me all those years ago in another stress.
Remembering when God filled me with peace.
Remembering when God proved His promise to be my God, then, and is doing the same now.
“How often the truth of this text has proven a bastion and bulwark for God’s servants. Ulrich Zwingli, a reformer in Zurich, was visiting his people, trying to console sick and dying. The plague had some to Zurich in August 1519. By autumn Zwingli himself had succumbed to the disease. Confined to bed and staring death in the face, Zwingli prayed: ‘Do as you will, for I lack nothing. I am your vessel to be restored or destroyed.’ Different words, to be sure, but actually just a paraphrase of ‘My times are in your hand.’ One can rest there even in the plague.” (Dale Ralph Davis)
We can rest in God’s hands and in His times for us individually…for our families…for our friends…for our nation…for our world.
Now, beside these verses, I have added a new memorial note: “ COVID-19, April, 2020.”
May God’s promises and His faithfulness be what I remember when I’m “remembering when!”