Thoughts From The Hill…

Dear Friends:

During the first week of virtual camp in June, Katie, a college student, walked in to The Hill office. She had come to help out. I hadn’t seen her in months. I did not even think; I called out her name and ran up and threw my arms around her and gave her a big hug just like I would normally do. Then, in a split second, I remembered that the most natural action in the world had become taboo. I jumped back.

“Oh my goodness, Katie,” I said, “I am so sorry. You are the first person I’ve done that to, hugged you without thinking or asking. I am so sorry.”

“It’s okay,” she said with a big grin, “I’ve just learned to hold my breath when that happens.”

It was a scene worthy of a comedy routine and we giggled, but I couldn’t help the sadness rising up in me. I miss hugging my friends and family. I miss walking in a coffee shop and sitting across a small table from a friend. I miss leaning over the counter at the post office talking with Jan without a plexiglass barrier. I miss visiting with friends without six feet between us. And I miss worshipping directly next to my brothers and sisters in Christ. 

Wading through our new normal can cause sweaty palms and sleepless nights, and leave us wondering if God is aware or if he has disappeared. Fear is rampant and weariness is palpable. Thoughts of catching the virus or passing it on, losing our jobs, and worry over government control and our children’s education is threatening to devour our peace. The correct mindset is essential but sometimes evasive. At times we need to fight for that upon which we meditate. A beautiful psalm of David, 139, is magnificent in its description of our security in God and His constant presence. 

“O Lord, Thou hast searched me and known me. 2 Thou dost know when I sit down and when I rise up; Thou dost understand my thoughts from afar. 3 Thou dost scrutinize my path and my lying down, and art intimately acquainted with all my ways. 4 Even before there is a word on my tongue, behold, Lord Thou dost know all. 6 Thou hast enclosed me behind and before. And laid Thy hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot contain it. 7 Where can I go from Thy Spirit? Or where can I flee from Thy presence? 8 If I ascend to heaven Thou art there; 9 If I take the wings of the dawn If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, 10 Even there Thy hand will lead me, And Thy right hand will lay hold of me.” (Psalm 139:1-10)

The most isolated and inaccessible of places! And yet He remains and desires to be with us. He is our Abba, our intimate Father. Escaping His presence is impossible. He will not leave us for even a moment. No amount of fear, uncertainty, frustration, or anger can push him away. His love won’t allow it.