Day Three Hundred Forty-Three “Empty Shelves, Lost Peace”
What started as an ordinary Monday morning trip to the grocery store was quickly transformed into a one-on-one lesson on peace today. With my organized list in hand and my reusable storage bags in tow, I sanitized the handle of my shopping cart and was on my way. I had watched the news, was well aware that a virus was in the process of running amok in our nation, but I am a bit of a germaphobe anyway, so I scrub my hands constantly, clean my house to excess, and tend to be overly cautious, all side effects of being a teacher and surviving in the Petri dish of germ-laden school classrooms for decades. But this was far from an mundane day at the grocers for me. With a trip down each row, I became painfully aware that panic had already reared its ugly head; cold medications, gone; canned goods, sparse; meats and cheeses, low supply; eggs, nonexistent. But it was when I got to the toilet paper aisle and found empty displays that my heart began to feed into the fear.
Fear is a destructive emotion, and it was certainly on the move today. Let me make this clear, I did not need toilet paper; I had enough at home to supply a small country for years; that item was nowhere on my well-planned list, but I had to buy some, now! I made a second stop at a dollar store on the way home to search out and to buy the unneeded paper…along with four dispensers of Clorox wipes, bottles of disinfectant spray, and paper towels, also not needed. As I sat in the parking lot, so pleased with the bountiful booty I had gathered, I realized that I had fallen victim to my enemy’s vast arsenal of lies. I had listened as Satan whispered that God was no longer in control, my life was in eminent danger, the storm was going to be too strong for my God to handle, so I just had to help. As I walked the aisles of that store, I allowed myself to dwell on those lies, with the sight of each bare shelf fanning the flames of fear. I had succumbed to its bondage; I had temporarily misplaced His peace. I was standing beside the prophet Elijah, quivering in the cave of panic and loss of control, sharing his wavering trust.
But praise God for His “still, small voice,” that sweet voice that gently reminded me of Isaiah’s exhortation: “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” As I sat in the car and repeated “stayed on thee” aloud, over and over again, fear faded into peace, the peace that only my God can supply. As my attention abandoned the fear and focused on the Father, His peace enveloped me with a warmth and love that overwhelmed me.
Will I continue to be cautious? Most certainly, my bout with Lymes taught me that a virus can ravage a body and destroy health quickly. Will I take precautions due to my age and limit exposure as much as humanly possible? Yes, I will act wisely and prudently to protect myself and my family. But will I strive with all my heart to keep my mind stayed on Him, my focus on a God Who is still on the throne, a God Who controls every aspect of my life, a God Who works absolutely everything in my life for my good? By God’s grace, I will certainly try, as I keep my mind “stayed” on Him.
Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Lord, my future is so safe in Your arms; help me to trust in Your love and care even when the waters are rough. Help me to act prudently, but also to lean ultimately on You.
INEXPENSIVE HEALTH TIP: After suffering a compromised immune system as a result of Lymes, I found the need to gradually rebuild that immune system. Here is a simple, yet highly effective boost to your vitamin C input. I bought an inexpensive hand juice squeezer at Walmart a few years back. Twice a week, I squeeze the juice out of app. 6-8 lemons. I take that juice and freeze it, undiluted, in ice cube trays. Each day I fill my stainless steel water thermos with 2 or 3 of those lemon cubes, a few regular ice cubes, and water. The lemon cubes will melt in the course of the day, constantly supplying you with a refreshing dose of vitamin C. I DO NOT add sugar, so it may take a while to get used to the taste of unsweetened lemonade; stick with it. This has replaced all other liquids for me in the course of a day. It has improved my immunity and reduced the number of kidney stones I get. And I even enjoy the taste now.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-2041-6422b29cb5256' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=2041&origin=grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-2041-6422b29cb5256' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-2041-6422b29cb5256' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>