God’s Box

A devotional by Lee Piper, chairperson, Finance Committee

March 30, 2020

My heart is in anguish within me. Stark fear overpowers me. Trembling and horror overwhelm me.
Psalm 55:4-5 (The Living Bible)

With the COVID-19 pandemic, we are experiencing great uncertainty and a sense of helplessness. We worry about our jobs as thousands of workers are laid-off, the value of our retirement savings as the stock market declines, and the health of loved ones and friends as statistics reveal increased infections and deaths due to the coronavirus. Retailers run out of certain food items, paper products and cleaning supplies. Hospitals and other medical facilities run short of essential supplies to care for those inflicted with this virus. Federal, state and local governments shut-down many aspects of our economy. Politicians wrangle over how to provide help to those impacted by this disease and the efforts to contain it. We become isolated from our family and friends and are unable to gather as a group to worship God and study His word.

We, as individuals, watch all of these events with a sense of helplessness. We have little or no control over these events, so what are we to do? We are told to take comfort in knowing that God, who created the universe, is in control. Being somewhat of a “control freak” (e.g., I plan every pleasure trip we take in 15-minute increments on a spreadsheet), I find this directive to be easier said than done. Recently, as I lay awake in my bed pondering all of the potential consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak, I finally concluded that I would try and focus on those things over which I had some degree of control and give to God (and not worry about) those things over which I had no control. To manifest this decision, I took a cardboard box with a lid, cut a slot in the lid and wrote on the lid “GOD’S BOX – THINGS I HAVE NO CONTROL OVER”. When my thoughts turn to a matter over which I have no control, I write the matter on a slip of paper and deposit the slip into “God’s Box”. I then stop worrying about these matters and trust that He will deal with them in His own time and in His own way.

PRAYER: Our Heavenly Father, help us to remember that you created this universe and are in control and to turn over to you those matters over which we have no control, remembering the words of Philippians 4:6-7 (NRSV) – “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” We ask these things in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.