What a wild past couple of weeks this has been. Allow me to share a few updates from life here in Northern California:
- We underwent an unrelenting heatwave, with temperatures at or near 100F for several days;
- The state began initiating rolling blackouts, as the levels of energy consumption skyrocketed;
- Unexpectedly, we experienced thousands of lightning strikes and the startling mighty roar of thunder all over the state. Understand that we do not experience these things much in California, and when I saw the flash of light from my window, I was quite alarmed!
- Between the heat and humidity, I had to vacate my toasty little apartment, so I am now staying with family (much cooler, thankfully!).
- As a consequence of all of the lightning strikes, our state is on fire — you all have no doubt heard about it on the news. Everything seems to be burning.
- As a consequence of the fire, we now have some of the worst air quality in the world, depending on the day and time. One air quality app I use described the breathing conditions one day as “airpocalypse”. So I have been indoors since Tuesday and am not sure when I can go home or even go outside.
- Then the wind came, but the fires continue to proliferate. Thankfully the temperatures are coming down (upper 80s and low 90s), but the air still smells very smoky. We have been warned that more inclement weather may be on the way, though,
- And not to forget the COVID crisis here in California, where numbers continue to increase, and most counties in the Bay Area (including mine) remain on the state watch list.
Crazy times, no?
I am okay. Asthma was an issue initially, but so long as I stay inside and keep taking my medicine, I am stable. I was quickly reminded that asthma, heat, and humidity do not mix well! I am grateful to be staying with family (who have been sheltering in place as I have done).
Otherwise, things are surprisingly good. I am reminded of the plagues of Egypt and none of what is happening in our state and world really surprises me — except the lightning and thunder, of course! I do miss being in my apartment, but am grateful to be in a safe place where the temperatures are much cooler. And just like in Egypt, there was an end to the plagues — we just have to wait and do whatever the Lord tells us to do so that we remain safe.
I have also ordered a small and inexpensive respirator. The thing looks terrifying, but gives me options if I ever have to go outside again when the air is bad — I can do so without further compromising my health (I want to keep the N95 masks available for our front line emergency workers who need them more urgently than I do).
Why do I share all of this?
I know that these troubling things are happening in other parts of the nation and world. It sure looks like things are spiraling out of control, right?
But they are not.
The Lord is still in control and everything is firmly in His hand. We can trust that these bad circumstances will eventually pass, but we must seek Him earnestly and not let the enemy’s deceptive agenda distract us. Here is what this means to me, practically speaking:
- Seek opportunities to unify and not divide;
- Whenever possible, use your words to build up rather than tear down;
- Let your thoughts be governed by the Spirit, rather than your emotions;
- Make no idol out of any person, place or thing — and especially not a political party or outcome of an election;
- Notice the good that is happening around you. Look carefully — it is there if you have eyes to see it.
- Practice gratitude daily and praise God often for the little things and the big ones, too — they all come from Him;
- Remember He has a plan and is still working it out. Remember the book of Revelation? The Good Guy wins in the end….
Hang in there and stay strong! God’s still got this. ✝️