After a weekend (pre lock down)of hosting family, I finally got some time to myself to just be – a very necessary for an introvert. I sat on the floor next to the radiator, enjoying the warmth but struggling to calm my racing mind. In that moment I sensed a familiar invitation from the Father to still my heart and lean against him. Immediately I heard through the open window the sound of chirping birds. The sweet melody of their rest was soothing and I found myself slowly sinking into his arms until most of the tension was eased.
The next day, I was back in the office. After a morning of what is now the usual hum of discussions about the Coronavirus, transitioning to a cacophony of impassioned debates about the government’s approach and finally building up to a crescendo of the things we’re afraid of – the lack of loo roll (I was down to 1 and a half rolls), the loss of a holiday to Italy, a vulnerable family member and of course, death itself. Finally a pregnant atmosphere delicatedly laced with fear settled in our office – the calm before the storm perhaps.
I decided to go out for a walk for my lunch and enjoy some quiet time with Him. Stepping into the crisp but gloriously sunny Spring afternoon, I lifted my eyes towards Him and began to breathe again. As I did so, all the tension started to lift and I noticed that sweet melody. The birdsong was even sweeter than it had been yesterday. The song soloed and dueted. It chimed and chirped. And without needing permission, it dove gracefully and rose powerfully, culminating into a beautiful twirl of praise. I was awestruck and looked around to see if anyone had heard it – it seemed impossible to miss in my eyes.
My mind wandered to a well known scripture “look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”
These are the words Jesus spoke to his followers as he encouraged them to not be anxious about their lives and to trust in their heavenly Father who knows that they need all the things they worry about.
As I walked through the streets which perpetually seem to carry a prevailing fear, I marvelled at the birds’ irreverence. I loved their ability to transform this eerily quiet atmosphere into peaceful rest and dare I say, brilliant praise to an unfailing and loving Father “What joy for those whose strength comes from the LORD”.
I reached the ASDA store and went down the toilet paper aisle for the billionth time and yup you guessed, still nothing. Later that week, a colleague kindly started a collection for me and got us 3 rolls. My boss managed to order a pack of 4 for us with her milk round. My mother in law sent us 3 rolls and my sister sent us one of her surprise packages with 18 rolls (and a bag of coconut covered marshmallows). So one week later, we are now accidental hoarders of 28 toilet rolls! So it turns my Heavenly Father really does know we need these things.
Now, I know that in the grand scheme of things, loo roll is the very least of our concerns. On a more serious note, I believe that the God who orchestrated my loo roll bounty is the same God brought me out of hospital last year. Following major surgery, I had complications which in short left me fighting for my life. During that time, I did not know if I’d make it but I remember the moments of peace in God’s presence. That peace with says “You’re alright kid, I’ve still got you”.
So in this time, I believe we come to God and ask for our desired outcomes. And after we’re done, we get up from the floor, wash our faces, put on a fresh change of clothes, then we worship God – just like the birds do. In that place, we find Him who is our rest, the quietener of hearts and our salvation – even through this particular storm.