"How are you hanging on?'

On numerous occasions during these past months of coping with life-issues in the midst of the Coronavirus Pandemic, I have been asking this question of friends and acquaintances, "How are you hanging on?" I sense a lot of angst, uncertainty, and agitation in the expressions of many these days. I am learning that empathetic listening is therapeutic for others and for me as well. There are stories that need to be told and we are helped by hearing them and in sharing them.

Monique and I ventured out of town recently on a grocery run and to eat "carry out" at one of our favorite haunts. We usually frequent this eatery on Friday evenings, but this time it was midweek. We have only given ourselves permission to do this once before so we are novices concerning the necessary protocols that are involved. We refreshed our preferences by looking at an online menu while out front and then we called in our order.

Everything fell in place rather quickly. The order was taken and they told us it would be about 15 minutes to receive our food. They also pointed out that we would need to come into the "general store" in order to process the gift card we intended to use. We made our way down the street and waited in an abandoned parking lot until the time passed.

We knew our way around this restaurant and planned to walk right up to the register at the end of the counter as we have done so many times before. As we entered the store donning our masks, it was obvious how depressing it all looked without the presence of a single customer. After paying, we carried our meal neatly packed for carry out in a large sack to the car. Everything was hot and delicious. But it felt so odd eating outside of the restaurant!

Sitting with our meals in our laps, we reflected on how this virus has so radically changed our way of life. As the polite young lady at the checkout station rang up our purchase, I had asked that engaging question, "How are you hanging on?" Without hesitation, she remarked with a downcast spirit, "It hasn't been easy. There are three managers back in the kitchen doing all of the cooking. The other three of us are managing the store." While we haven't been out all that much over the last months, we have read and seen media accounts concerning the devastating impact this shutdown has had on the restaurant industry.  Two-thirds of the employees have been furloughed and billions of dollars have been lost in revenue. This was the first time we had seen this demoralizing situation up close!

How are you hanging on? Some of us are fond of answering a similar question this way, "How are you doing? Better than I deserve!" Now, that goes without saying. Most of us can declare, "We are blessed beyond all measure!" Yet, both of these affirmations may not adequately describe the real concerns that others are dealing with in this economic downturn. Without wearing my "preacher's hat" too tightly, I like to be reminded often of a few Bible promises that speak to the fears and uncertainties that many are facing.

Here are six favorite "go to" promises from the Word of God that continue to serve me well whenever I feel out-of-balance emotionally and spiritually...
     1. God promises us His peace (Isaiah 26:1-8; Philippians 4:6-7).
     2. God promises us His perspective (Proverbs 3:5-6; Matthew 7:7-8).
     3. God promises us His purpose (Jeremiah 29:10-14, 33:3; Romans 8:28).
     4. God promises us His provision (Philippians 4:10-20).
     5. God promises us His presence (Psalm 23:1-6).
     6. God promises us His pardon (1 John 1:5-2:2).

Let's be sensitive listeners during these stressful and challenging times. And... let's continue to hold to the hopeful promises of God as we encourage and pray for others!

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,
active churchman and
doting grandparent.
Contact: drmjkeppler@gmail.com





Comments

  1. Living on the Promises of God my King, just like the song says. What better way to live. Amen.

    ReplyDelete

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