Are You Wrestling With God?

by Brittany Hart

I would encourage each of you to think about or write down some of your feelings  during this bizarre time in our lives.

For me, I'm feeling: 

LONELY: I'm afraid to be around my friends or family in case I might potentially infect them without knowing. So I go to work and then I come straight home to an empty house.

SAD: I'm about to be an aunt, Lord willing, in June, and my parents are about to be grandparents. This is such an exciting time in our lives! But I'm saddened by the thought that we may not be able to hold Henry until he is a few months old.

ANXIOUS: Our patient census is down so low right now that our hours have been reduced at work which of course affects our income. "How long will this go on? 2 weeks? 2 months? Longer?? I'm the sole provider for my household and I have bills to pay!"

OVERWHELMED: Never in my life have I ever had to learn so much new information at such a fast pace and then that information possibly be irrelevant by the next day. As healthcare providers, our learning never stops after graduation, we continue to learn about disease processes, new medications, updates to clinical guidelines and standards of care. We have to stay current with the guidelines to safely and effectively treat our patients. Throwing COVID-19 into the mix of an already stressful career is very overwhelming. It's scary to think that the doctor knows just as much information about this virus as the patient! Healthcare providers don't like to feel powerless to help or unable to cure an illness.

FEAR: I fear the toll this illness is going to take on our healthcare system. Will there be enough doctors and nurses to meet the demands? Will there be enough equipment such as ventilators to meet the need? Will the paramedics take 30 minutes to arrive instead of 5 minutes? Will we have enough PPE to protect ourselves? Will we have to watch our loved ones die from a distance? These are just a few concerns and fears that are going through the minds of many healthcare workers at this time.

Today I read Genesis 32:22-32 about Jacob wrestling with God. This is not really a passage I have ever thought very much about, but today I'm using this scripture as the center of my devotional thought.

Similar to Jacob, I, too, am a twin (also born 2nd like Jacob). My brother, Grant, is 6 minutes older than I am, and when we were growing up, he repeatedly reminded me that he was the firstborn. For example: during summer break, if I were lying on the couch watching my favorite TV show (Matlock), if I got off the couch to go use the restroom, when I returned, guess what I would see....Grant lying on the couch AND eating my snacks. Of course like any typical loving sibling would do, I would yell at him to get off the couch because I was there first, and his response was always the same, "No Brittany, actually I was here first." This used to make me so mad! Who knew 6 minutes could make someone so powerful and superior??
In Genesis, Jacob deceived Esau twice to get his firstborn rights and blessing. Because of this, Esau had vowed to kill Jacob, so in Genesis 32:22, Jacob is on his journey back home to his brother Esau. I'm sure after all that had transpired in Jacob's life, he, too, had many of the same feelings as we are having today: loneliness, anxiousness, fear, sadness, powerlessness, and feeling overwhelmed during this uncertain time and wondering what would happen next. That's where all of us are right now--wondering "What is going to happen next??" The fear of the unknown can be paralyzing. Many of us would be fine if we were promised that by April 25 life would be back to normal. We could make plans and preparations and we'd overcome, but no one can give us an end date to this surreal situation.

Like Jacob, this is a time of conflict in our lives and we may find ourselves "wrestling with God" until daybreak. The Bible never tells us that our lives will be easy or that just because we follow Christ that we will be immune to pain, loss, sadness, and trials. But we are told that no matter what we are going through, God is present. And numerous times throughout scripture, we see God's inevitable blessing follow the struggle. In one of Danny's recent sermons, he said "sometimes God tests our faith to grow our faith." While Jacob was wrestling with God, this struggle transformed Jacob, and he became a new creation, "Israel," and was filled with God's blessings. The only way we can truly grow and become stronger as Christians and in our faith is to go through times of pain, hardship, and struggle.
Trust in God, and by daybreak His blessings will come. I
 am already seeing God working through people to bless others, and I encourage you to do the same. Look for God and you will find Him. Even though you may be stuck at home, I promise God is out there working. Let these struggles we are wrestling with transform us for the BETTER, rather than the bitter.

Stay safe and spread love and kindness instead of germs.
Brittany Hart

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