“He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord” (Ps. 112:7).
We’ve had an onslaught of bad news in recent weeks. As the coronavirus spread its way across the world, the news became more grim. And it continues each day. Every morning, we wake up to an updated account of how many people are sick with COVID-19 and how many have died. Every evening, we hear a recap of closures, orders, and decisions made by the government. On social media, we pass the news around like a hot potato from one person to the next. We text our friends and relatives, “Did you hear this? . . . This is what is happening here. . . . I can’t believe this is happening.”
Overwhelmed by Bad News
It’s hard not to feel overwhelmed by all that is going on. This pandemic has upended the lives of nearly every person around the globe. For those of us who are moms, daily routines have been flipped upside down. The kids are at home, and in addition to our usual responsibilities, we are now tasked with home instruction, something many of us were never prepared for. We make our weekly trip to the grocery store for food and can’t find the items we need. And amid all of it, we feel disconnected from our friends and family because of social distancing.
My own heart is overwhelmed by all that is happening. My emotions are overwhelmed. I find myself fearful, lonely, and apprehensive all at once. My mind is overwhelmed with how to keep my kids busy without letting them play video games all day while also keeping up with my other tasks. I find myself overwhelmed by the uncertainty of the future. How long will we be stuck at home? How long will we be separated from loved ones? How long will the kids’ routine be upended? And then I go to the what-ifs: What if we get sick? The kids have asthma; what if the illness triggers it? What if my husband loses his job? What if the economy tanks?
I am also challenged with having to explain what is going on to my children. They are at an age when friendship is important to them; it’s hard for them not to be with their friends in person. They are disappointed by the cancellation of events they were looking forward to. They are bored and want life to return to normal. They don’t quite understand the reason for the extreme measures we are taking.
Good News for the Overwhelmed Heart
Yet, in all the bad news, there is good news. As the psalmist wrote in Psalm 112, “He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord” (v. 7). This psalm is a wisdom psalm, describing the life of one who follows the Lord. The psalmist used the covenant name for God, Yahweh, translated into English with small caps—“Lord.” He is not fearful of bad news because he trusts in who God is: Yahweh, the Great I Am.
This is the name God used when He met Moses on Mount Horeb and told him He would rescue the Israelites from slavery. Moses asked, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your father has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” (Ex. 3:13). God answered, “I am who I am” (v. 14).
God is the Great I Am. This name is one of the richest names for God in the Bible. It is used to describe God’s eternal existence, His sovereign control over all things, His acts of redemption, and His covenantal presence with His people.
This name is also the name Jesus used to describe Himself in John 8, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58). Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God incarnate; He is God in the flesh. He is the fulfillment of God’s promise to be our God and dwell among us. He came to live the life we could not live and died the death we deserved. And through His Spirit sent to live within us, He is ever present with us.
The good news for overwhelmed moms bombarded with bad news is that our sovereign, eternal, all powerful God is present with us.
The Great I Am is with us in this pandemic.
When we find ourselves exhausted from trying to wrangle resistant children to sit down and do their schoolwork, we can trust in our Savior who gives us grace upon grace. We can cry out to Him for patience in that moment. We can pray for strength and endurance. And when we fail to be the moms we want to be, we can trust that Christ is perfect for us.
When we find ourselves overwhelmed by all the “what ifs” and “how longs,” we can pray those questions to God and know that He hears us. While we do not know what the future holds, our sovereign God knows. He determined all that will happen before time began. Nothing happens outside His control; He is not surprised by anything. And He goes before us, preparing the way.
When we worry about not having enough, not being enough, and not knowing enough, we can trust that Christ is enough for us. He is Jehovah Jireh. He owns all things and provides all that we need. He is sufficient for us in our weaknesses and inadequacies. He is wisdom for us.
Dear moms, we live in a time of great unknown. Don’t be surprised when you feel overwhelmed by bad news and uncertainty. Instead, turn to the good news. Look to Jesus Christ, the Great I Am. In the midst of this pandemic, know that He is present with you.