Lessons from Lockdown: Cloudy Vision

Thursday 9 July 2020

I'm back for the final post in the Lessons from Lockdown series, which kind of ended up more like a trilogy than a series... haha. But hey, my intentions were good! You might also have noticed that Teaching in the Tropics has had a makeover since the last blog post. After 5 years, I felt like the site needed a new, modern look that also reflects what this space has evolved into. The wonderful Kassie from Designs by Kassie did an amazing job with the new blog design! She was a joy to work with and I am so thrilled with how it turned out!

Today I want to share one more lesson that I've learned over the past three and a half months. We are now out of the "lockdown" phase here in the Cayman Islands, with many restrictions having been lifted. However, there are still many questions and unknowns. Despite this being dubbed the year of "2020 Vision," the future has never been more unclear. Just recently, a giant Saharan dust cloud made its way across the Caribbean, causing hazy skies here for several days. I was shocked to discover that I couldn't even watch the sunset because of the poor visibility. As I thought about that, I realized that it was a pretty good illustration of what this year has been like so far.

Uncertainty has been no stranger in my life over the past few years. I even wrote about it in a personal blog post in December 2017. Still, the Coronavirus pandemic has brought about a worldwide uncertainty like nothing I've seen before - especially in the teaching community. And while all of this uncertainty seems like a nightmare, I've realized that, in some ways, it might just be a blessing in disguise. The thing is, as uncomfortable as uncertainty is, it reminds me that I'm not in control - and that's a good thing. When I remember that I don't have all the answers, I can lift my gaze to the One who does. When the future is unclear and everything is changing, I'm reminded that God is sovereign and unchanging, that I can trust Him no matter what my current circumstances may be. 

Last summer, while reading an excerpt of a book by Neil T. Anderson, I was struck by this quote:

"If we’re serious about our walk with God, He will test us to determine if we love Him or His blessings. He may cloud the future so we learn to walk by faith and not by sight or feelings." 

This truth was so profound to me that I typed it in a sticky note on my computer screen, where it's been ever since. As I sat down to write this blog post, my mind immediately went back to that quote. It's easy to say we love and trust God when life is going well and things are working out according to plan. But in times of uncertainty, I've learned to trust that He's the God of the hills and the valleys (1 Kings 20:28). I've learned to love my God for who He is, not for what He can give me. I've learned to place my security and my hope in Him, not in my circumstances. It's a lesson I'm still learning in the cloudiness of 2020, and for that I'm grateful.

Friend, I don't know what the rest of 2020 is going to look like, but I know the One who leads the way, the God who "[makes] a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland" (Isaiah 43:19). Instead of embracing fear, let us embrace this opportunity to trust Him more as we follow Him into the unknown. Let us walk by faith and not by sight. And when we look back at 2020 and all that happened, may we see more clearly than ever how His faithfulness brought us through.

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