God@Work: Ellie Jones
Over the next several weeks, we will be sharing how the Lord is working specifically in the lives of a few people in our church family during this unprecedented time. Our hope is that these stories give glory to God and spur us on. While the story is still unfolding and we may not know exactly what the Lord is doing, we want to encourage each other to look to Him.
by Ellie Jones, High School senior
As I am writing this, I am curled up in the front seat of my car sobbing. And they aren't tears of joy. It isn’t because I was moved spiritually by something beautiful. It isn’t out of love and thankfulness to God. In complete and raw honesty, my tears are definitely tears of frustration and misery and deep disappointment. Frustration with my parents because they are getting on my nerves, misery because I am lonely and cannot see my friends who bring me so much joy every day and deep disappointment because the way I had thought this year would end was completely different.
This season of life is incredibly difficult for me.
Again, being completely honest, I don’t like being around my family all. the. time. I don’t like doing the same things every day, even if they aren’t boring in and of themselves. You can only paint so many pictures, bake so many cookies, read so many books and watch so many movies before variety is essential.
I don’t like it when people cross to the other side of the street to stay the respected six feet away from me when I’m running in my neighborhood. I don’t like being away from my friends. And most of all, I don’t like that everything I was looking forward to this semester was either canceled or postponed. My last choir performances, my last prom, my end of the year recognition banquets, my graduation... these are only a few of the things that I worked really hard to be able to enjoy during these last two months of the semester, and now I can’t. It’s not fair.
It’s not fair.
It isn’t. For anyone. I will not try to say otherwise. But, I have to trust that God is using this season to change me. And I have to trust that He is using it to change others too. I have to trust that He has something in store that is so much better than anything my senior year could give me.
I can’t see the full picture of how God is at work right now. I sometimes (okay, a lot of the time) wish that this quarantine would have never happened. I wish that God could have maybe, you know, picked a little more convenient time to have a global pandemic. I wish that life could go back to normal tomorrow. But I know (and I trust) that God is using this time for good, primarily because that is what His Word says and also because He has proven Himself faithful in the past.
There is no easy answer to suffering.
There is no way to make it stop. And that’s because we are not in control (and if there’s one thing I’ve learned from all this corona stuff, it’s that). But, we follow a God who is in control, a God who is faithful, a God who is good and a God who is at work.
In Romans 8 Paul writes, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us… Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience… And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good… No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
I write this in the middle of heartache, confusion and exhaustion. But I cannot wait to look back with my friends, family and church, and celebrate how God was at work all along.