By Aaron Geist, associate director of financial aid
“These are uncertain times.” That is a statement we’ve all heard repeatedly these last couple months. I’ve heard it from companies and advertisements, pastors and school administrators, and in conversations every day. Though all times are uncertain, our world collectively realizes the unpredictable nature of this COVID-19 season. We feel it together as if driving through a thick fog.
I recall the time I drove through Sacramento, California, at 2 a.m. in a dense, almost unnavigable fog. I wasn’t alone but had three sleeping passengers on the way home from a college bowl game. We were driving our friend’s car, which had only high beams for working lights! You couldn’t see far ahead anyway, which was made worse by the headlights reflecting off the fog. Even the tail lights of cars further on down the road only lit up within a short distance. It was true white-knuckle driving.
Uncertain times feel much like that fog. My mom always used to say that God’s favorite weather is fog, because it is in those times that we must trust in him for every step. She said this while facing a brain cancer diagnosis after having beaten breast cancer just five years before. And she meant it, too. At times her mind was foggy from the disease, but for our family, we could not see the road ahead. She modeled what it meant to trust in God, and though not a Bruin, she stood tall declaring God’s faithfulness until the day she went to be with the Lord. It’s not that she didn’t have questions for God in the uncertainty, but she trusted him because of his past faithfulness.
When my fourth son was born this past fall, he was born with aspirated meconium and spent two of his five weeks in the NICU on a ventilator. The first week was full of uncertainty, and no one could give us an idea on if/when we could leave. I feared a situation like that before his birth and yet experienced peace in the midst of our journey. Along with our sadness, waiting and questioning, we trusted that God is good and that He knew the outcome already. He knew what was on the other side of our fog, and that had to be enough. We praise God for our son’s recovery and the joy he is to our family! (As a side note for you nursing majors, you make a huge difference and can change the course of a patient’s stay! Our two biggest turning points came from nurses’ suggestions to the doctor).
One of my favorite Psalms is Psalm 13. In it, David finds himself in a fog, asking God how long it is going to seem like God is hiding from him, indifferent to his circumstances. “How long,” David asks God in four different ways. You too can ask God the honest questions of your heart, in whatever uncertain fog you find yourself right now. He is a bigger God than the questions we could ask.
But in the questions, and in the wondering of what lies ahead one year, one month, or even one day: Follow the lead of David. He closes his song of questions with rejoicing and singing. His trust is in the Lord’s steadfast love, his salvation, and how God has worked in the past. Even though we cannot see tomorrow, may our certainty in God’s love, salvation and work bring us the peace we long for today.
Aaron grew up and now lives in Tigard with his wife of almost 15 years and their four sons. He has served at George Fox since August 2018 in the financial aid office. He enjoys making pour-over coffee, playing board and video games with his kids, and playing assorted instruments with any spare time.