The Next Right Thing – By MVC Guest Author, Lisa Cox
When Frozen 2 came out, I was not the first in line to see it. Heck, even when it was released on video I waited. I first heard the song, “The Next Right Thing” when I was listening to Disney songs on Pandora before all things COVID had started. (That’s what we put on to motivate ourselves to clean at our house. Hey, if it works for Mary Poppins….) When I heard the lyric, “This grief has a gravity that pulls me down” I stopped what I was doing and sobbed. I had not heard my grief explained so well. Ten years ago I lost my brother very suddenly. Some days it still feels as though my grief weighs a ton. Now this song rings truer in my ears as the grief of quarantine lingers daily. Summer vacation has come and is now nearly gone and life still feels heavy and hope still feels far away.
Another line from the song says, “How to rise from the floor? But it’s not you I’m rising for.” That’s kind of how I feel about where we are now. How do I get up and keep moving forward with this heaviness pulling me down? How do I help to pull my family up when they too feel grounded with this grief? I had a mental conversation with myself this morning while gardening. (I find THE Gardener speaks loudest in my garden.) My husband and I had been texting about the mental health of our son. He stated that the quarantine situation seemed to be sucking the hope out of people. I could only agree because it is something I was still struggling with. The light at the end of the quarantine tunnel seems to be dimming instead of getting brighter. As I wrestled with this idea of hope being sucked away, another song came to mind. “My hope is built on less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness” and the wrestling match grew more intense. “That’s the churchy answer! What’s hope look like in real life?” The answer came back in scripture, when you’re weary- cast your burdens on Him, may the God of hope fill you with joy… that you may abound in hope, ask, seek, knock.
Great reminders of where my focus has been- on my circumstances and the lack of certainty I feel, not on the one who has the power to change my heart, my mind and the circumstances we are in. So a friendly reminder to myself, my family and to those of you reading: “Not only so but we glory in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5 (NIV)
Let us rise from the floor friends, with hearts and minds lightened from the weight of grief. Let us take the next step and do the next right thing by giving our burdens to God first, not Facebook, by allowing this time of suffering to produce character within us and not tear down the character of others, and set our hope on the Author and Perfecter of our faith.