Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:4-8 NRSV)
In my earliest years, my Mama Tuck (grandmother Tucker) would rock me in her arms, gently stroking my hair as I wept over some hurt of scraped knee or disappointment. She would gently tell me that “It will be all right. Everything will work out in the end.” I keep thinking about her words lately.
Currently Rick and I are in the lovely little town of Norwood, Massachusetts, keeping an eye on The Grandson while his parents are working from home. We are all tired of staying home, wearing masks (although we do all wear them whenever we go out), having toenails that resemble Howard Hughes (young people will have to look that up), and shaggy hair. We miss going to worship together and singing the hymns of the church. We miss going out to eat with our friends, and having folks over to our house. When it all started, I thought this would only last a few weeks at most. I was wrong. It just seems to go on and on.
As we (Rick, son, Daughter-in-law, me) were discussing how this seems to be the situation that has no end, how in the beginning we thought we had enough toilet paper and Lysol to last through the pandemic, and how there seems to be only sporadic items on grocery shelves, and how yeast is totally gone from the earth, our dear daughter-in-law, Andi, mentioned how she had recently read an article about how the Icelanders have a wonderful philosophy of life that is, “petta reddast!” (Pronounced thet-ta red-ust. It basically means, “It will all work out in the end.” It is a phrase heard frequently in this land of volcanic eruptions, bitter winters where there is sunlight for only four hours a day,and dreadful windstorms in most any season. Paul, seems to say something similar, further on in Philippians 4, “I have learned to be content with whatever I have.”
It seems a good philosophy for these days in our country as well. We may as well find contentment and hope for tomorrow in whatever comes our way in the time of Coronavirus, killer hornets, hurricanes, political arguments, and dust from the Sahara desert blowing across our state. Let’s think of the pure and just and true and honorable. Let us pray and sing (preferably alone, outdoors) our praises in whose loving arms we rest, and in whose gracious care we trust.
Look for the beautiful, look for the true;
look for the beautiful, life’s journey through,
Seeking true loveliness, joy you will know,
As to the home above, onward we know.
Dear Lord, keep us in your care, and help us to seek the true, and honorable, and pure, and pleasing, and just, and commendable. Show us how to be content with whatever we have, knowing that we have you. Amen.
Pastor Rachel Moser