On March 6, 2020 Sophie and I had the joy of welcoming our first child into the world, Nora Fast. The days following were filled with excitement imagining all the memories we would make, along with the weight of responsibility associated with caring for another human. And on March 22nd I was given the call, like many people have received, notifying me that due to COVID-19 my company was unable to keep me employed.
During the phone call I couldn’t help but think how I should react in-front of my nursing wife. Knowing I had to walk into the baby room to share the news with her; would I tell her all the opportunities I could pursue to find work? Would I just sit there pouting and act like it never happened? Honestly, my initial thought was simply, “well that sucks.”
While this may sound more like a blunt reaction from a grumpy millennial looking for excuses not to work, it actually came out of a place of complete peace. When I walked into the room and shared the news with Sophie, Nora gently sleeping in her arms, tears began rolling down her face. By God’s grace I was able to share with Sophie that my heart was full of peace. A kind that transcended all understanding. Despite the fear of not working and supporting my family, the peace was powerful enough to stop the tears. It was a peace that was leading us to rejoice in Jesus knowing he holds us in his hands.
One day our daughter Nora will know what an interesting time in history she was born into and I’ll share with her the story of how I was laid off two weeks after her birth. At the same time, she’ll also hear the story of how the peace of God is available to us in all circumstances. I’m reminded of the words of Paul in Philippians 4:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6
The peace of God can be real and palpable! Remember, Paul is writing these words from a prison cell! He wants us to know that God’s peace is something we should not forget. Nor is it simply a distant feeling only achieved after a certain amount of experience. Paul is talking about a peace, a felt peace, we can experience today. A peace that meets us in our anxieties about job loss. That met me in my worry about supporting a newborn child. A peace that can transcends all hardship, even the coronavirus. Our Lord is almighty, sovereign and in control, come to Him earnestly in prayer, supplication and thanksgiving, and let His peace guard your hearts and minds.