Written By Casandra Morris, Cayman Islands
“Effective tomorrow, the entire island will be placed on a curfew. No one is to leave their homes. It is a mandatory requirement for all businesses to be closed. Any business or person breaking this new law will be fined and sentenced to one year in prison,” announced the Premier.
As he continued to speak through the government’s livestream, my heart drummed louder than my best friend’s Classic DW collector series drum set. “Did he just say what I think he just said?” I thought to myself. The situation had escalated.
On an island of over 60,000 people with a heavy reliance on tourism and the finance industry, the entrance of the islands’ first patient with COVID-19 began the crumbling of the economy. The cruise and airport were both closed just days later, which brought the tourism industry to a screeching halt. Over 10,000 persons immediately lost their jobs or were placed on indefinite leave with no pay.
With this new announcement, for days my heart quaked with fear as my thoughts revolved around this question, “What will happen tomorrow?” My mind raced through possible catastrophic long-term impacts that this situation would bring for my country, and the well-being of its citizens overall.
This sort of exhausting worry isn’t a new struggle for me. As a young child living with an addicted mother, my earliest memories were of constant hunger and worrying whether my mom was going to come home and display the usual fit of rage. Later, as an orphan who was moved from home to home, I constantly worried about my sister and me; would the new caretakers like us? Would their families accept us? Would I like my new school? The list just went on.
Change was a norm for me growing up, but I struggled with consuming worry. I remember the first time that I read in the Bible, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). Every promise said to me before was broken. Could I believe that God cared for me so much that He would carry my burdens? It would be nice if I told you from that day forward, I gave Him all of my concerns to handle—but that’s not what happened.
I was used to handling things myself. After all, there was no one else to take care of me. So I would worry about how to take care of my sister and me, and how to survive. Needless to say, after two failed marriages, an ex who was trying to kill me, a steep drop in income, and the disappearance of friends, I realized that trying to take care of things on my own was not working out.
I needed God.
Christ had to come first in my life. I had to give Him all of my worries and burdens; to trust Him with my whole life, the big and small things. I couldn’t profess to know Him and not have a true relationship with Him where I spoke with Him daily, not just in dedicated prayer times, but to ask what I should wear, or to converse with Him as I watered my garden. As He is my best friend, checking in with God several times a day is like refreshing water for my soul. It is in this building of my relationship with Christ and trusting Him to provide for all of my needs that led me to a moment of clarity during this pandemic.
Even in this time of chaos and uncertainty, God, in His infinite wisdom, continues to pursue me and desires that I listen and hear His voice. He offers me comfort through His Word,
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? . . . Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? . . .So do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?”. . . But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own (Matthew 6:25, 27, 31, 33-34).
Even though my flesh prefers to worry in misery and silence in my home, I hear God reminding me that this is not the purpose He has for me. Instead of worrying about tomorrow, He invites me to seek and further His kingdom—to spread a message of hope and joy to others, and to let them know that Christ has not forsaken the righteous, and has His arms open wide for those that have not accepted Him as Lord and Savior.
I don’t do this by stepping up on a large stage, or broadcasting on TV to many viewers. I engage with people through my blog and social media channels. I have spent many moments praying specifically with those who have sent in prayer requests. I’ve responded to every email and shared a comforting Bible verse and message of hope. As I look at the news, I identify ways to pray for the suffering.
As an introvert, the plight of others has stirred a fire within me to pray and help, even from miles away. It is a beautiful way in which God fulfills His promise to us, to carry our burdens: the more I help others, the less I worry and above all, I feel that my actions are honoring God and His kingdom.
My friend, let’s not worry about tomorrow. Let us keep our eyes focused on Jesus Christ, the founder and the perfector of our faith. As our hearts tremble and legs grow faint, let us find strength in His mighty name.
How is God challenging you right now to step out of your comfort zone and seek Him? You were made for such a time as this. Don’t worry. Be full of joy and spread the beauty of God’s love and peace to others in the way that He has laid on your heart.
May God’s grace, mercy, and love be with you.