Trusting in Our Father’s promises during uncertain times Print
Everyday Faith
Thursday, May. 07, 2020 -- 12:00 AM

"I don't like Brussels sprouts," complained my son one night at supper long ago.

"If you finish your Brussels sprouts, I'll give you a noogie," said Daddy, a mischievous twinkle in his eye.

"What's a noogie?"

"If you finish your Brussels sprouts, then you'll find out."

Amazingly, amid snickers all around the supper table, my son took his final bites and looked expectantly at Daddy, who promptly gave him the promised noogie -- by grabbing his head and rubbing it with his knuckles. And then he gave him a generous helping of gingerbread.

We all erupted in laughter as Daddy said, "Wow, I can't believe that worked!"

These are the bright moments of family laughter and togetherness that I try to remember and savor during these days of pandemic uncertainty.

They are memories that recall a time during which we took so much for granted: visiting family and friends with no thought of infection, grocery shopping with no worry about toilet paper or meat in short supply, going to work with nary a thought about face masks or gloves.

A 'new normal'

It seems so long ago that the term "social distancing" wasn't an everyday reality, so long ago that our children attended school and ate lunch sitting next to their friends, so long ago that we could go to Mass and visit grandparents in person.

A new normal has developed in a short time -- a new normal that long ago would have seemed like a dystopia possible only in a science-fiction story.

A body can only withstand so much bad news at one time, so in an effort to stay my anxiety and preserve my sanity for my family, I limit my news intake and ask my husband for any good news each day.

Some days he can offer good news, tidbits of hope. Other days he can't.

Trusting in God

Every day we pray for those who are suffering from COVID-19, those who care for them, those who have died, and those who are mourning.

Every day we pray for an end to the pandemic, for a return to normal life. But normal life may not return to our carefree days of long ago for quite some time.

And yet, we trust that God pulls good out of all situations.

Perhaps we will return to our new normal with greater appreciation for the things we once took for granted and cherish the family moments we've had during these tight-knit times of quarantine.

Perhaps our heightened sense of our own mortality will bring us to our knees more often in prayers of gratitude for the gift of each day we are given.

Perhaps we will learn to depend less on ourselves and more fully on God.

"For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, 'Do not fear, I will help you'" (Isaiah 41: 13).

Like a child trusting his Father, I reach toward Him in my blindness and uncertainty, knowing that He will provide, in the end, what He promised.

Julianne Nornberg, mother of four young children, is a member of St. John the Baptist Parish, Waunakee.