Natalie Ogbourne

Walking by Faith When the News is Bad

My son is studying abroad this semester. In northern Italy. Until this week, I hadn’t heard much talk about northern Italy outside the context of his travel plans. Now it’s all over the news.

He was supposed to start classes next Monday. On Monday of this week, his university closed because of the coronavirus. As of Thursday, the start of classes has been postponed a week.

Am I worried about him contracting the coronavirus? Not especially.

Do I wake up in the morning wondering if his city has been put on lockdown, if his university will be closed indefinitely, how he’s handling being a stranger in an unfamiliar country during the outbreak of an emerging health threat and its ensuing media frenzy? Yes.

This is what it is to be a mom. This is what it is to know both way too much and not nearly enough. This is what it is to have to walk by faith from far away.

Aren’t we always walking through something from a distance?

Where people are concerned, there’s always distance—even with those who share our homes and are intricately woven into the landscape of our lives. But where God is concerned, distance isn’t a factor.

Last weekend, for no particular reason, before Monday’s news about the university closure, before northern Italy became a topic of interest, I lettered these verses into the header of my weekly planner: “Do not fear, for I am with you.” “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Isaiah 43:5a/Matthew 28:20) God knows what we need before we need it.

Here’s the good news: There is no distance with God.

He’s here in the midwest with me. He’s in northern Italy with my son. He’s with you. No matter where you are. No matter what you’re walking through. And no matter the nature of the news. 

This is the text from Friday Field Notes, a short, monthly message I send only to subscribers. It’s meant to encourage us to navigate the landscape of life by faith. If you’re interested in joining us (as well as in getting monthly{ish} blog posts on the same topic), subscribe here.  You’ll even receive access to printable scripture cards for your journey.

Happy trails ~


Pause | Ponder your path | Press on

Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Proverbs 4:26