The Hobbit and Coronavirus

I've been reading J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit with our boys (after my recent deep and nerdy dive into his Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales). Here are two quotes that stood out to me in light of all the suffering and anxiety around coronavirus: 

The narrator explains why he's passing so quickly over a pleasant visit to the idyllic elvish city of Rivendell: 

"Now it is a strange thing, but things that are good to have and days that re good to spend are soon told about, and not much to listen to; while things that are uncomfortable, palpitating, and even gruesome, may make a good tale, and take a deal of telling anyways" (48). 

My thought: viewed from the perspective of New Creation, we will see God's wisdom and glory even through our suffering in a fallen world. 

Another quote, this time describing the wizard Gandalf's quiet realism about the danger of the party's quest, in the midst of the dwarves and Bilbo's sunny optimism that everything would be quick and easy: 

"Even the good plans of wise wizards like Gandalf and of good friends like Elrond go astray sometimes when you are off on dangerous adventures over the Edge of the Wild; and Gandalf was a wise enough wizard to know it" (52). 

My thought: This reminds me of Proverbs 16:9: "The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps." And James 4:14-15: "You do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.'" May we have the wisdom to know that our loving Father's ways are higher than ours, that his plans are often different than ours, and most of all that his mercy is more than we need!