Thursday, April 9, 2020

Finding the Good in Life When the News Isn't

As I wrap up my fourth week of working remotely, knowing that there are possibly several more weeks of isolation ahead of us all, I pause today to give thanks for the unexpected blessings of the pandemic that has affected so many of us.  Not only has COVID-19 adversely affected most of the world, but it has also caused many of us to reassess the things we value and to focus on the simple joys that we overlooked before this plague descended upon us.

Among the simple joys for which I'm thankful:
  • The technology and ability to work remotely and continue my ministry to the church.
  • The joy of riding out this season of social distancing in our new home, where we have a little more room to distance ourselves from each other and a lovely, usable yard to work in and enjoy when the walls begin to close in.
  • The view outside my sliding glass door, which affords me the opportunity to enjoy bird watching and seeing the beauty of spring while in lockdown.
  • Additional time with family and my cat, who loves to bird watch too. 
  • The new ways I am learning to connect with others in our church and community....ZOOM!

Even bigger reasons to give thanks:
  • My salvation through Jesus Christ, and my relationship with God the Father through Him.
  • The guidance and wisdom of the Holy Spirit.
  • The promises of God's Word to encourage and strengthen us when our faith is weak.
  • God's provision of our daily needs, especially when the economy is in such turmoil.
  • The knowledge that God is still in control, ever-present, all-knowing, with grace sufficient for every circumstance.

But what if COVID-19 resulted in the illness or death of a family member, or the loss of my job, or the loss of things I count as blessings?  Would I still be thankful?  Would I still believe in the goodness of God?  Or would I succumb to despair and lose all hope?  

As Christ followers we are not exempt from trouble, heartache, sickness, and death. In John 16:33 (ESV), Jesus said, "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world."  

In Philippians 4:11-13, the apostle Paul writes:  "Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.  I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound.  In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.  I can do all things through him who strengthens me."  Is there anyone out there who doesn't feel brought low by the coronavirus pandemic?  In our struggles, are we allowing God to teach us the secret of being content in any and every circumstance?

Despite all that is happening around us, those of us who follow Christ have hope because we know whose we are, that God sees us where we are, and that Christ through His death and resurrection has already won the victory!  

Friend, if everything you are facing right now seems too much to bear I encourage you to pray, seek God's face, turn to His Word for the answers to your questions, and trust in Jesus for salvation if you have never done so.  Rest in these assurances from 1 Peter 5:6-11 (ESV):
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.  Be sober-minded; be watchful.  Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.  And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.  To him be the dominion forever and ever.  Amen.

Copyright © 2020 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved.

What Next?

“Even when I am old and  gray , do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next, your mighty acts to all who are to come.” ...