Being Thankful During Times Like These
On March 8, Joan and I were having a great Sunday afternoon traveling back from Pigeon Forge, Tennessee having experienced a wonderful marriage retreat with many of our Buck Run family. In all our reflection and conversation, little did we realized the changes that were about to take place in our lives and the world itself. Soon the reality of an “invisible enemy” would take over the normal and routine of everyday living. The enemy has a name Covid-19 or the Coronavirus. Needless to say, we have all had our “normal” disrupted in a major way.
The numerous activities we took for granted we may do in a very limited way if at all. The future seems so unclear at the moment. The graduation events and ceremony we were so looking forward to at best may be on hold for a future time. Our loved ones who may be in nursing homes or hospitals we cannot be physically near. Funerals are small immediate events with little if any physical contact for comfort during intense grief. Many have lost jobs and financial situations have been made radically different and difficult. Schools have been closed and gone to remote learning for the rest of the school year with some uncertainty in how the beginning of the school year may look like. Sporting events at all levels that we have enjoyed during this time of year have been canceled. Many of the familiar faces have now been shielded by various forms of masking. The social distancing has created challenges for most as we have been physically separated from the social interaction that we so look forward to and enjoy on a daily basis.
Through all the inconvenience, uncertainty, confusion, loneliness, anger, fear, and loss, there is the reality of being hopeful. We can be hopeful because our risen and living Lord and Savior is still on His throne and fully in control of this world. In spite of the Covid-19 and the impact it has had on our lives, we can find our hope not in the things of this world but in Christ and Christ alone.
Romans 8:28-39 gives us a great Word of hope and assurance. This passage of truth tells us that our God is always at His work. Could it be His work at this time is to give us a forced time to slow down our lives and evaluate what truly matters? To spend more quality time with our family, to have time to invest in our relationship with Him through Bible study, prayer, and personal Worship? To gain a greater appreciation for our church family and friends to we hold so dear and long to be with sooner rather than later?
Our God is at his work to bring about good. Not our good but His good. His good being to know Him, His will for my life, and being faithful in following his perfect plan for my life in making Christ known and making disciples in the world. We can be thankful for this time to reach out to our neighbors and check on their well-being and see if there is any way we can minister to them. I’ve enjoyed the time to prayer walk my neighborhood and meet neighbors I had not yet met and become better acquainted with others. Especially do I enjoy the numerous Gospel conversations and times of prayer I have experienced. To get out of my comfort zone and learn new ways of ministering, to meet new people I can love with God’s love. I wonder if these precious times would have occurred without this invading virus.
During times of unplanned disruptions in life when things seem so bleak and uncertain. We need to look through the event to our God who is sovereign in all things, to see his blessings that we often take for granted, and be sensitive to the opportunities he affords us to reach out to others who He has placed in our lives that are lost, hurting, confused, and fearful to share the Gospel of hope and life in Jesus Christ and Him alone. Driving back from Tennessee on that Sunday afternoon with the love of my life, the Coronavirus wasn’t even on my radar but since it has become an unwanted visitor, I will rejoice and be glad for what God has taught me and used me for His Glory through it Indeed we can be thankful in all things.