May 13, 2020
We are almost there. True, we are all changed in some way forever, but we are going to make it to the other side of this COVID-19 experience.
As the fog lifts, we will soon realize exactly what has happened and the variety of struggles that took place these past two months.
Some lost loved ones; others struggled through the most extreme sickness they’ve ever experienced.
Some aren’t sure how they are going to pull out of the situation financially; others missed weddings, funerals or births.
Some merely need a haircut; others were forced to let their true hair color grow out.
No matter where you fall on the spectrum, James chapter 1 reminds us to “count it all joy” and to “let perseverance complete its work.”
Trials strengthen our faith and mature us as believers.
Paul says in Romans 8:28 all things work together for good to them who love God and are called according to His purpose.
This doesn’t mean everything will be good nor will life always be easy, but if we keep our eyes on Jesus and hold tightly to Him, He will guide us through the tough spots and meld our hearts closer to His at each step.
Before we get distracted again, it will benefit us to take time to reflect on the positives that have taken place: slower pace, calmer days, more time with the Lord, more time with family, opportunity to catch up on unfinished projects, time to exercise and read, opportunity to rest — and in some cases, the realization of some serious issues that need attention and can no longer be ignored or covered up.
For those whose experience was and maybe continues to be difficult, know God is faithful and will provide the strength you need to face each day.
You also are surrounded by a faith family who cares and wants to walk with you along the journey.
Allow others the opportunity to be there for you.
At the same time, look for others who are struggling and do what you can to be there for them as well. It’s amazing how helping someone else can lift your spirits.
As we reemerge into society and begin interacting with people again, hold tightly to what God has shown you this year. Let His light shine even brighter.
The timing is especially interesting as we are likely shifting quickly from a time of being fully focused on COVID-19 to an intense election season.
Will those of us who profess Christ as Lord be able to stand for our convictions and debate politics in a manner worthy of Who we represent?
Will we be able to remember that God loves the person on the other side of the issue too? Will we stand on truth with love and grace?
Or will we decide that political discussions and disagreements don’t count when evaluating our hearts against the Fruit of the Spirit standard outlined in Galatians 5:22–23?
Proverbs 3:3–8 says, “Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
“Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones.”
Jesus says, as recorded in Matthew 5, we are to be salt and light, not one or the other — both.
“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16).