2020 has been quite the season, hasn’t it? We are all a little lost. We are all, even if we don’t want to admit it, somewhat afraid. We are all tired of being quarantined. We are all concerned about our family, friends, our country, and our world. We are all having to make serious adjustments in our lives. We want our lives back. And we are all, in this season together. Sounds bleak, doesn’t it? Well, here in the midst of the storm, I am here to tell you, I believe this tragic time will soon come to an end and bring with it triumph.
It’s hard to see how anything resembling a victory will come of this situation, isn’t it? After all, thousands of people are sick, or have passed away due to this virus. Many more are at risk of getting sick. We do not have a cure; we do not have enough medical staff or safety equipment for those who care for us or our loved ones. Some people have lost their jobs. The list of dread seems endless. But I am telling you, a ‘glory day’ is coming. And if you look closely, you can already see tinges of this change. All you have to do is look.
Have you noticed the difference in social media? Boy, I have! I used to cringe when I scrolled my page and saw all of the political posts. There were so many! But now, my feed is filled with positivity, humor, and thankfully, with things of God. The nastiness and negativity of politics has been replaced with daily scriptures, and videos and devotionals from many sources. I have even seen some of my past students lead daily devotions and let me tell you, it makes my heart rejoice. I also see photos of past students and friends who serve in the battlefields of the medical community, the military, and law enforcement. To those, I am so grateful and so proud of you. Know that I pray for your safety each and every day. You are appreciated. You are greatly loved. When I see your sweet faces on Facebook or Instagram, I smile. I am so blessed by you, your sacrifices, and gifts you so freely give us all. Thank you for all that you do.
I see videos made by teachers and principals that show how much they miss their students; movie clips made with so much love and care. These ‘love notes’ reassure the children that they teachers are still present in their lives. They are notes of promise that every little thing and every big thing, is going to turn out fine. Teachers, though they may not inside the classroom, are still working, still teaching, still loving.
I also watch daily, videos made by parents. Some of these clips make me laugh, others make me cry, and some make me laugh so hard, I cry. Parents now understand FULLY everything teachers do for their children. Parents are appreciating teachers like never before. Teachers, you are heroes. Teachers, you are saints. Teachers, you are now among the most loved individuals on the planet. Your struggle is real, and is now felt by the multitudes. You rock harder than Jerry Lee Lewis playing a piano engulfed in flames. Thank you for your love and service.
Yes, social media has indeed changed in the last few months; for the better. And it is my fervent prayer that it will keep changing long after this quarantine is a thing of the past. Let us not forget. Let us always be grateful, and let us always show and share it.
I hope everyone reading this post knows God on a personal level. I pray you are a Christian. I could not fathom what I would do if I did not have a relationship with God. How would I have made it through the many snares in my life? Very plainly, I would not have made it. Who could know exactly what my situation was and how it would come out? Nobody but God. Who could grant my heart perfect peace in the middle of the many dark times I have faced? God, that’s Who. Who is going to take this villainous virus and everything associated with it, and turn it in to something good? Yep. God is.
I have heard a few people ask why a loving God would strike us with this plague. Well, I don’t believe He ‘struck’ us with it. I believe He ‘stopped’ us with it. Yep. Stopped us in our tracks. Think about it. What was our world like a few months ago? What were people doing, or not doing? Seriously. Look back. Think. Remember. Do you remember? I do. And let me tell you, this world, myself included, had drifted away from God. The closeness to Him was replaced by the need for more money, for ‘things’, and for our own ‘wants’ and ‘desires’. This ‘wanting’ made us slip further away in our relationships with our family and friends. We seemed to care a great deal about what money could buy, and less about what it could not. At least that’s my take on things. I believe we all needed a ‘time out’. What do you think?
Remember the words to Psalm 23? Pay close attention to the words in the second line:
“The Lord is my Shepard, He MAKETH me to lie down in green pastures…”
It doesn’t say, “He suggests I lie down, it says, “He MAKETH me to lie down.”
I never thought about the word, “maketh” until recently. And after thinking carefully about it, it makes perfect sense. God is our Father. And a good Father takes care of His children. Did you ever have to ‘maketh’ your child take a nap? Of course, you did! Why? Because the child needed REST. Because it was good and necessary for their well-being. Same with God. Sometimes He has to ‘maketh’ His children stop, rest, and reflect. I believe He has done just that with the Coronavirus.
Though I am more than ready to get back to parts of my previous life, such as being with my family again, other portions of it will be left behind. My hurried lifestyle, my lack of extreme closeness to God, and my low level of patience will be dropped at the door. This period of change and rest has given me a fresh set of eyes and a new vision for my life, one that I am anxious to experience. You see, God does not relish in our sufferings, He delights in our developments! And as for me, during this time at home, I have ‘developed’ a new closeness to Him.
Yes, this season we are suffering through has not been easy, and may continue to be difficult in the coming months. Yes, there will be obstacles. Yes, there will be sorrow. Yes, there will be tears, but take heart. It’s going to be okay, and I am sure of that. What makes me so certain? The Bible does! Do you remember the Bible story of Joseph? His own brothers cast him into a well and then sold him into slavery. What a dark situation Joseph faced. But God used all of his trials for good. In fact, he ended up saving his people. Had things not transpired the way they did, his people would have surely starved to death.
And do you remember the story about Jesus and the grave? As tragic as this time was for Jesus, it turned out to be the most wonderful for His followers. The ugly and gut-wrenching part of this story is when they beat Him, spit on Him, cursed Him, and then hung Him on a cross to die. But…the greatest part of this story is that He rose again, and because of Him and His mercy and grace, those who believe in Him will spend eternity in Heaven! It just doesn’t get any better than that.
I challenge you to pull out your Bibles and read carefully the stories inside. So many disasters were recorded. Major misfortunes and heartbreaks are found throughout its pages. But, read again how the stories end. Every one of them, for those who followed God, ended in His glory. Yes, the people suffered. Some died. Many were imprisoned. But, in every one of these situations faced, God made it all good. And I KNOW that when this story we are living through comes to the final chapter, God will give us a happy ending too. How do I know this? Because the Bible tells me so!
My closing thoughts are not ones of sadness, but ones of hope. I believe God, the good Father, teaches all of His children lessons to make their lives better and to further His kingdom. I believe that through all of this, God is going to bring us together like we have never before seen. I truly believe we are positioned to see one of the greatest miracles of all-time. I believe God, in His infinite power and wisdom, may not change this situation as quickly as we would like, but I do believe He will change each of us. And in doing that, He will indeed, change the world. I believe, and I hope you do too.
Wear your masks and wash your hands.
Stay home as much as you can.
Keep the faith.
“He shall cover me with His feathers, and under His wings I shall seek refuge.” – Psalm 91:4