It is “May 2020”. There will be no dancing around the maypole at school or the folklore of celebrating spring — well, not unless we put on our face mask and keep 6 feet away. Who would have guessed this terrible pandemic would come to steal our peace, our contacts of love and fellowship, and worst – the health of those we love!
Yet, in the sadness and our efforts to stay safe I see the robins on my lawn and hear the geese honking in the pond. Some have little babies already!
The animals as well as the birds are frolicking and performing as always. They know nothing of COVID-19. Tenderly I am reminded that not one sparrow falls to the ground without God’s care (Matthew 10:29). But still, I worry every time I pick up groceries that COVID-19 will float into my nostrils. I wear my mask with hopeful confidence that it will keep me safe. And while I slip the elastic around my ears, I am reminded again that we are more valued than many sparrows (verse 31).
In a world of almost 8 billion people, it is hard to fathom God knowing and watching over everyone – but He does! If even the hairs of our heads are numbered by God (verse 30), then everything about us is observed, and is cared for by Him. He is in control and we must trust Him with our lives. We are much more than many sparrows. No matter what comes, we must trust him. (See page 13 of my book: Take Charge of Your Destiny” – the story of my brother Robert.)
Most of us cannot fully comprehend the emotional and physical stress that the Corona Virus is causing those who have contracted the disease, and those who have loved ones fighting it. Unless we are there in the ring with them, we can only imagine.
So what should we do?
For the great majority of us, every day simply seems to run haplessly into another while we remain basically locked down. The fear of being around people who might have the disease has brought us to ordering groceries on-line and letting someone else pick our tomatoes and lettuce. We wander distractedly around the house trying to get enthused about cleaning out kitchen cabinets or polishing our tiled floors. We long for warm weather to just sit on our patios and enjoy the sun. Reality is harsh. We can’t go anywhere for fear of getting the Corona virus, and if we do go, we better have a mask on and our travel had better be essential.
What is it that we should be doing? That’s the 64-thousand dollar question as we wait for this microscopic bug to wind itself down.
As with every calamity in history, the thing most needed seems to be the most hard to do — to put our faith into dynamic force and pray that God will intervene for the health of our country and the world, and those who are suffering.
I thought recently of the woman in the new testament who needed healing. She had been struggling with a physical issue for a long time. She knew about Jesus. She heard that He was healing the blind and restoring the crippled. Her faith grew to the point that if she could just touch the hem of His robe she would be healed. You know the story – she pushed her way through the crowd and touched the hem of His garment. Christ felt her faith the moment her fingers touched Him.
Thinking about her, I realized that it is going to take faith and perseverance to get through this virus calamity. We need to touch the hem of Christ’s robe, so-to-speak. We need faith to believe that God is still in our midst and still loving us – still healing.
Prayer seems to be all that many of us can do right now, unless we are on the front-lines working to save lives in the hospital. But in either case – be it prayers or deeds – it all adds up. And it is God who will be the ultimate hero. Our prayers and support are just part of the rescue plan.
May God put His blessing on everyone that is struggling for healing and upon those who are fearful. May we feel His love. May we know and experience His mercy and kindness.
Many of you who follow my website know me personally and know that I have lost my son due to a very sad and difficult situation. Not only my only son, but my two grandsons also. As the years have gone by my loss has deepened and I no longer have any childhood family left. But in all the losses, I am thankful for my husband and how God has blessed our lives. Still, sometimes my losses moves in on me and I feel very much alone. Especially now that Corona is racing it’s way through the world and death is making its way through nation upon nation. Since this pandemic has started, I often find myself yearning for my parents – as if my Dad could take me in his arms and comfort me. As if my mother could lovingly brush the tears from my cheeks and tell me once again that I’m her baby girl, or I could hear my son’s voice saying, Hi Mom, as he comes through the door with his two sons.
With that said, today I am sharing, below, an article that sums up much of how I feel in this time of pandemic — looking back on my life and realizing that I have made mistakes and have been selfish at times. This article makes me understand that I belong to God no matter what, and I have no business feeling sorry for myself. God’s voice is speaking….definitely to me. I hope He is speaking to you. Here is the article from a blogger I follow……..
The words of the blogger: I have been incredibly selfish and self-centered and I need to make a public apology to my mom and to all the people out there, especially those who are older, who are physically alone right now in this time of quarantine, social distancing and stay at home orders due to COVID-19.
I am sorry for not appreciating human presence. I am sorry for not appreciating human touch. To say to those who are alone right now, “Jesus is with you” sounds so trite and un-encouraging to me. I hate, and I mean hate, when I hear people say to someone who is suffering or homeless that “Jesus loves you!” and they just walk away. What does this love of Jesus mean to someone who is suffering [if you walk away]? What does it mean that you will always have a home with Jesus? What in this time of COVID-19 does it mean that Jesus will never leave you nor forsake you when everything is a mess and is upside down?
Ultimately, “What good is it, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (James 2:14-17 ESV).
My challenge to myself and all of us is to truly consider others in this time. For those who have children that are home and driving you crazy, consider those who do not have children and would love to have that problem. Whatever social/relationship situation we are in right now, may we consider those in the opposite.
I am thankful that God does not play favorites. I am thankful that God does not change…
I am a hugger by nature, and right now, dear reader, I am giving you a VERY big hug. May we not allow this pandemic to alter us to the point where we will cease human contact, and touch, because of fear of the next virus.
AND THEN THIS BLOGGER GIVES THEIR PRAYER:
Father God, I am sorry for once again losing focus and sight of You. I am sorry for the way that I have grumbled and complained. Lord God, thank You for the medical professionals and grocery store workers who are putting themselves at risk. Lord God, give political leaders all over the world wisdom and common sense when it comes to dealing with this pandemic. Thank You that You are God and that You are here whether we feel it or not. Lord God, speak to each one of us as to how our faith can be manifested in action during this time of COVID-19. Lord, prepare our hearts for Easter. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.
I am spending a lot of time in the kitchen now that Americans are basically staying at home. Maybe the only good about this is that I can stay in my p.j.s until noon, refrain from making my bed, and let the dusting and vacuuming go a few days longer. No one will be visiting, and that truly is the sad part about being in quarantine.
Well, for sure my husband George is hunkering down fairly well because he’s getting some really great meals. I’m in the kitchen more, now that we are not eating out.
I’m really not complaining. I’m thankful. I’m finding something every day to thank God for. I am thankful that – for now – we are not sick with Corona. And my joy in God’s protection and His presence finds me humming while cooking and baking, and even singing when disinfecting the counters and the frig handles. Hello 30-day kitchen. I love you!
Just the other day I baked some delicious spare ribs. Today, it’s homemade chili with cornbread. Tomorrow, who knows! King David wrote about the joy of eating. He said: You, God, satisfy our mouths with good food. He also said that the loving kindness of our LORD is from everlasting to everlasting. And I am finding that true, even while wiping tears when I see the terrible effects of Corona. Somehow I know deep in the depths of my faith that God is in control, and trusting Him is what He wants all of us to do, and truly it is good food for the soul.
I’m thinking that before this pandemic is over Americans my emerge with a few extra pounds because we are all indulging in “comfort food” and eating more because of boredom. Well, at least in my kitchen that’s how it’s going. The pantry door is opened more. The bathroom scale shows 3 pounds up. Gotta work on that!!
In closing today, here’s an easy recipe for something that compliments your cup of coffee in the morning: Roll out biscuit dough into a half inch rectangle. Generously butter it. Sprinkle the buttered dough with cinnamon and brown sugar. Roll it up. Cut it into 1-1/2 inch wide biscuits. Bake. Glaze with powered sugar. Voila! Something to comfort the soul while you thank God for His love and protection and start your day with someone you love.
Person to call for the nation to pray should have been Franklin Graham, not Billy, his father. Although the organization is still called Billy Graham Evangelical Association. Please continue reading the article sent 3/20/20
My website generator says to me every morning: What’s on your mind?” This is the encouraging invitation to write and send a message into the Internet for thousands to read, as it also advertises their computer business and capabilities. So, here’s what’s on my mind. It has everything to do with the Corona Virus and what’s happening to the world.
Many Christians believe that the Words of the Old Testament are not relevant to today. They believe we should read only the New Testament (Matthew thru Revelation) as our instructions from God. This is not true. The entire Bible is relevant, and proof of this statement is the Scripture that says, “God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)
So looking back to how He dealt with the Israelite’s, I believe He also deals with us today. Their disobedience to Him, under the direction of Moses, was severely dealt with. Actually, not one of the original Israelis got out of the dessert alive. It was their kinfolk that enter into the Promised Land. This happened because of God’s anger with their disobedience. Are we any better then them?
In view of what is happening world-wide, we cannot wink at the Corona Virus and say it’s just one of those things. Something of this magnitude is obviously seen by God, and allowed by God for a purpose.
The ramifications of this disease is like a domino rampage going on for weeks and months. It is now affecting world economics in a huge way. It has closed off much of our everyday life so that even the sports world cannot play their games. Banks are using their windows only. People are hoarding food. It’s become questionable even if we want to buy a Big Mac at McDonald’s, for fear someone may have coughed or sneezed on it that has the Corona Virus. Worse yet, Corona has chosed the doors of the CHURCH.
So to me, the most important statement made by God for a time like this is the statement God made in the Old Testament to the Israelite’s regarding their attitudes and their disobedience to Him. Here it is plain and crystal clear: “All this is that you (the world) may know that I am the LORD your God.” ( Reference, Deuteronomy 29:6).
What we do with the Corona Virus – meaning how it affects us personally – is up to each of us. If God is speaking, then we need to listen.
I am not in a panic. Yes, I am concerned about what’s happening. I’d be stupid not to be concerned and obey what our government is telling us to do. I am concerned about world economics and our personal pocketbooks, but greater yet, I am concerned about the CHURCH, because they are closed around the world. Will we come together after this passes? Or will people get so used to staying at home that the CHURCH loses it’s power to evangelize and feed God’s people? Will people stop supporting the CHURCH with their money, and pastors and church buildings are left to nothing?
I am hoping that people like Franklin Graham will step to the plate and call for a world-wide day of prayer and fasting. God may be speaking in this Corona Virus situation, and we need to listen and draw close to Him. This is far worse than 9/11. It has the magnitude of a great war or a world-wide earthquake.
Jesus Christ says: “I stand at the door knocking. If anyone hear my Voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and they will be with Me.” (Reference: Revelation 3:20)
Today, amid the fear of the Corona virus I am prompted to write something inspiring and full of confidence. For you and for me, I remind us of the “Secret Place”.
Paraphrasing sacred words from long ago….
We rest in a safe place – in the secret place of the Most High – covered by His wings, like that of a great eagle. Our High Priest tells us not to be afraid when pandemics come or terror overtakes us. A thousand may fall at our right side and ten thousand at our right hand, but it will not come to us. No plague will enter our dwelling places. He gives His angels charge over us to keep us in all our ways. (Psalm 91)
What more could we ask for?
God says when we call upon His name, He will answer. He will deliver and honor those who have put their faith and trust in Him, though Christ Jesus the Messiah.
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I listened to President, Donald Trump give recognition to “Former Prisoners” in Las Vegas last week. He said to them: “We believe in second chances” – which was an inspiration that they had a second chance to move on and make something better out of their life.
Where would you and I be today without second chances? Like when we were kids and a teacher gave us another chance to make a better grade on a test, or as adults when a police officer says: “I’m just giving you a warning this time.” It could even be the second chance we get when someone forgives us and we get a second chance to nurture a relationship.
There are many success stories of people who have failed at first, but they kept trying and finally got it right. Many famous people had second chances to get it right. Like the wire in the hand of Alexander Graham Bell that became a telephone, or the spark inside a small glass dome in the workshop of Thomas Edison that became electricity. The vaccines and anti-biotics that finally work, after several attempts in the laboratories. Without second chances to keep trying, our world would be much different.
The greatest “second chance stories” are perhaps those found in the Bible. Like the repenting thief hanging on a cross next to Jesus. The Lord said to him, “Today you will be with me in paradise“. Or to the adulteress who heard the words from Jesus, “neither do I condemn you – go and sin no more.”
Sometimes it’s hard to give a second chance when we’ve been taken advantage of. Harder yet, to forgive when someone has really hurt us deep.
I believe in second chances because I often need them, and thankfully I have had many.
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There have been some interesting studies on pets and plants and the effect they have on their owners. Things like stress reduction, lowering blood pressure and in some cases, thought to lengthen life.
I think of my wonderful Jack Russel Terriers that were with me for 16 years. (Pictured) They were a handful. My husband and I were forced to rule them with an iron fist because they fought. I honestly believe they were by-polar – if dogs can have psychological problems. One day they loved each other and would cuddle in the same bed, the next day they were growling and fighting. The best thing about them was their loyalty and unconditional love toward us. Believe it or not, they were so smart we often spelled words so they wouldn’t know what we were up to.
As for plants… I love to work in my patio garden, but the green thumb belongs to my husband. He knows how to groom a lawn to perfection, and grow scrumptious vegetables. When we lived for a short while in the south, he grew the most delicious turnip greens and the sweetest Vidalia onions I’ve ever tasted.
Speaking of plants, my neighbor is on a cruise in the Mediterranean. She asked if I would take care of her Peace Lily for three weeks. Sure! No problem. So her husband brought it over just before the uber driver pulled onto their driveway. The pot was so heavy I had to ask him to come in and set it down for me. I was shocked! All along I had been expecting something small, like a little African Violet. After he left, I realized I was in charge of a prized plant. After all, nothing that large could be trivial! Oh gosh, what would I do if it died while they were enjoying Rome and Israel? It’s like babysitting a child — hoping while it’s in your care they don’t get hurt or sick.
Okay, I can do this — two thirds of water a day. Maybe talk to it a little too.
I am not frightened, but I am very concerned. It is 6:21 a.m. as I write this, but I’ve been awake since 4:15 this morning because Monroe County called to announce that the 911 lines were down. Wide awake now, I picked up my cell phone to check messages and saw the ALERT – Corona virus is likely to get out of control – many nations reporting confirmed cases. It’s here in the US – six cases, but the virus is spreading all over the world. Germany, France, Australia, Japan, Britain – the list goes on and on. The global health organization has now issued a global emergency, because this virus is highly contagious and it’s spreading in China like wild fire. It will take months to develop a vaccine.
Watch this video:
I am a Registered Nurse and I hold a valid license to practice. My extended formal education is in Human Services, and that is why I am sending this article. Not to tell you how to protect yourself, but to bring comfort.
It is likely this virus will become a genuine plague. It’s worse than the Sars virus which hit the world in November 2002 to July 2003. We were a little frightened then, but this new one is much worse according to the World Health Organization.
When the call came this morning to inform me that the 911 lines were down, I was first thankful that I didn’t need ambulance service or police help. As I laid back in bed – trying to go back to sleep – the thought came to me: what if it was worse! What if the entire grid went down!!!
From there my mind conjured up all kinds of emergencies. Then I remembered what brought a sense of comfort to me back during Sars. Psalm 91. Inspired words from King David, given to him from God. “A thousand shall fall at your right hand, but it will not happen to you. There shall no evil come to you, neither shall any plague come to your house. He shall cover you with his wings, You shall live under the Shadow of the Almighty.”
We live in a world full of all kinds of frightening things. If corona isn’t bad enough, we are saturated with the fighting and tangling going on in Washington – hate at one of its highest levels. Terrorists attacks almost daily – you name it, we have it! But we also have the Word of God and His presence – coming to us more powerful than the enemy of our soul and our body. “For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.”
Be careful to do what is suggested by our health leaders, while at the same time put your faith and trust in God to keep you safe. Rest in the Secret Place of the Most High.
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