Saturday was my first grandchild’s first birthday.
The party had to be postponed due to something no one would have predicted when it was originally planned—
A worldwide pandemic.
On Saint Patrick’s Day, my husband Scott and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. Our dream was to go to Italy. Of course, that was impossible for the same reason our grandson’s birthday party was canceled.
My daughter Charity and her fiancé we’re planning to get married this year. Given the current circumstances, they feel it would be best to wait.
A dear high school senior and gifted young writer from my writing critique group will miss the typical milestones such as prom, grad night, and a public graduation ceremony.
My brother and sister-in-law died in a car accident at the end of January. We held a small memorial gathering in early March. Had we waited, it would not have been possible. I know of folks who were not able to hold the funeral and memorial services for their loved ones due to CDC recommendations of social distancing.
I realize you, too, have a similar story. We all have suffered losses great and small. Our typical way of life is no longer typical.
Let me assure you of three things:
The grief and loss you are experiencing are real.
Your losses matter to God.
God is good and everything He does is good (Psalm 119:68).
I didn’t say the coronavirus is good. But God can use evil and harmful things for His good purposes and even save lives.
So how do we reconcile the emotions and ramifications of lives turned upside down from the coronavirus?
The reality is, we don’t hold the cards. This pandemic is not only turning our lives upside down, but it is also turning us inside out. We are seeing what was otherwise hidden.
The current events have exposed our illusions of any semblance of control over what happens to us, our loved ones, and our world.
All the postponements and lack of control can make us feel hopeless.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”
My friends, God’s people are never without hope.
“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.”
Jeremiah 17:8 NLT
Coronavirus can serve as a wake-up call to direct our attention to the One who directs our steps and holds the future.
In the midst of the fear, confusion, and loss—God is with us. He has a message of hope to those who will listen.
God is present in your day-to-day life. He knows you intimately and nothing is hidden from Him.
“Am I a God who is only close at hand? Says the Lord. No, I am far away at the same time. Can anyone hide from me in a secret place? Am I not everywhere in all heaven and earth? Says the Lord.” Jeremiah 23:23-24
God has good plans for those who love Him. He knows our needs and hears our prayers.
“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you says the Lord.” Jeremiah 29:11-13 NLT
God is a good Father and gives good gifts to His children.
“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:9-11NIV
We can conclude with confidence that when our lives and plans are altered, God has a reason—and that reason is for our good and His glory.
Let’s hold fast to His promises and trust He is working things out for our good. Let’s allow God to teach us and grow us in the midst of this trial. Let’s support and pray for one another and those who don’t know Jesus. Let’s embrace our postponements as opportunities to strengthen our faith!
The world is watching.
Let’s shine our hope found in the Lord like a city on a hill!
♥Please share your comments and prayer requests below.
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