Yesterday I attended a Good Friday service, streamed online because we are under a shelter-in-place order in the midst of the Corona Virus. I sit here on Saturday waiting for Sunday to celebrate the resurrection. I try to envision what it was like for Jesus’ original followers. The difference between us is that I know our Savior came out of the tomb. I have the Bible to tell me the story. They had his promise to return, but it must have been a difficult promise to hold on to, given what they had seen on Golgotha. After the crucifixion, the believers waited. They wanted to have faith, but must have been afraid, sad, depressed. It would have been a long wait.
Their wait was rewarded with the biggest miracle the world has ever known. They were rewarded with Salvation.
I know at some time this fear of the virus - COVID19 - will end. This storm will pass. One way or another we will go back to a somewhat normal life. Until that time, we will wait. I will be thankful for this quiet time. I’m grateful for space to study, and to pray. I’m thankful for the necessity to trust in Jesus, because I’ve been running on my own power for too long. I’m also grateful for time to get a few projects done at home, to connect with friends via the phone or Internet, and to read for relaxation.
When this is over, I'm pretty sure my friends and I will celebrate as if it were Resurrection Day. But until that time, I don’t want to waste this time of waiting. When this plague passes, when I’m let out of this lockdown, may I be stronger, more grateful, more loving, more faithful, more trusting in the Good Shepherd who has promised to care for me.
Have you thought about what you would be doing today if the virus hadn’t taken over the normal life of the planet?
If not for the Corona virus. If not for the shelter-in-place order, what would I be doing at this time of year? Certainly, I would be visiting friends and family. I would be shopping. I would be enjoying the signs of Spring. I would be working a regular schedule, paying bills. I might be taking my life of ease for granted.
But most important of all, in a ‘normal’ year, I would be preparing for the celebration of Easter. I would read of the happenings at Calvary. I would be contemplating the Cross for reminders of what Jesus did for me. I would be filled with gratitude for the miracle of a changed my life. I would be studying Scripture for understanding of the abundant blessings that are far beyond what I see in this world, and that are mine.
I wonder if the enemy, the evil one, the devil, (whatever you call him) thinks that all the chaos created by fear of the virus will draw us away from this beloved celebration of new life. I'm praying that we won’t let the troubles and the fears of this crazy year in history overshadow the observance of an event in history that saved us all. My life began at Calvary.
And I am grateful that, this year, the Lord has given me more time to meditate on his grace and more time to worship the Savior. I am be grateful that these times have caused me, and many others, to draw closer to Jesus. Now and in the future, we will not take this life for granted. We are becoming more aware of who is in control. Father God, Creator from the beginning of time, holds this world in his hands. He also holds each of us, individually, in a personal relationship.
To borrow words from a song for my own use in prayer time. You’ll take what the enemy meant for evil and turn it for good.
I go to my Bible and to prayer for peace this morning, as I have to do every day. When circumstances are far beyond my control, the only place to go is to God. Of course I know he should be the first place I look, not the last resort.
Too bad it takes times like these for us to take God’s word seriously.
I am reminded of God's promises.
My God has promised to be with me during this storm. He will see me through.
From Psalm 143
The psalmist begs God to hear his prayer and pleas for mercy. He says “In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness.” This is what I have to remember
So, I just had to remind myself to turn off the news. Every news show tells me similar stories with maybe a tidbit of extra information to keep me watching.
I'm not blaming them. As the reporters do their job, and in their attempt to keep me informed of the crisis, they make evil seem very large. They make it seem like a huge black cloud hanging over my community, my country, the world. It appears that evil is winning, but I know it isn’t.
Evil likes to appear strong. It likes to scare us and to keep our attention. My heart pounds when I have to go to the grocery store. Fear wakes me in the middle of the night. But focusing my attention on God reveals how weak evil is.
My God keeps me in perfect peace when my eyes are on him. I trust in the Lord my God. (Isaiah 26:3)
They say our world is at war, but this battle has already been won. God is on the throne. He is in control. We follow the guidelines given us and wait in faith for the storm to pass.
Those who wait for the Lord will renew their strength. They rise up like eagles, run and not get weary, walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
Isaiah 40:28 “The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.”
If you don't know that reference - you are younger than I am. Google "I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden." or not.
I can’t turn on the TV without hearing about more illness, deaths, serious danger – fear. If not the virus, it’s financial ruin because of business closings. Jesus didn't say in this world we would have an easy life--or a rose garden.. He said in this world we would have trouble.
Not much joy in homes around the world. Not much peace. That is, if we get our joy and peace from circumstances. Relying on the stability of life in this world has never been a safe bet. Ask the person receiving an unexpected Cancer diagnosis, or the family cleaning up the rubble of a home destroyed by a tornado.
Certain joy and certain peace comes from one source only.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing. (Romans15:13- look this up for exact Scripture)
My part? Belief. Faith. It is my choice to believe, and to depend on the God of the universe, my Creator.
So I’ll take my dog for a walk and thank God for the sunshine today and that the weather is nice enough today that we can get out of the house.
Let’s take this one day at a time.
An article containing my study of Romans 15:13 will soon be available on the Christian Living site of BellaOnline.com
My verse for today:
"The earth is the Lord's and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;" Psalm 24:1 NIV
Like many of you, I’ve been in partial self-quarantine for a few days now, but today begins the official lock down day for Indiana. So, since it’s just me and Lizzy-my Russell/Yorky mix—at my house for the next two weeks, I feel a real need to communicate with people. So I hope you will say ‘hello’ here or on Facebook.
How are you coping?
It's important that we take care of ourselves. I’m determined to eat healthy in an effort to boost my immune system—something we all need right now. I’m also hoping not to gain twenty pounds of quarantine weight from boredom eating.
Day one quarantine breakfast. - Oatmeal with blueberries and walnuts.
Oatmeal contains fiber – everybody says we need that.
Since I have no time restraints, I use Old Fashioned Oatmeal. I have plenty of time to cook it.
The internet tells me oatmeal is nutrient-dense, containing iron, zinc, selenium and magnesium.
They tell me it also boosts immune protection, lowers inflammation, revs up metabolism, lowers cholesterol and gives a feeling of fullness. (I’ll need that if I’m to be satisfied until lunch.)
A scoop of walnuts
I’m told (by the Internet again) walnuts are rich in antioxidants.
They are said to be a super source of omega-3 which may reduce heart risk.
They are said to reduce inflammation, which is at the root of many diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.
My study told me that walnuts also help produce beneficial bacteria that live in your gut. This promotes the health of your gut and may help reduce disease risk.
What’s more, eating walnuts may even help control your appetite. (refer to the twenty pounds quarantine weight)
I top it off with a heaping handful of blueberries.
My study told me blueberries are believed to have one of the highest antioxidant levels of all common fruits and vegetables
Supposedly, they have been shown to directly increase antioxidant levels in your body. They help to reduce cholesterol, lower blood pressure and maintain brain function. They may also have anti-diabetes effects.
As I’ve aged, I’ve discovered my body doesn’t tolerate a lot of dairy, so I use almond milk on my oatmeal. Almond milk is not as nutritious as cow’s milk, but is rich in several vitamins and minerals, especially Vitamin E.
I'm not suggesting almond milk over anything else, just listing what I use.
When I want sweetener, I’m using Stevia. There are lots of pros and cons to this natural sweetener,
The mundane becomes inspiration.