Our world continues to be impacted by Covid 19 and changes DAILY. I have lived through more than one crisis. I’m sure you have too. But this one is unique, for sure. This pandemic is hitting every one of us uniquely but at the same time. It is MY crisis, YOUR crisis and OUR crisis.
God Never Changes
It goes without saying… NOW is the time to rest in the knowledge that our Sovereign God NEVER changes.
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
This past week, while dealing with my own stresses this pandemic has caused, I was reminded of the perseverance required in suffering. In my experience, it is a skill that is developed and refined in the crucible of life. And at this time, every one of us is forced to hone that skill.
I continue to marvel at the timeliness of Lent. As christians, we pause during Lent to reflect and prepare for Easter. During lent, we also, to some degree, replicate Jesus Christ’s sacrifice as we withdraw to the desert for 40 days. 2020 seems to be a forced Lent, does it not?
Suffering is never fun. But today I encourage you with my favorite truth about suffering. Can you guess what that is? Wait for it…
Suffering ends. It did for Christ and it does for us too. This pandemic will leave devastation in its wake, but it too will end. We can’t know exactly when, but uncertainty is the primary ingredient the Lord uses to build our trust. But we have assurance that suffering ends. That is the promise of Easter.
Virtual Choir — It is Well This link takes you to a video of a Virtual cell phone choir. You may have to endure a few ads, but I promise you’ll be blessed.
I’m Scared — Author Unknown
Me: Okay, God, here’s the thing. I’m scared. I’m trying not to be, but I am. God: I know. Want to talk about it? Me: Do we need to? I mean, you already know. God: Let’s talk about it anyway… We’ve done this before. Me: I know, I just feel like I should be stronger by now. God: *waiting patiently, unhurried, undistracted, never annoyed. Me: Okay. So, I’m afraid I’ll do everything I can to protect my family and it won’t be enough. I’m afraid of someone I love dying. I’m afraid the world won’t go back to what it was before. I’m afraid my life is always going to feel a little bit unsettled. God: Anything else? Me: EVERYTHING ELSE. God: Think back to when your kids were very young. Remember the nightmares that would wake them at night? Remember when your son woke up and came running down the hall to your bedroom? Me: Yes. God: You were still awake, so when you heard him running, you started calling out to him before he even got to you… remember? Do you remember what you called out to him? Me: Of course, I said, “You’re okay! You’re okay! You’re okay! I’m here.” God: Why did you call to him? Why didn’t you just wait for him to get to your room? Me: Because I wanted him to know that I was awake, and I heard him, and he didn’t have to be afraid while in the dark hallway. God: Exactly. I hear you, my child. I hear your thoughts racing like feet down the dark hallway. There’s another side to all of this. I’m there already. I’ve seen the end of it. And I want you to know right here as you walk through it all, you’re okay. I haven’t gone to sleep, and I won’t. Me: *crying. Can we sit together awhile? Can we just sit here a minute before I go back to facing it all? God: There’s nothing I’d love more.
Other Nuggets of Encouragement
- I’m inspired and heartened to hear from several of you who offered to help with the anonymous people cited in Saturday’s devotional. I’m working on that. Know that we represent a worldwide community adding to the challenge of connection.
- Cheryle offers that her Christmas cactus that only blooms in December has bloomed this week, deciding her family needed some Christmas joy.
- Anita shared from a David Boyd devotional, “Take Up Your Cross”. She writes…”In times of a pandemic, etc. we usually cry out “Why Lord!” But the Lord would have us ask, “Lord where are you in this?” Always the answer is, “I am in the midst of your suffering. I am by your side. Just stay where I am.”
- I lost count of Ian’s Happy Birthday texts that he reports was “prolly a thousand!”
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for this online community of Lenten Pray-ers. They have been an encouragement to me! Only you could have orchestrated Lent to coincide with our worldwide pandemic of 2020. May we continue to seek your face as we persevere. Sovereign God use this worldwide reset for Your purposes. Help us to see Your hand in this storm. Amen.
It’s your turn. How is our Lord encouraging you? What is He teaching you? How can you see Him in this mess? To leave your comment…. simply scroll to the very bottom, beyond any other comments, and you will see a white box labeled… leave a reply. You write what you’d like in the box then hit the gold tab (this color) that says POST COMMENT.
Peggy Channell says
A thrill to have Ian acknowledge my birthday message to him! We are connected in God‘s love!
Great. I think eventually he gave up. He was quite overwhelmed. Thanks for your faithful support.
Anne Kole says
Thank you for the encouragement and hope offered in God’s word and your insight!
A couple of ways I am encouraged:
– spring has still come. Green plant shoots appear. Birds sing with joy. Our Sandia mountains are still a landmark.,
-With the public library closed, I have been reading the Bible more.
-I have plenty of time to rest, which is exactly what I need.
Thank you, Lord, for these simple gifts of encouragement! You are always good.
Anne… Did you know that you can listen to library books for free. If you’d like connected to that resource, call me and I’ll direct you.
Berta Pitzer says
I got my reply from Ian last night! So sweet of him to reply.
We are doing well here and trusting God as we fight this war against an invisible enemy! Wait!! Aren’t most of our battles against invisible enemies like fear, doubt, lies, etc?
We’re praying for all of us to place our trust in our Lord Jesus and for Him to be glorified!! Jack is focused on the Sovereignty of God and it has been such an encouragement to me and so many others! Resting and trusting him. Thanks for all that you’re teaching us about the same things Debbie!
God bless you
Amen Berta. God is indeed Sovereign. And standing on that truth grants peace. Amen.
Paula Koy says
That virtual choir was so so beautiful!! I closed my eyes & just listened…and will listen again. It filled my heart of God’s grace to the fullest.
Thank you for your words, Debbie, & for sharing the music. Be blessed…
I have listened to it multiple times. God’s spirit is ALIVE and well. Amen.
Your words are indeed inspiring and the responses from the members of this challenge have been eye openers for me. When I think I have problems with family illness or friend’s cancer diagnosis and prognosis, I find my problems are minuscule compared to what others are facing. Isn’t that always the way? We need your words to hold on to our faith and give us hope.
Indeed Kerry. Perspective certainly strengthens our faith.
Thank you for sharing that beautiful rendition of “It Is Well” (one of my favorite hymns), sung via cell phones. How wonderful is that??? God certainly is in ALL that is happening right now. I am thankful for the technology that can keep us connected even when we must be apart physically. Thank you, Debbie, for helping us make the most of these unprecedented weeks of Lent 2020.
PS…I’m sending the link to the choir to friends and family members all around the world. We all need that reminder!!!!
I got misty eyed watching and listening to it. The Holy Spirit is alive and well.
Mary Seal says
Just heard back from Ian last night on my “Happy birthday” text. His persistence in replying to the “prolly a thousand” texts is impressive! Thank you for asking us to text him.
Thanks Mary. And yes… that is a feat. Thanks for being among our village!
I am finding that I, the people person, am finding things to do and am spending more time with God. Not a bad thing!
Amen. Not a bad thing. But proof too, we need each other! THanks Linda.
Thanks to Ian for thanking me for his birthday text. In these crazy times our son and nephew have set up family Zoom times (never heard of it before). We have seen family that we rarely see due to distance. Wonderful. One of the rare blessings to come out of this crazy virus. Keep our trust in our Savior.
So pleased he did. Yes, crazy times. Thankful for zoom and other technology to connect us.
Karen Shope says
I just took out of the oven the bread I made. I’m hearing the crackle it makes as it cools. It’s so quiet in the house I can hear everything. The washer and dryer in the garage, the wind, and our dog howling at something outside. My life is quiet and thanks to that quiet I’m able to hear what God has to say. I love the quiet.
Amen to a quiet life. It does have it’s advantages.