Thankful for the Pandemic?
Read: Ephesians 5:20
“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;” (KJV)
“And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (NLT)
A couple weeks ago, I was in a revival meeting in Florien, Louisiana. The Cenchrea Church of the Nazarene has become very special to me. I’ve always stayed with some wonderful folks, Weldon and Mary Lou McClung—it’s sort of become my Louisiana home and family. Mary Lou is an exceptional cook (she spoils me) and Weldon is a wonderful guy to talk to . . . that is, when he slows down long enough to talk. He keeps himself pretty busy.
One morning I was at the breakfast table having coffee with Mary Lou and we were talking about life. A lot had happened since the last time we had coffee. Two years had passed. There had been a pandemic. The McClung’s wonderful cat of thirteen years (if you know me, I’m not a cat person) had gotten ill and passed. And Mouse sure was a great cat and huge part of that home. Mom had faced many health challenges and just passed April 2nd. So many things had changed. Yet, here we were having coffee as we had done many times before.
Have you noticed that life in unpredictable?
Have you come to the realization that life is certainly not easy?
Have you been confronted with the harsh truth that life isn’t always fun?
If we’re not careful we can become negative and cynical. Instead of having the hope that comes from Jesus we have the critical spirit of the enemy. It’s very easy to fall into a protective mode—if the world is against you, then you must protect yourself. No one else will . . . just listen to the 24-hour news cycle. And, before we realize it, we’re living life with the glass always half empty. Please, don’t live that way.
I’ve had this on my heart since that morning. Mondays have come and gone and yet there have been no devotionals in your mailbox. I guess I didn’t want to write (preach) to myself. It has been so easy to be negative lately. So easy. Too easy. And all of us think we have an excuse: COVID 19.
I’ve come to this realization: Whilst I was complaining about losing over ten months of my speaking and singing schedule, I was given an opportunity. During 2020 I was home more than I had been in the previous twenty-two years. And I was able to spend more time with my mom than I had in at least those years and probably more, for which I’m thankful. That was the last year of mom’s earthly life.
Of course, life is unpredictable.
Certainly, life is not easy.
Most definitely, it’s not even always fun.
But mark this down—God is always good.
As we start a new week, are there areas in your life for which you need to be more thankful? Is it time to look back on some difficult situations and reevaluate them from His point of view?
Paul exhorts us to be thankful in all things.
I don’t pretend it’s easy. We can quickly jump to the negativity of the world around us and the real-life events we all face, like a pandemic. But looking back, I’m glad I had that time to be home. So, I’m thankful . . . even for the pandemic.
(If you have lost someone due to COVID19, please understand the tone in which I’m writing this. I would never make light of something as painful and heartbreaking as losing someone dear to such a horrible disease. Going through grief recently, I understand the questions you are facing and struggling with. Yet, the instructions and comforts of Scripture are still there…still compelling us to give thanks. Our hope lives above. Those precious truths have challenged me and given me hope in the recent months and it is my only desire that they do the same for you. Someday, I hope we can look back together and say, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.”)