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It was a dark night of the soul. So begins our spooky tale. Gather around the campfire – if you dare. We won’t encounter any ghosts or need to run from hockey mask wearing murderers. No monsters or other-worldly creatures. But I guarantee you spine-tingling, gooseflesh inducing terror as we recount…the year 2020! Muah-ha-ha-ha!
Ok, maybe this year hasn’t been haunted; but it has been crazy, unexpected, unplanned, isolated and ( if you haven’t heard this enough) unprecedented. When you roll all those things together, you get a ball I want to kick to the curb! As my daughter said recently, I would rather swallow a jean jacket than relive the horror.
The Australian bush fires carried over into the first quarter of the year killing untold numbers of animals. The California wildfires followed. Covid-19 built steam until it shut the whole world down, killing and infecting huge portions of the population and forcing us all to wear masks – long before Halloween. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others died. We mourned, we protested, and we rioted. Loneliness and isolation still run rampant as schools, restaurants, stores and churches adapt to changing social distancing rules.
Presidential election years are always a disaster, but did you see the first debate? I’m not sure what’s more frightening than that! And somewhere in the mix a murder hornet made an appearance? That’s the subject of a horror flick if I’ve ever heard one! There are many other components of 202o that I lack space and time to mention, or I have blocked them out to preserve what’s left of my sanity. But you get the gist.
In my family alone we have seen physical dangers, mental illness, broken bones, depression, job loss, and spiritual warfare. Now before you log off the internet wondering why you signed up to read these depressing posts, I do know the light at the end of the tunnel. I don’t know when the pandemic will be over. I have no clue when or if life will resume some measure of “normalcy”. I can’t promise an end to racial strife or guarantee that any politician ever will be civil and above board. (Get to the point, Lauren).
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalms 46:1 NIV He promises to always be with us and lend us the same power that He used to raise Jesus from the dead. That doesn’t mean we won’t still have problems. In fact, He guarantees that we will (John 16:33). We live in a messed up world, after all. But He promises to comfort us in them, so we can pass that comfort on to others (2 Corinthians 1:14).
God assures us in Revelation 1:17 that he was here before anything in this world and that when Coronavirus and governments and our earthly bodies are gone, He will remain. And Romans 8:28 says, And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose. No matter how bad it is, He can use it for good purposes if you are His.
John 3:16 gives us the instructions for becoming His. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 NIV You only have to believe. Trust Him. And once you’ve been justified through faith, God brings peace( Romans 5:1). You may not always feel it in a moment of struggle or sadness, but the peace is always there. Knowing what He has saved you from and what you are being saved to can usher that peace back in. Just lean into Him.
I guess our story is not so scary after all. If you would like to hear more of the story of God’s love for you, I would like nothing better than to share it with you. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will email, text, call or go to coffee if you are close by. It’s my favorite story to tell.
And now for this week’s featured post.
Engage multiple senses with Jeanne Takenaka’s Desert: How to Trust God to Provide in Worrisome Times. This gorgeous post combines breathtaking scenery photos with a message we might all need to hear right now. Thank you for linking up, Jeanne.
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