That seems to be the way every commercial or newscast begins lately. Okay, they might use the words “anxious” or “unprecedented” instead of “uncertain”, but here’s what they DON’T say:
“This Coronavirus STINKS!”.
And it does. The threat of physical suffering is real, but the overwhelming burden that most of us feel, including our residents here at The Gardens, is really separation. We can’t meet our friends for dinner somewhere, we can’t greet loved ones with a handshake and a hug, and we can’t cuddle our grandbabies. And the question on our minds more than any other is this:
When will it end?
During our morning breakfast devotion at The Gardens we concentrate on and cultivate one fruit of the Spirit each week. Want to guess what this week’s fruit is? It’s patience. Overlooking the inconveniences of the world. Instead of complaining about a delay, thanking God for an extra moment to pray. Choosing to face new challenges with joy instead of cursing and clenching our fists.
Paul wrote in Romans that everything that was written in the past was written to teach us. The Scriptures give us patience and encouragement so that we can have hope. Max Lucado writes that these scriptures show “historical moments in which a real God met real pain”.
So it helps us to remember that the same God who comforted the children of Israel through every exile, who wept with grieving sisters before he raised their brother to life, who whispered hope to two bereaved and bewildered believers on the road to Emmaus . . .
. . . this same God waits with you today as He repeats the words He uttered to the Israelites: “Be still; the LORD your GOD will fight for you.” This same God “will cover you with His feathers and . . you will not fear the pestilence . . or the plague”.
Your Father cares, and He will protect you.
Neil Stephens, Chaplain