Devotional

 “While God, for the most part, allows this cosmos [creation] to work according to the laws of nature, there is never a time when He is not actively involved in every detail of life.” – Charles Swindoll. 

It’s October 2020. We have been fighting the COVID-19 virus for 8 months. We have done everything possible to stall the spread of this very aggressive virus. It made us panic. It disrupted our lives. And it has forced us to pause, re-calibrate, and remember God’s faithfulness amidst worry, fear, doubt, skepticism, frustration, isolation, and uncertainty. The worst of the coronavirus virus will eventually pass and we will begin to resume more normal routines.

For many of us, we have learned some of the things that seemed “small” were actually incredibly important “big” things in life. It’s easy to go through life and not take a moment to focus on the little blessings we all have. So when this is all over, what lessons did we learn, and what are some things that you will never again take for granted? Maybe it was hugging your grandparents, seeing the latest movie, going to a concert, dinner dates, or having the family over for dinner. There are thousands of things that could be listed, but I would like to talk about three. 

First, we started focusing on things that truly matter. Our social isolation has forced us to take a break… a “time-out” to rest and reset some priorities… in our lives… our homes… and in our hearts. We paused and took inventory and really evaluated what it is we spend our time doing, our money investing in, and our efforts pursuing. 

Second, we have learned that time has one direction and that direction is forward. Without sounding like Captain Obvious, you can’t get anything back from yesterday.  During the pandemic we learned to appreciate today while you have it. The pandemic taught us a great deal about time. We tended to think through what it is that’s lasting and eternal… and put all our efforts to invest in what matters most. Maybe it’s slowing down to connect with that particularly difficult child. Maybe it’s pursuing a meaningful, or possibly overdue, conversation with your spouse.  Maybe it’s asking a neighbor if you can serve them in some way or carving out the time to just get to know them. Maybe it’s finally addressing that wedge that’s grown between you and another.  Maybe it’s being present in lives of others instead of rushing past.

Third, church worship service and other gatherings are one of the most undervalued and under-appreciated events in our culture. This is the first time in many of our lives that we have not been able to “be” at and with the church every week. It was unnatural and debilitating. It was frustrating. There is something powerful and unique when the church gathers.  To be in-person to sing, hear God’s word, and take communion is an abiding place for the Spirit. During the time we could not meet as a body, we learned how important it is to do life together with other believers on a regular basis. I don’t think we fully appreciate how much we benefitted from being in church every week until it was missing. In the same vein, we took for granted the opportunity to meet in small groups each week.    

Discussion Questions:

  1. What lessons did you learn from COVID-19?
  2. How can these lessons bring us closer to God?