Mom used to tell me how often God wakened her with a song in her heart, usually one that gave her hope or peace in a difficult time.
Don and I slept in yesterday. Our room was still in shadow, all the windows covered. Don got out of bed first and opened one of the blinds. The sun poured in, almost blinding. Immediately an old chorus popped into my mind. It goes like this. Do you remember it?
Chorus: Oh there's sunshine blessed sunshine When the peaceful, happy moments roll When Jesus shows His smiling face There is sunshine in my soul. There is gladness in my soul today More glorious and bright Than shines in any early sky For Jesus is my light.
I got up singing. It’s the first time in forever that I’ve had five consecutive nights of good sleep. I know people have been praying for me, and we’ve made some small changes to our daily schedule. But to waken with a song and feeling refreshed felt like a gift from my heavenly Father and my mother!
Hope is some extraordinary spiritual grace that God gives us to control our fears, not to oust them.Vincent McNabb
Hope. Without it, we soon lose our way. With it, we can move forward through our fears, our griefs.
So how do we respond during this time of conflicting news reports on COVID-19, differing opinions on what kind of contact is or is not safe? Different states, and counties within states, have varying regulations. Individuals and families struggle with long-lasting illness and death. And we deal with fears, privately and corporately.
- As we Shelter in Place, one of our biggest joys is going for a walk around our neighborhood, especially on a pleasant day.
- Churches–and businesses–meet on Zoom or another platform (and thank God for technology that allows us this option).
- Friends email, call, Zoom.
- Visits sometimes occur through the windows of residential centers which cannot allow guests inside.
- We delight in meeting neighbors out walking, retaining our distance but treasuring face time.
But we still have choices.
We can complain and be filled with negative thoughts, and pass those on to others.
We can trust that the God of the universe has not lost control, nor has He lost sight of what’s happening in our world. We can ask Him what purpose He has in this situation, how He is working out His plan as we are all reminded that ultimately, we are not in control.
I treasure this scripture.
Don’t misunderstand. God is not promising bad things will never happen to His people. But He is promising the security of knowing He will be with us, will never leave us, no matter what circumstances we face. (Hebrews 13:5).
And we need to surround ourselves with hopeful friends who encourage and support us, who help us look to the source of our hope. If we keep our eyes on the problem we will despair, but if we keep our eyes on God, the problems take on a different perspective.
I need to keep returning to that source. It’s not at all a once-for-all thing. My fears resurface, motivation veers off course, and I need to drink deeply of the well of living water again and again. I’m encouraged by these verses.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.Hebrews 12:1-2 NLT
What’s helping you walk with hope in this challenging time?