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Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. – Isaiah 43:18-19 KJV
As my family embarks on a new journey by moving from Nevada to Idaho, I reflect on the new blessings that God has brought into my life.
Even though I tested positive for COVID-19 on September 1, 2020 and suffered from COVID-19 long haulers symptoms, surviving the ordeal has strengthened my faith and brought me closer to God. I am grateful that my husband was able to stay home during my recovery to take care of me and Jacob. I am thankful that my husband was able to find an Executive Director job in Idaho. Our house in Nevada sold within three hours of listing it, and we were able to buy a duplex in Blackfoot, ID.
Instead of remembering how difficult my illness seemed at the time, I am grateful for the new opportunities that God has brought into our lives. He makes way for new blessings. Amen.
Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always. – Psalm 105:4 NIV
Especially when our strength fails us, we can look to the Lord and find encouragement.
I sometimes wonder what I did to bring upon myself “Long COVID” fatigue and brain fog, which I still suffer from, almost five months after the original date that I tested positive for COVID-19 on September 1, 2020. Was God testing me?
The one thing I know from having spent far too many days bedridden is that suffering can be humbling.
When we are down, we appreciate even more the good days that God gives us. He teaches us lessons and patience through our periods of illness. He reminds us that we should not take anything for granted. Every moment we have is a gift from God. Amen.
I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. – John 15:1-2
God gives us the opportunity to start new.
I am not much of a gardener, but my husband “has a green thumb”. With his help, I replaced the apple tree seedling that died after I had forgotten to water it during my COVID-19 recovery. Now, with love, water, and a team effort, our new apple tree seedling is thriving.
Our Lord is good at gardening, in that He nurtures us and helps us to grow.
Sometimes the pruning process can be difficult for us when we resist letting go of thoughts that stunt us from growing. Our Lord knows better. He has the recipe for a fruitful life for us. Amen.
Blessed are those who learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord. They rejoice in your name all day long; they exult in your righteousness. – Psalm 89:15-16
Birthdays are cause for celebration and rejoicing.
When the Lord blesses us and our loved ones with another year to live, we can rejoice in His loving kindness all day long.
My mom’s birthday is January 2nd. After the festivities of Christmas, sometimes January 2nd comes quickly, but her birthday is a big celebration!
Not only has the Lord spared her from catching COVID-19 so far, He has protected and comforted her during times of isolation. She is able to enjoy the her garden and the beauty of her art. Amen.
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. – Matthew 6:33-34 NIV
God answers prayers! When His answer is, “yes,” sometimes we are surprised, because we are so worried that the worst case scenario will play out anyway, we expect bad news.
When good news comes to us, we can rejoice in the Lord’s blessings and enduring mercy.
I spoke to my friend who had COVID-19. He is doing much better and is out of the hospital. I was so worried, but the Lord restored and strengthened him, just as all of us praying for him had asked. Hearing my friend’s voice encouraged me and reminded me how powerful our living God is. He is good. Amen.
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. – 2 Corinthians 4:6 NIV
COVID-19 has cast a dark shadow on our activities in 2020. It has changed how we celebrate holidays with family and how we interact with our church members and volunteer groups.
God gives us light in the darkness. Even though things are not the same as they were before, does He not give us a sunrise each morning and a sunset each night? There is still beauty in God’s creations in nature and warmth in our interactions with our friends, even if we have to meet virtually.
In some ways, virtual meetings have brought people who are physically at a distance closer. The Lord knows what He is doing. Amen.
The Sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He awakens me morning by morning, wakes my ear to listen like one being taught. – Isaiah 50:4
God’s Word is like living water. It sustains the weary. Each day that we wake up is a gift. Each breath we take is a blessing.
Sometimes we wake up and we are still tired. We don’t always appreciate the goodness of God for giving us life another day, but thanks is due to Him.
When we know that our friends are ill with COVID-19, the delicate balance of life comes to the forefront, and so does God’s gift.
By the grace of God, my elderly friend who has COVID-19 is improving in the hospital, and he can maintain his oxygen levels, which is wonderful news.
We cannot predict the future, but one thing is certain: God’s love never fails. We learn that lesson every day. Amen.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. – Romans 15:13 NIV
Even though we might have fear that our dear, elderly friends who have COVID-19 might die, we can rest in the assurance that we can trust in the Lord.
Jesus conquered death. It no longer has its sting. He has saved all who believe in Him. We have hope that we will not perish, but will have eternal life.
We can feel joy in the midst of sorrow. We can have peace in the midst of change and uncertainty. We can have hope and trust because He strengthens us and guides us through the Holy Spirit.
We are secure in His love. Amen.
Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen. – Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV
When we pray believing, we can have the assurance that God will take care of those we pray for.
A friend of mine has COVID-19. His age and health condition puts him at greater risk. I can tell he is not feeling well. He is a child of God, and I know God is taking care of him.
I don’t always understand God’s divine timing. Why do good people get sick?
When fear creeps into our hearts, we must remember who God is. He has a reason for everything. It’s sometimes hard for us to see why good people have to suffer, but God is in control and has power to cure any illness. Jesus spent many days healing people. Some day when we join Him in Heaven, we will understand God’s master plan. Amen
Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you. – Psalm 9:10 NIV
Our Lord is powerful. His name is wonderful. He is the great “I am.” He is the essence of being. He makes us who we are and forms us into what He knows we are meant to become.
We can trust Him completely, no matter what.
When our friends fall ill with COVID-19, we can pray and have the assurance that He hears us. He is the good shepherd, and He takes care of His sheep.
When we are ill or have friends or family who are not well, sometimes we think that God might forsake us. But He never forsakes those who seek Him.
He is always there, in us and for us. He is there to save us, and we can be thankful for His loving kindness. Amen.