In thinking about important things to be thankful for, this one tops the list. During a year when so much has been off balance, remembering what a good God we have is encouraging.
Has this been a hard year? Absolutely! For some, more than for others. Some have lost dear family members because of COVID or related complications. Others have had a hard time because their jobs have either suffered or been lost.
Some parts of the country have been hammered by hurricanes. It seemed that they all tended to form in the Gulf this year and headed for one area. There were deaths and loss in that area for sure! Almost everyone has had their life disrupted in a major way. All these things add stress for sure. Change is no fun. Unwanted change even less so.
On top of it all, we had a stressful election that was close. It showed that one reason there is so much division in our nation is because our views affect about 50% of the nation each. There is not a one-sided majority as each side wants to think. If nothing else, this huge turnout showed that our views are held by about 1/2 of the population at any given time. Fortunately, GOD is still in control of what is happening. He is the one who brings people into power for His purposes…and He removes them in His timing as well. But I digress.Remember that GOD is good. Everything He allows into our lives is for our good. It doesn't always feel that way at first. Click To Tweet
Our church community has usually been a place of solace. This was hard hit too!
For many of us, church is a place of encouragement and hope. We find encouragement as we worship together and as we meet weekly with our friends and fellow worshippers. The community of believers has always been both a place of encouragement for me as well as a place to encourage.
COVID took all that away…for months now! Somehow a zoom church service just doesn’t live up to that. We’re slowly getting back to normal. We have church services with masks. Since August, we have had monthly outdoor worship services. They are delightful! Our area had a flare in the summer, but so far, no more big flares. Public schools have just gotten back to full time.
But the changes have resulted in improvements too. Online worship has been encouraging to those who are more permanently shut-in. When people are sick, they are able to participate in worship, unlike before. Small group participation has increases and some groups are able to meet on Zoom now. Almost all age groups now know how to use Zoom. It has increased flexibility for groups to meet when people are sick or infirm. That is a good thing.
We are learning to slow down our frenetic pace and enjoy important things like our families.
We are having to learn to reach out more to those who are unable to get out or who are discouraged. Some of the counselors in our church have gotten together and done some things on video individually and in person to help many in our church with issues they are struggling with. They have talked in these videos on topics such as loneliness, friendships, etc. in ways that have been very helpful. One of the group is a man and his perspective has also been a huge help.
But back to the original topic. GOD is good.
He is good in the ways He has provided for our needs personally. He is helping us look around to help pay attention to the needs of others around us. But we also have been slowing down and paying attention to our personal spiritual needs. This is good. It is easy to get so busy, we don’t pay attention to what is happening in our own lives. We get into ruts of busyness and don’t pay attention to whether these activities are truly meeting our needs. I took a break from a normal group I’m in to take a course that has been immensely helpful to me in terms of growth. I hated to take a break from my group, but I would never have gotten the help I needed from this course otherwise.
I’m thankful that GOD provides opportunities for us to take breaks from the norm to do something different. That may be what He is providing for you as you grow. I haven’t loved this pause in seeing many friends or in enjoying the community of believers like I did. But it has been an opportunity to grow in some new ways that I have appreciated.
Remember that GOD is good. Everything He allows into our lives is for our good. It doesn’t always feel that way at first. But looking back over the past few months, I can see how He has brought growth. He truly is good. Thanks be to GOD!
For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.
Psalm 100:5 ESV
**I wrote most of this post before November even started. By the time I finished the post, Biden was projected to be winner after many days of uncertainty.