Dear readers, we have crossed over to the year 2021 but we are still living with the effects of 2020.
How many of us expected this pandemic to be an isolated event strictly belonging to 2020? This can cause many to dispair. It can cause those who track the number of fellow human beings lost in the past year to get anxious. It can cause some to worry about the well-being of their families and loved ones.
I have a message of comfort for each and every one of you:
The Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God (Colossians 1:3-4) cares about our concerns.
The Bible even tells us to “give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” (1Peter 5:7).
Even in the midst of the lockdown there is lifting up.
To the anxious I give you: Psalms 94:19 “When anxiety was great within me,your consolation brought me joy”.
To those who have lost family or friends in 2020, know that you are blessed for “blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).
The saddest part of loss is when we cannot grieve because without grief there is no comfort. Allow yourself to mourn and the Lord himself has promised you comfort.
God is concerned about everything you are feeling and experiencing during these unprecedented times. He is nearer than many think and He has given us His word and His son Jesus because He loves the world so much (John 3:16).
In spite of the social unrest, the racial tension, the political drama, the number of confirmed covid cases and the vaccine; has there not been any silver lining ?
The dictionary defines it as a sign of hope in an unfortunate or gloomy situation; a bright prospect.
It would be false to say there hasn’t.
Was each one of the 365 days of 2020 a complete loss? Has the consistency of this pandemic and the regulated safety measures caused us all to lose perspective? Are we no longer able to count our blessings?
Some of the circumstances forced upon us are actually blessings in disguise.
How many of you used to wish you had more time to spend with family? How many of you dreaded the daily commute to and from work? Many I’m sure.
Allow me to help adjust the lenses you’ve been looking through and shed some light in the darkness that has invaded our reality.
Many of us were so busy running around from work to school and various activities. From swimming lessons, to basketball practice and dance class; that we’ve had no time for the home and the family. Some may think their carpooling the children all over the place qualifies as being present for their kids. When in reality it made the parents more tired and also did not offer the quality time and connection a child needs from their parents.
On the other hand, some may say that before 2020 they could never make it in time for child’s dance or music recital because of the work schedule.
Well, now since 2020 you no longer have to drive the kids all over the place for their activities because most of them have moved online. You no longer need to worry about not making it in time for the show after work because the commute from your home office to the living room is just a couple of feet away instead of miles apart.
Not only that, you probably had the joys of hearing, watching and peeking in on many of your child’s practice sessions during your coffee break since you now work in the room next door. Do you see, 2020 has given many the opportunity to enjoy the family.
I know many families struggle to get dinner on the table on time when both parents are fighting traffic to pick up kids from daycare and school in order to feed the family when everyone is coming in so late.
So for many there is just no time for cooking and regular upkeep but now we are improving our skills because we can prep your food during the conference call and do a load of laundry while you wait for the files to load for your next client.
What have you done with the extra hour or two of commute that you’ve saved since working from home? Bubble bath maybe? Now we can bubble for hours; what a luxury!
Now I know that not everyone has worked from home during this pandemic because we have our essential workers in the grocery stores, gas stations, daycares, schools even those working in public transport, imports and exports and border services.
Then we also have our frontline workers in the hospitals and nursing homes doing their best. We are all thankful for your faithful service to help society in the midst of a pandemic. God bless you!
For the essential and frontline workers, have you noticed the roads are a lot clearer on your commute to and from work? Now when you get in the bus after a long hard trying day’s work you can actually get a seat to rest your body on the ride home.
Speaking of sitting; have you taken the opportunity to sit and read a nice book? Now that you don’t need to stand and hold the rail in a crowded bus or metro; perhaps you can take a couple of minutes to read at home with the time you’ve saved?
To all the children who dreaded their dentist or medical follow ups, it’s either cancelled or done via conference call.
Yes, much has changed in our everyday routine and as it seems, our monthly, quarterly and annual ones too. However, one thing that has not changed and will never change is that God loves you and He is an ever present help in times of trouble. He cares about you so much even those of you who do not know Him as Lord. The Father longs to have a relationship with each and every person born on planet earth.
There is always a ray of light in the midst of darkness or calamity or yes even a worldwide pandemic. Jesus is the light of the world.
What I personally love most is how much time we now have to pray and read God’s word.
Many are looking for spiritual strength and support. If that is you, look to Jesus. Jesus is an open book. His book is the Bible. You can start from the front or from the back because He is the beginning and He is the end: the Alpha and Omega.
For those of you who feel lonely in these times; either living alone, in a elderly care centre, in a hospital or simply missing your friends … know this, Jesus is closer than a brother and promised never to leave us. He is the sweetest companion and a great teacher.
Include Him into your new routine and you will find hope, renewed strength and peace even in these turbulent times.