Time to Praise GOD in this Pandemic

OXYMORON.

Does this seem like an oxymoron, to have Praise and Pandemic in the same sentence? It seems like it doesn’t make sense, right?

I thought the same way during other trials I have endured, like stage 3Acancer. Yet, I reached a point one day where I actually thanked God for my cancer and praised Him for His all knowing, all present, all powerful presence. Trials and difficult times do not take away from God’s character or the fact that He is still an active, working, living God. Bad things do happen to good people. I know. Yet, God is still good.

How can we praise the Lord in this pandemic?

Let me start the list:

Praise Him for….

The committed doctors and scientists and people who God has given incredibly smart brains to navigate the insides & outsides of this virus, Covid19; pray for their wisdom to figure a remedy in a timely way.

The dedicated and brave, doctors, nurses, and all medical staff, and those who sustain the hospitals functioning, who are enduring under emotions and stress that they have never experienced before and yet they go to work to help people who are suffering from this virus; pray for their safety and stamina and families.

The selfless heroes we take for granted: the first responders from police and fire and emergency bases who come running on demand 24/7, into unknown circumstances, to care for those who are sick and need help; pray for their protection.

The government agencies and other business owners at large who are helping to set up extra hospital beds/units, and make equipment and supplies that are desperately needed; pray that they have ample resources to do what they set out to do, and energy to do it.

The usually unnoticed workers who are sustaining the “essential” stores to keep us fed and doing what is essential to our daily lives; pray for their protection too.

The leaders in our churches who are shepherding our souls as we humans fear, like humans do; pray for their wisdom to speak Truth in these troubling times.

The neighbors and people in our communities stepping out of their comfort zones and doing kind things; pray for their compassion to keep overriding their own fears.

And more… who is helping you? who is your support? Praise God for them! God is allowing all these people to do good for our benefit, individually and collectively.

Praise Him directly for ….

His unchanging character – He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow; we can count on Him.

His commitment to us – He never leaves us or forsakes us; we can count on Him.

His power – He reigns over everything we can see and everything we cannot see – there’s nothing He cannot do; we can count on Him.

His omniscience – He knows it all; we can count on Him.

His sacrifice – He opened the gates of heaven for us – He is victorious over death; we can count on Him.

And more… God reveals Himself in the midst of hard times; we can always count on Him.

During my time of cancer, when I felt death was looming, I never felt closer to God; maybe he is beckoning us to come close to Him now? He desires sweet fellowship with each of us and I have witnessed His abundant provision during unthinkable times… like the sudden death of my son to overdose, and birthing a stillborn. Yes, bad things happen to good people; I am not stranger to loss and pain and suffering, and yet, my God, the Lord Jesus Christ has carried me every single time through every single danger and challenge.

He will do the same for you, readers.

It IS time to praise Him in this Pandemic.

 

 

 

This Pandemic: A Call to Prayer

Anyone can read this post,

but specifically,

I am speaking to readers who consider themselves God’s people;

these words are specifically for you, and me.

Thursday, May 7th,

is the scheduled National Day of Prayer for 2020.

But I am writing today to say, forget it!

Globally, we are in a battle too big for us; this Pandemic, Covid19, is ravaging the human race in ways we have never seen before; it feels surreal – a nightmarish unfolding of horribleness.  Globally, is it possible that God is trying to get the attention of His people?  Could it be, for far too long, God’s people have been complacent? Too comfortable? Forgetting God along the way?

A typical passage clothing the National Day of Prayer is this:

“...If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

It is us; you and me, God’s people, He is speaking to. I wonder, have I humbled myself, do I live like I know who I am and who God is, really? I question, do I seek Him first everyday? Do I seek God earnestly, or just when I want something? Am I sensitive to the Holy Spirit to show me my wicked ways? Am I willing to turn from my wicked ways? I blush and am silenced, even as I think to answer those questions for myself.

Interesting, the verse that precedes this one:

This is God speaking to Solomon, the wisest man ever… “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people,…” (2 Chronicles 7:13)

Whaaat? Did I just read that? “or send a plague among my people”… a pandemic perhaps? maybe? Again, as I said yesterday, this God I speak of is a sovereign God who does what He wants, when He wants, and allows what He allows. Why? Because He IS and has a plan. Somehow it all makes sense to Him. It is my experience, almost all the time, I am unable to understand, especially when it involves pain and suffering.

I write to urge and rebuke myself, first.

I am weeping for my Nation and I say:

forget waiting for the May 7th scheduled call to prayer. We need to have a National Day of prayer NOW; today, tomorrow, and for all the days we are alive. Could it be, this pandemic is our call to prayer, right this very day? Could it be, God is waiting to hear from His people, globally?

No stickers or banners or balloons or PA systems needed; just knees to the floor, heads down, wherever you are – on your bed, in you kitchen, in your car… and pray… how? As God Himself told Solomon: humbly, seeking Him and seeking insight to our own wicked ways, turning away from our wicked ways, and asking forgiveness,  THEN….

then, He will hear our prayers, forgive, and heal.

I believe it begins now, with us, who call ourselves God’s people. My pastor preached a sermon recently stating, “God’s people need God’s people.” We need each other to remind each other of the faithfulness and Truth of God & His Word, especially in these scary times. My Pastor also said, “… and the world needs God’s people.” The world needs God’s people to share the HOPE we are given in Jesus Christ.

And I will add today, that I believe, the world needs God’s people to pray in such a way that God hears, forgives, and heals.

To Him, be the glory, forever and ever.

Amen

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where is God during this Pandemic?

Media allows us to see and hear news more quickly and intensely than any other time in history. It can consume us and our attentions. This pandemic of Covid19 commands our focus, incites our fears, and pushes our panic buttons; anxieties are pumped liked veins in a wrestler pinning his opponent. Clearly Covid19 causes chaos and suffering and terrible losses for many all over the globe. Sudden, unexpected death blows a hole right through the center of a being; I know.

So. Where. Is. God?

Where is God during this pandemic?

Does He hear the weeping? Does He see the frantic worry? Does He feel the pains and losses?

I asked these very same questions when my son was consumed by addiction and then died to an overdose. I know the overwhelming pain of sudden, unexpected death in a family. And, I wanted to know the very same things.

Where are you God?

I know the answer.

Let me tell you: I am confident that God is in our midst. The Father hears, and sees, and weeps alongside each one of us, knowing our individual circumstances. Just as I am confident that the Father was with my son as he drew his last breath and ushered him into heaven, I am confident He is with the world now. None of this takes Him by surprise. This pandemic did not take scientists by surprise, so even more so, why should it surprise God?

Scripture tells us of a God who never leaves us or forsakes us. He stood with Shadrack, Meshach, and Abednego in the fire. He closed the lions mouths for Daniel. He spoke to the waves and made them be still. He rolled the stone away. This is the God I am talking about and just some of the stuff He has done. This God does what He wants, when He wants, and allows what He allows. Why? Because He IS and has a plan. Somehow it all makes sense to Him.

Not fair you say? In our feeble uninformed, unseeing minds and sights, this is true – it is not fair. But, we are not in charge.

Still. Why should we have to endure such a horrid virus as Covid19 that is killing so many? Why us? Why now? Plagues are a thing of the past – something out of the Dark Ages, aren’t they?

Yet, who are we to question really?

Like Job, we are too prideful for our own good, world. Even still, God is patient with us just as a good earthly father is patient with his children. The entire world has suffered since the beginning, starting with the snake, the fruit, and the woman. For thousands of years we have all suffered, simply born into the mess. Yet, we have all been abundantly blessed too; Redeemed by one man, His blood, and a flight into heaven. This is the Father’s plan: that His only son Jesus died for you and for me and for everyone in the world. Ultimately, no matter what virus or trial comes, God is with us, for us, and loves us; That is His plan too.

Where is God during this pandemic? 

He is right here with us, in our midst, watching over the ones who are sick and afraid and blessing them with helping hands, giving wisdom to doctors and scientists, sparing many, and ushering some into the next life beyond this world. In it all, He demonstrates His soveriegn love.

I promise you, He has not left us or forsaken us.

Talk to Him, if you don’t believe me.

 

 

 

 

Covid19: A Real Danger for People in Recovery

Covid19 is a real danger to those in Recovery.

I believe this and I am concerned. It’s not exactly what you may think. It’s not that I think that this group of people are at any more risk than me for catching this virus and reaping its havoc to our health. We are all on equal par for that and I hope we are all doing what we can to stay healthy.

The danger I am concerned about is this:

the level of fear and anxiety this pandemic incites

can create an emotional side-kick that has no mercy and would revel to boot someone right off the wagon.

Though circumstances were different, the emotional overload was similar. My son, in early recovery, fell to relapse after the emotions of dealing with a friends overdose death; it overwhelmed him with hard feelings. Emotions are hard and many use substances to numb feelings; this is a known fact. And this is my concern for those of you who are in recovery. This is my check-in with you all.

Don’t know me, that’s okay… consider me an messenger, sent by the Highest Power who reigns above all others.

I am not a person in recovery, so I cannot speak into your life as another one in recovery can. But, I am a momma who lost her son to an overdose, after relapsing. From here, I want to speak into your life.

I beg you to do two things.

ONE: Stay in community and keep your focus despite your fears and feelings. Keep your eyes on the prize; the prize is your life. Fears and negative feelings lose their power if you talk them out. Don’t stuff them. Don’t ignore them. Don’t give them power over you, causing you to give-in to your drug of choice – remember ALL substances lie. Walk away. Call your mentor. Call you mom or dad or someone you know who loves you. You cannot do this alone – you need to stay in community any way you can.

TWO: Seek the Highest of Powers, truly and for real. It’s not a what…. It’s a who. This who, the Highest of Powers is the living God: the One who created you and me, the One who makes the sun rise and moon shine everyday, the One who loves you and sacrificed Himself for you – His life for yours; this was His choice and His gift to you – no lie here. So take the gift – its free!

I urge you to make this choice to seek Him out. He will give you all the comfort and assurance you need to stay on the path of recovery, especially during these uncertain, stressful times we live in.  Walk into a virtual church service (most are closed right now). Get a Bible and read it like you read the AA/NA manual. Call a Pastor – call my Pastor.  And Pray – it’s just talking to God Himself, and most of all, know that He loves you.

My heart speaks truth and hope for you… therefore, I speak to you boldly.

I have dear friends in recovery. I desire each of them to stay and seek. Will you do the same?

 

 

My Sons’ Death was a Springboard: Part Three

1. The human condition,

2. The power of relationship,

3. The gift of a day

My sons’ death gave me deeper understanding of these three things. Today I share with you #3… Open my eyes, to see people as you see them…. continued:

This day, each day, is a gift. And, I never fully appreciated this until the day my tears fell upon the still chest of my dead son; I yearned for just one more day… one more day to hug him, say I love you, and give him opportunity to know how much he was loved by us and by God.

I am more aware now of the gift of a day and regret my actions when I forget it. We are all called to make the most of our time, as it is said: “live like there’s no tomorrow!” That does not mean do everything you can to please your self with pleasures – the meaning of “living like there’s no tomorrow,” I think, is to cherish each minute of each day and purpose to speak truth and love into each human you are privileged to cross paths with. Your word of encouragement could save a life… sharing your supper could speak value into another’s heart… you being there no matter what, could assure another that life is still worth living; this is the gift of a day – one more chance. 

This is why I go on about my sons’ accidental death to overdose. I go on and on and share and repeat my stories like a toddler who sits on the lap of a mother and says, read it again! So that I remember, so that others are reminded and remember, and so that we all may not forget the understanding of the human condition, the power of relationships, and the gift of a day.

Yes, I have been spring-boarded into deeper understanding; my heart aches for my son who has gone to heaven, but I am grateful for the heart lessons I am learning and for beginning to truly see people, as God sees people – in need of love and compassion and help… in need of a Savior.

Look up and walk forward. One day we will each give account for what we have done on this earth – are you ready for that?