Caroline Ingebrigsten on Unsplash
We've come a long way in a year!
Last March, the lockdowns were just beginning. But now it seems we are in a better place this spring, right? This past Sunday was officially the first day of Spring, 2021. While not everywhere is experiencing signs of renewal yet, most places are seeing longer days, thanks to a daylight savings time change. And, it is wonderful to bask in the glow of longer days and linger in the warming of moonlit nights, at least here in southern California! Finally, there are indications of businesses slowly coming back - and thank heaven for that! In other parts of the Country, folks have been returning to life more quickly, and it is a welcomed, optimistic sound of birds singing, frogs croaking, children playing, and laughter ringing.
Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Passover & Easter are almost here!
It has been delightful to see in-person Worship Services reemerging. Technology is a remarkable gift that has allowed the benefit of online devotion and fellowship but a return to live gatherings facilitates that personal touch and a reconnection with a real, palpable community. The heavenly music (even if only through COVID-imposed recordings) is always jubilant and inspirational!
I love the imagery of this Proverbs passage: "The merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones." The messages of this season, which reaffirm new life, fresh beginnings, endless possibilities, & the wonder of the Resurrection, heal the heart like a medicine that brings peace, hope, and the assurances of a bright tomorrow and an endless eternity. But, 2020 has brought many cries of despair from those who suffered so much loss. The broken spirit truly does dry and suck the life right out of us, but God's good news of love and recovery is the medicine needed to console and restore our ailing heavy hearts. Even amid the recent sadness that lingers over personal tragedies, we are miraculously able to grow merry hearts, thanks to The Lord's everlasting promises of optimistic futures and eventual reunions with our lost loved ones. John 14:2,27, “In my Father’s house are many mansions…I go there to prepare a place for you; peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you… Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
Hybrid on Unsplash
Desire leads to belief.
To those without faith or knowledge of God's goodness, He tells us, if we can do no more than wish we believed, begin with that simple desire. Start to feed the desire with the Word of God; institute a routine of reading Scripture and praying to him; then keep pursuing this newfound habit, and these new actions will bring on good results. Desire will sprout like a seed, continue to grow, as it blossoms into hope, and hope will eventually lead to faith. After significant successes in experiencing a relationship with God, faith materializes into the knowledge of his love and power. "The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works," Psalm 145:9-10.
So, I hope you feel comfort, love, and peace this holiday season. Remember not to be hard on yourself or others, but try to look at the good all around, the same way God looks at his creations. In spite of all appearances, optimism really is on the horizon.
Once again, all the very best to you, and happy trails in your journey of joy and success.