Looking back over the last year and a half, I have seen so much confusion, uncertainty and fear - more than I can recall at any other time in my life. As I look to God for clarity, reassurance, and encouragement. I pray and I am humbled by His patience and loving kindness towards all of mankind - even in the middle of this mess. If you don’t believe me, just consider this list of the things we have seen:
We have witnessed assaults on peace, order, and respect for others.
We all have seen and heard of lawlessness, violence, rioting, looting, senseless murders, and destruction of private property erupting in the cities of our nation.
We have seen our nation's southern border erased bringing a vulnerability to our citizens and lack of care and assimilation for those who want to be here.
We are witnesses to unbridled hatred, contempt, mockery, prejudice, and discrimination with no end in sight and no desire to resolve the problems reasonably.
I am reminded that I need to pray.
We have witnessed assaults on public confidence and trust.
We see and know of serious dereliction of duties by elected officials who have taken an oath of office to secure the safety of the citizens they serve. Some of these “leaders” have turned a blind eye and deaf ear to the laws of our land and become part of the chaos rather than giving themselves to the task of finding reasonable solutions to benefit the greater good of all.
We have seen an incredible double-standard according to some politicians, scientists, and media that this virus is smart enough to discern who, when, and where it will make people sick. Restrictions are applied to those who are peace-loving, religious, hard-working, and law-abiding - but not to politicians at their fundraisers or celebrities and media at their social gatherings!
I am reminded that I need to pray.
We have witnessed assaults on physical health.
We have seen wide-spread fear propagated in regard to the Coronavirus and its variants where many of the scientific models have been wrong, and the numbers of "reported" cases and deaths have been admittedly fudged and inflated in many states. We haven't even heard about the percentage of recoveries. It seems sensible to report both sides of the issue.
We have seen a therapeutic drug treatment and protocol that has proven effective in saving lives that has been denied, demonized, weaponized, and even banned in some places. Sadly, this has created confusion not only within the medical, pharmaceutical, government and media worlds with their messaging. But worse yet, it has sharply diminished the trust of the public, leaving them feeling betrayed and abandoned in all of these areas as well.
It has also brought a division over the effectiveness of masks and mandated vaccinations, as though we are incapable to make a decision for ourselves with our healthcare provider.
The individual health concerns of each citizen seems to have been thrown away for a "one-size fits all" mindset as an attempt to minimize the impact of the virus without considering the impact adverse effects.
I am reminded that I need to pray.
This doesn’t even take into account the costs inflicted on:
*The economic health of the infrastructure of our states, cities, and nation. People are paid to stay home rather than work leaving shortages in every area of our economy. Many businesses will not recover from the initial lockdown and will eventually effect the jobs that will be available when they are needed.
*The mental health of some people who have been isolated for too long, have lost their livelihood and their will to live leading them to commit suicide. These stats are on the rise, as are alcohol abuse and domestic violence.
We have seen rogue public school boards that do not accept the science that varies from what their unions are telling them, and refuse to listen to parent's concerns about mask and vaccination mandates, as well as other issues. It seems that our children’s education and future has now been taken hostage as a bargaining chip while they make demands without performing their duty. Once again not counting the cost of the negative impact on the children that they are supposed to invest in. The needless lying, propagandizing, confusion, manipulation, and hypocrisy are staggering.
*The spiritual health of people has been swung at and hit too. This has been a time when we have clearly seen fear and discouragement weighing on people, and they are looking for some peace and encouragement to keep them going. Churches in some states were bound and gagged by being ordered to close, not to sing, or restricted the number of people who could gather. The result has been several lawsuits to reclaim the rights that the Constitution secures by law. All of this could have been avoided if local leaders would have chosen to build bridges to work together with churches for the people of these communities and help them in their time of need rather than dismiss churches as NON-ESSENTIAL.
I AM REMINDED THAT I NEED TO PRAY!
I could go on. You could probably add to this list too.
I do have an opinion...but my opinions don’t fix anything.
As I reread this, I could become hopeless - BUT I WILL NOT!
My hope is not in what I see or what I hear.
My hope is in an all-powerful God who sees all, knows all and will rightly judge-having the last word!
He works in unseen places, in uncommon ways and He has proven that His mercy triumphs over judgment!
He is the Way-Maker, Miracle-Worker, Promise-Keeper, and Light in the darkness! He saves, heals, redeems, and sets free ANYONE who will have the courage to whisper His name with faith in His Son!
So, here is what I will do:
*I will study and obey His word, believe His promises, sing of His love, hope, mercy, and grace!
*I will pray!
*I will search for the truth, make my decisions and actions based on it, and not settle for what I am being told!
*I will put my opinions aside, choose to be a peacemaker, and work with others for REAL solutions to problems and true answers to questions.
If you have found yourself feeling depressed, discouraged, or hopeless, understand that you are NOT alone! There are some things that you begin to do now! Here is where you can begin to find peace:
1-Read and pray for yourself and others from God’s word everyday.
2-When you have a question, ask yourself, “What is truth in this situation?” Search it out and let it guide your decisions and actions.
3-Put opinions aside, work at making peace, and work with others for real solutions and answers.
4-Celebrate any good MESSAGE that has come from this MESS to you and your family during this last year and a half!
(I would love to hear some good news and celebrate what has come out of all of this! You can leave me a message or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org)
I know that there has been a lot of good things that have come out of these challenges (there always is)-but it is rare to hear about them!
If nothing else, I believe that we are all learning what REALLY matters most! There are many things that have been taken for granted! For me personally, I now see that everything that I value requires maintenance!
-If I want peace, truth, respect, order, security, a healthy marriage and family
-If I desire freedom to make a living, to shop, to play, to worship, to have an education, and health options...
They all require maintenance!
That means work, sacrifice, and an intentional investment to preserve them - not just for me, but for those who will come after me! It's not too late to start!
It's good to remember that messes can be turned into messages!
THAT IS HOPE!