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Can I be honest? I’m a little tired of all of the talk about fear, anxiety, and stress related to COVID-19. It’s tiring, almost depressing. I know that being on lockdown is difficult for most people, and if we think about all that we’ve had to give up then depression will begin to set in for sure. So instead, I’d like to give God thanks for the little things that He’s doing in the midst of this crisis.
‘A psalm of thanksgiving. Shout joyfully to Adonai, all the earth! Serve Adonai with gladness. Come before His presence with joyful singing. Know that Adonai, He is God. It is He who has made us, and we are His. We are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise! Praise Him, bless His Name. For Adonai is good. His lovingkindness endures forever, and His faithfulness to all generations.’Psalms 100:1-5
We’re living with a lot of uncertainty these days. When will lockdown be lifted? What will life look like after all this is over? Will we ever go back to normal (I’m not sure I want to)? It’s easy to focus on the things that we miss.
Like the convenience of going shopping whenever you felt like it. I was painfully reminded of Covid’s inconveniences last Friday night when my fan died. If you’ve ever lived on a tropical you know that a fan is not a luxury. It’s a necessity at night not just for cooling but to keep the mosquitoes away.
Under ordinary circumstances, I could just pop out the next day to get a new one. But it wasn’t my allotted shopping day (by surname) and the lines were still too long to inconvenience someone else by asking them to get one for me.
I would have been doomed to another night or two of sleeping with the window open (with the dog and a cricket bat for protection) if a friend hadn’t come to my rescue and loaned me one. I haven’t gotten to the thanksgiving part of this post yet but thank you, Jesus, for friends with extra fans!)
So yes, there are a lot of conveniences that COVID-19 has taken away from us, but I’m sure there are a lot of things we’ve gained as well. So let’s shift our focus a little bit and think about the positives things coming out of the lockdown; little things we can be grateful for. Here are five little reasons I found to give God thanks during this COVID-19 lockdown.
give God thanks – our children are Learning Life Skills
We cook every other day in our house (roughly 3 to 4 times a week). Before the lockdown, I was busy working on building my online business so that I can bring in some income (my job as a software developer was made redundant last September). My daughter would usually handle the cooking.
Now my daughter is busy making masks, so I allotted one day to my son to cook. As far as I’m concerned, he can cook whatever he wants, as long as it’s something my dad can eat. My daughter and I can fend for ourselves. I’m long past the time where I care what’s being cooked, just as long as I’m not the one who has to do it.
His specialty is chicken chow mein, which he learned to cook a few years ago in Home Ec class at secondary school. As is being proven right now, academics aren’t everything. School may be out indefinitely, but this is an opportunity for our children to learn valuable life skills. I give God thanks for schools that still teach Home Ec.
thanking god for Unexpected Income
Many businesses have had to close due to Covid-19 but the pandemic has opened up opportunities for new businesses too. As I mentioned above, my daughter is busy making masks.
She has an associate’s degree in Fashion Design and sometime after our first curfew was put into place in March, she made masks for everyone in our household.
When someone on my Facebook timeline asked about local seamstresses and tailors who were making masks, I connected her with my daughter. This person happened to be a doctor and she was so pleased with my daughter’s work, that she recommended her to her colleagues and then again on a Facebook live.
My daughter has been almost overwhelmed with orders ever since, going to sleep at 5 a.m many mornings. And it’s not just her. Many tailors and seamstresses on the island have found work making masks for the general population and our essential workers. This shows two things – it’s always good to be prepared and God will always provide.
As I’m not bringing ain any income right now, the income from daughter is most welcome in these times. If you’re one of the many whose income has been affected by the pandemic, I pray that God would show Himself to you as Jehovah Jirah and provide for you naturally… or supernaturally. I give God thanks for His provision.
I’M thankful for Virtual Church Hopping
One of the things I’m loving about lockdown is virtual church hopping. I started “going” to church online about once a month even before lockdown. On these Sundays, I’d spend a couple of hours studying the Bible or reading a book before logging on to my home church, Restoration Ministries International.
Online church means that not only do I get to “go” to my home church, but I can go to three or four others during the course of the day… or even over the course of the week.
Two of my international favorites are Elevation Church and Transformation Church, which I listen to on YouTube. Then there are also many local churches I can choose from like Calvary Temple Community Church and House of Freedom; some I’ve always wanted to visit but never
found made the time.
I know that there was a big push back all over the world when the churches had to close but I always like to say that the devil doesn’t know how to create anything. God created technology for His purposes and many pastors are reaching persons they would never reach in their local churches. Thank God for technology.
renewed Focus on the Things That Matter
COVID-19 has caused the entire world to slow down and consider what’s really important. In many cases, it’s caused us to take the focus off of ourselves and all we thought we had to do and focus on others.
Amid the increasing case number and death toll updates, I’ve found truly inspiring stories of persons assisting others in need. Landlords waiving rent and buying groceries for their tenants. Stories about our heroic policemen, nurses, and doctors. And not only them but cashiers and gas station attendants, our new frontline workers. We realize that we need each other now more than ever.
But even the everyday person can be a hero. Yes, you and me. How? By simply wearing a mask. Recently, as I stood in the checkout line at the supermarket, I looked around and saw everyone diligently wearing a mask as has been mandated.
It was a bit disheartening to see. I thought, “look what this pandemic has caused us all to do, wearing masks, unable to interact with each other.” But then as I thought about it some more I realize how heroic an act it was.
We wear masks not to protect ourselves, but to protect others. By wearing a mask we’re not only protecting the person we might come into contact with inside the supermarket but also their older relative or their immune-compromised person at home.
We’ve been forced to place others before ourselves. And that’s a good thing. Thank God for the things that matter; compassion and kindness.
THE “Church” Comes to Unsaved Loved Ones
The very first thing that came to my mind when I heard that all places of worship on the island had to close was that now when I went to church online, everyone in my house would too… including those that were unsaved.
I guess I tend to look at the bright side of things. Many were upset because they couldn’t go to their own churches to worship but I saw it as an enormous opportunity to reach the unsaved in our own families. And given all of the fear surrounding the pandemic, they would be more likely to listen.
Last Sunday, as I listened to Elevation Church, I didn’t realize it at the time but an unsaved family member was also listening. Later in the day, he brought up some of the points the pastor mentioned and we ended up discussing them. That would have never happened if we weren’t on lockdown. Thank God for the millions being reached in unprecedented ways.
Are there any little things that you can be grateful for since the start of the pandemic? I shared my own list with my worship team members and they shared in turn. It was very encouraging to hear their testimonies.
If you’re in lockdown and you can find a few things to give God thanks for, share your own list in the comments and encourage someone else.