Daily Devotions

Coronavirus Transitions

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Better is the end of a thing than its beginning; the patient in spirit are better than the proud in spirit. (Ecclesiastes 7:8)

As many of you know, I went to twelve schools between kindergarten and tenth grade. I grew up as an Air Force brat until the age of thirteen. I was so excited to spend three years in the same high school. It helped me learn to accept life’s transitions. It didn’t necessarily make life easier, but it did provide the experience that transitions can be survived and even bring new interests and excitement.

Avoiding change and transition will not keep it from happening. One of life’s givens? Nothing stays the same! Our response should be to prepare and trust. We prepare by nurturing our faith so that when transition occurs, we have the trust in God to face it with optimism and even excitement. God’s power is needed in those moments of transition so we can face the change with courage and conviction.

The ability to face transition has rarely been more important than at this very moment in time. In just a few short months our lives have changed dramatically because of COVID-19. Many of those who cannot make the transition to our new way of living in this world will get sick, or at least make other people sick. One of the most faithful things we can do is make the transition to wearing masks and staying apart until we can get together without making each other sick.

Today, pray for the spiritual strength and wisdom to face this COVID-19 transition with grace and love. We can fight the transition, but it will create further illness. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We can learn to embrace our new transition. We can become more comfortable in our own skin and embrace the “new normal,” knowing we are honoring God and keeping others safe. The act of protecting yourself and others is a spiritual enterprise.

Get Out of the Stands and Into the Game

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Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

When people realize I am a minister, they either clam up, or they talk my arm off. I remember one medical professional in particular who said to me, “I wish I had faith. I would do anything to feel something more than this world.” I knew him reasonably well, but not enough to know if he was being sincere or cynical, or both. I said, “Faith is a practice, you are usually able to experience faith over time, as you practice the expressions of prayer and weekly worship. Invest in it and you just might begin to feel a spiritual tug.” He didn’t look sold.

People want faith to be as easy to experience as turning on the television or taking a pill. Perhaps it is to be expected. So much of our lives have become convenient, from watches that can do advanced medical checks, to self-driving cars, everything has become so easy. The problem comes when something like faith is desired. You cannot pop the top on faith or order it on Amazon. No matter what you try, some things just take time, energy, and commitment. If you are unwilling to dive into the depths of the faith, you will probably not be able to fully experience what God is calling out for you to become.

There is hope. God is gracious and all-loving. It is God’s desire to continually reach out to each one of us over-and-over again, until we finally have the ears to hear, the eyes to see, and the heart to respond. I am not asking anyone to necessarily “fake it till you make it.” That would be an act of self-deception, and that is unhealthy. What I am suggesting is for people who cry out for a deep spiritual relationship with God to practice the faith, and trust God to speak to you from the inside. Sitting outside the Church and wishing for a relationship with God is like wanting to hit the winning run, but not joining the team.

Today, pray for yourself and others. Seek the way, truth, and life that comes from the gospel of Jesus the Christ. You are probably not going to be able to experience the blessings of God from the cheap seats. God does not call people to cheer from the stands. God calls each one of us to suit up, get on the field, and play. Encourage others you know who wish for faith to get off the sidelines and into the game. Then, they just might be surprised to find their lives transformed.

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