BY REV. DAVE SIMONSON - IMMANUEL LUTHERAN CHURCH OF SPIRIT LAKE
In this will be a year to remember, where do you get your strength? What gives you the will to navigate these days? We describe these days as "uncertain" or "changing." When we talk about getting back to our old routine we say we are "starting over" or this is the "new normal." We speak as though we didn't change our routine before COVID.
What has not changed in the past couple months? How have you changed in the past couple of months? Are you more focused, stronger or better? Or are you worried, weaker, or not as good?
Think about what has not changed. For instance, I use the family as an example. In fact we have probably spent more time with family. Kids are home. Parents work from home. We don't go visit, or go out to eat — so then realizing we have more time together at home. One thing that hasn't changed is time. We still have 24-hour days, seven-day weeks, and 365-day years. I submit to you that our pace has decreased even though we have the same amount of time. I hope that you have been "smelling the roses" as of late.
Another thought with family is relationships. (For families that have been hit hard by the virus, this paragraph may not apply. However the concluding paragraphs will.) We have been keeping physical distance between many family and friends. Because of that we have used the gift of technology to stay in relationships. We have facetimed, texted, and called more that we have for some time. We have even isolated for two weeks to visit loved ones in person.
Time with loved ones — that is the best of life. That is life (in my opinion)! That leads me to my very first question. Where do you find the strength, when you have more time to think about the worries of these days, when the relationships are not the best? These days give us something to worry about. These are scary times.
Jesus says in Matthew chapter 6:25 — "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? (26) Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? (27) Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?" Have you noticed the birds lately? They seem to be full of life. They are singing out and just flying through life.
Then Jesus goes on to say (33) But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (34) Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Trouble is a part of life. My encouragement to you is to spend time in a relationship with our Heavenly Father. He wants a relationship with you. He sent His Son to pave the way for that relationship. That relationship is my strength! And then everything else falls into place. Life still takes work but He gives hope in the darkest times.
See you on Sunday (Might be on Live Stream)!