Tuesday, March 31, 2020

our impact, His influence

Well, today it just got real as my hubby informed me that someone he and his boss had a meeting with on March 11th has now been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Fortunately none of our households have shown any symptoms of the virus and we have all been very conscientious to maintain healthy boundaries and use antibacterial agents religiously.  But let me tell y’all... hearing about someone in your circle contracting this virus really hits close to home.

Soooo, just as I was being told the news about Chuck’s business associate, I felt something crawling on the back of my neck and realized a big bug was on me!  😳!!!  Apparently a very large ant had crawled on my back while I was planting new tomato plants in the garden just a few moments before.  Immediately I did the “get it off me dance” and sent the poor guy flying.

Clearly I’m on edge.

We all are.

For these are uncertain times, right?

Thankfully, it was just a little ant that I over-reacted to in the depth of my immediate stress.
It was just an ant.  Phew.

As I settled down from my creepy crawly freak out, I realized something very important.  Clearly, God has already protected me and my family from the scariest of danger.  Not just in the form of a little innocent ant, but we have miraculously been shielded from a deadly bug much more lethal.

Thank you, Father.  Please continue to watch over us all.

I am so thankful that God has kept my already weakened immune system free of this major illness.  He has protected my family and helped us keep level heads.  (Despite my ant moment, lol.)

In this rare global pandemic situation, we must all make wise, purposeful decisions and avoid panic-motivated reactions.  We must not allow our fear to rule over our responses.  We must consider that the choices we make today can definitely impact the wellbeing of another person's tomorrow.  But more important than all of that, we must remember that greater than our personal impact may have on one another is our great God’s influence over all mankind.  We must be thankful and share the good news of His sovereignty.  For He is truly in control.  He is King over all seen and unseen.  And His influence teaches each of us to do all things in Christ's love.  To depend on Him for every single need.  To seek Him first/most/always.  To trust that greater is He (God) that is in me than he that is in the world (the spirit of antiChrist/Satan/evil).  What an encouragement to know that God loves us enough to save us from all evil.  His influence of love reaches farther than any pandemic.  Hallelujah... for His influence is eternal and what each of us needs the very most.

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.  If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God.  And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.  This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus.  There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. (1 John 4)

Yáll, I know COVID-19 has made our day-to-day lives more isolated.  I know that we all are coping with the loss of what once was and what will possibly be our new normal moving ahead.  But the good news is this: God has overcome all the yuck in this world and invites us to join His eternal family in Spirit.  His authority spans far beyond this place and time... beyond the whole universe... beyond every microbe and every galaxy.  If we believe in Jesus as our Lord, we are His people!  And He loves us so much.  Such perspective affords us the grace to react more wisely and lovingly in this and every trial.  We can focus our energy on sharing His good news, hope and help to those who really need to receive Him.

So today, I'd like to encourage all who read this little blog to check-in with someone and share Christ's wonderful love.  Call in and say hello.  Text, email, or stream online with a friend, colleague, family member with whom you have not talked to in a while.  Stay in touch with the means we have been afforded in this unique time and place.  Let me say it again... stay in touch.  Notice all the blessings you have been afforded and share His praises with one another.  For our God is good.  His mercies are new every morning!

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

Folks, this horrible, dangerous virus is real.  It is here.  But it too, shall pass.

So as we wait it out, let's invite others to know the greatest gift given to all mankind...  Christ's perfect love.  Remember, He is ever-faithful.  He will see us through all trials.  He will protect and uphold His people forever.

Share His life-giving influence as you make sound choices that impact other's wellbeing.

This is the day to love.
This is the day to be thankful together.
This is the day to seek Jesus first/most/always.

God bless us, everyone!!!


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