Faith . . . or Fear?! Part II

The Good and the Bad.

Rev. Sudha Mehta©

Jendtime-messenger.blogspot.comendtime-messenger.blogspot.comJesus on the cross photo from Free bible images.

Isaiah 53: 4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5  But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.(KJV)

It is Easter Season . . . isn’t it?? He is risen . . . the tomb is still empty! Hope lives and yet everything seems to have radically changed in a few short weeks.

Strange times to be living in!

I think at this time more than ever in my lifetime, I am likely to get an agreement to the fact that we are all in this together. All of us around the Globe!

It is the Saturday before Easter Sunday, and nothing feels like it should. It feels surreal!

While, nothing has changed in my personal status, or my families, and faith and hope abounds strong . . . the world around seems quite different!

This time, I am sure whoever you are, wherever you are, in which part or corner of the World, your neighborhood looks different as well!

In one fell swoop, a tiny bug unseen by the naked eye has frightened the World so that we are all content to be in our homes, hiding away, away from all “non-essential jobs” (defined by those who deem our jobs essential or not), as though it is a war-zone outside.

When we do have to shop for essentials like food, we remain maintaining six feet between us. No handshakes or hugs! Even at meetings!

social distancing photo by Forbessocial distancing photo by Forbes

Those in the “free-world” like in the US didn’t like face-coverings for anyone. It seemed oppressive, or shady, like crooks wearing masks. Now, we find them safe and protective. In the US we are a touchy-feely people, we like to give hugs to friends and family anytime and anywhere . . . now . . . we greet each other on the phone or facetime/duo/or skype.

health workers wearing face maskPhoto by cottonbro on Pexels.com

No hugs from grand-children . . . they visit from afar. No birthday parties, no graduation ceremonies, no anniversary celebrations at a restaurant . . . not even church on Sunday. We are now “social” on our phones and computers. I miss the hugs!

how to be social during covid photo from wirecutterhow to be social during covid photo from wirecutter

Funny that liquor stores have been deemed essential, but church service on Sunday, even on Easter is non-essential.

One pastor was fined $500.00 for holding an outdoor service with people sitting in their cars in the parking lot like a drive-in movie. A dozen police cars showed up to shut it down . . . “Non-essential!!!!” Curbside liquor store service . . . “Essential!!!!”

church service in parking lot 1church service in parking lot 1 Photo by conroe courier
Roadside confessions photo by capitol GazetteRoadside confessions photo by capitol Gazette

The good of it all:

In such times my faith holds!

My friends are maintaining great faith, and cheerfully they are all finding things to keep busy. From the evidence I see on Facebook, and from the phone conversations I have with family, and friends, all are doing well and in good spirit.

All of them have picked projects to work on while at home. One friend has taken on home redecorating. She seems to have redone her whole home, painting walls and even furniture, giving it a whole new look. I delight to see the pictures she has been posting. When I complimented her, she was quick to point out that none of it could have been done without her husband’s help. True, and nice to see couples working together, instead of clashing in close quarters. thanks be to God!

Brenda and Tim redecorate during Covid 19Brenda and Tim redecorate during Covid 19

Many are working on other projects that busy jobs didn’t allow time for. There are those that are finding ways to cheer/encourage others by sharing the Word, sharing recipes, sharing sweet stories of children and pets.

There are those that help by grocery shopping and running errands for those who can’t for safety and age reasons.

I have my own project as well. I started knitting blankets for my grandsons two years ago, but never found time to complete them. Now I am determined. They are almost done. I just have to finish the edging on last one, weave in all the threads, then block them and yes . . . they will get done!!

Three blankets for grandsons almost done 4-1-20Almost done with the blankets for my three grandsons. Photo by Sudha

One friend is working hard at crocheting scarves for the needy and poor. I wrote about her in a previous post Truly Rich. She hasn’t stopped.

The other friend I wrote about in the same post  Truly Rich works with the elderly and continues to. She is giving hands on care to Covid-19 patients. I know others in the essential jobs like health care who do not have the luxury of staying home.

The heroes of today include my mail lady who delivers mail everyday no matter the conditions.

Marie the Mail Lady 2020

Marie the Mail Lady 2020

It is Easter time, so children are missing their Egg Hunts.

Today, I saw one person dress up as the Easter Bunny and take small gifts and Easter eggs to friends in the neighborhood. This person placed the gifts near the door, spread the eggs in the lawn, ring the bell and watch from a distance.

Easter Bunny during Covid 19 photo from WWNYEaster Bunny during Covid 19 photo from WWNY

There are “Bear hunts” going on in different neighborhoods. Parents are taking the children for walks looking for “Bears.” It is a neighborhood game. All participate by putting stuffed toy bears and other stuffed animals in the windows, so the little ones can find and count. Safe distancing maintained!

Bear hunt photo from facebookPhoto of “Bear Hunt” from Facebook

Pastors are busy helping families even in this time. Not only are many or most of them giving their sermons online, they continue to counsel and encourage those in need over the phone, shop for the needy, do other errands for the home-bound elderly, pray for the sick and attend to whatever else needs attending to!

We used to say “God . . . Family . . . Church!” In that order and it is still correct! Now we are still living that out but it looks different, people are seeing the church in action more than before. The Bible tells me I am a part of the body of Christ and my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. The Church building is simply a place where the body of Christ meets. If you have received the Lord as your personal Savior, you have the Holy Spirit living in you. You, therefore, are His sanctuary. So, at the moment, the sanctuaries of God have moved out of the building and are meeting and serving in different capacities.

Pastor gives Easter sermon on line during CovidPastor gives Easter sermon on line during Covid

Trying Times:

On the other hand, things are difficult for many and will probably get worse yet. So I find people helping their neighbors at a time like this.

Because of this stay-at-home situation, there are many who are not being paid. For many of them, money is suddenly tight. One friend was able to get a lot of extra food from a Food Bank. She could have hoarded some of it, but she shared it with her neighbors, and even invited someone just walking by to get some food for his family. Everyone pitches in.

helping with food during Covid 19 photo from Daily Express

helping with food during Covid 19 photo from Daily Express

Other true heroes include the people that continue to produce the food that feeds the Country. From the farm and the factory to the table, there are a lot of hands required. They are working night and day to keep the supply chain going without glitches. I bless them!

Toilet-paper, paper towels, tissues, cleaning supplies, many things are rationed at this time, nonetheless, we are a blessed nation for all we have. . . . and all we have is now much more appreciated and seen with different eyes than just a few days before.

toilet paper supply photo from New York Post

We are learning what is really important . . . and that is good.

The Bad of It:

There have been two deaths (unrelated to Covid-19) of people very dear to me, yet my anchor in Christ holds fast. I know I will see my loved ones again in Heaven and am comforted by that knowledge.

What I am sensing is that even though our spirits are fine right now, times will get tough yet. On the one hand I believe we will make it through, on the other hand I think our world may have changed permanently in many ways.

This pandemic has unleashed much hardship upon this world, yet it is a pestilence that the Bible has already given us warning about in Matthew 24.

So, while some may applaud these changes, we might see our freedoms infringed upon if we are not careful. We have seen all humanity make quick adjustments to a new norm, but we made these changes happily only because we thought it was temporary. If these changes become long term, or God forbid, permanent then the people who are happy today will not remain so.

Our leaders have a very fine line to walk and tough decisions ahead of them.

So, Let us pray God gives them wisdom and they do what is right. In every country!

Many of you around the world already have known less freedom than we in the US. Many of you live under oppressive regimes and do not have the freedom to go anywhere you desire whenever you wish. Many meet in small groups, and some of you have been restricted by others so that you are not free to go where you wish at all.

I myself lived in a situation like that many years. I had no freedom to go to church at all. Isolation was routine. This stay-at-home time brings some memories back that I really don’t care to remember. Yet, I can speak to you who are in difficult circumstances such as that . . . I know how isolation feels.

Every thing else aside, I learned that isolation taught me dependence on God as my only source. I was alone, but I learned to not be lonely. My children and I had to learn dependence upon Him, there was no choice in the matter. As a result, I can assure you, our faith in Him grew, He became our strength, our Fortress, our shield, our buckler, our strong tower, our God and eternal hope!

So, even if times get tough, let us remember to pray for our leaders and learn to trust in God through it all.

The Promise:

Remember: God is the same, yesterday, today and forever, and this Easter, I will remind you of the empty tomb:

Matthew 28: 2 Suddenly there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, rolled away the stone, and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards trembled in fear of him and became like dead men. 5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; He has risen, just as He said! Come, see the place where He lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell His disciples, ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see Him.’ See, I have told you.”(BSB)

empty tomb photo from pinterest

empty tomb photo from pinterest

And be reminded of His promise that He is coming soon:

Revelation 22:12 “Behold, I am coming soon, and My reward is with Me, to give to each one according to what he has done.(BSB)

In coming posts I would like to tell you what the Bible says about End Times.

Are you ready????

Faith . . . or Fear?! Part I

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