What Are You Thankful For? (Coronavirus Edition)
Can you remember when you first heard about the Coronavirus, and how you felt about it?
To be honest, I can’t remember much because I thought it would never really affect me. I felt badly for the people going through it, but never truly believed an epidemic in a remote region of China would completely change the way I live my daily life.
Obviously, I was wrong.
In one way or another, all of us are facing the effects of COVID-19, and likely will be for quite some time.
And as the inconvenience grows, it’s easy to focus on everything that’s going wrong.
Have you had some days like that recently? I sure have.
Everything feels heavier when we’re focused on the problems in front of us. We slog through the day, and somehow, even normal tasks feel like climbing up a mountain.
A Bright Spot During The Coronavirus
Yesterday, my wife showed me this video from SGN, a new YouTube show hosted by former The Office star John Krasinski. (It just so happens The Office is the best show ever, but I digress…)
The show acknowledges that the world is a hot mess right now, but unapologetically focuses on real-life stories of things that are going well, and, the people who are making a difference during this hard time. (Quick shout-out to anyone serving in healthcare; you guys are heroes.)
If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth a watch. You’ll probably laugh, cry and feel inspired like I did. 🙂
Going Deeper In Christ
But as much as I liked the show, it’s not coming from a Christian perspective and isn’t pretending to be.
As Christians, we need more than positive stories, or a simple change of focus. Especially if – as – the circumstances around us grow darker as COVID-19 persists.
The bible seems to encourage two things.
1. Noticing God’s blessings.
First, without ignoring whatever is difficult, to intentionally notice things that are going well as blessings from God.
‘Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.’ (Philippians 4:8)
2. Praising and worshiping God for the blessings he sends.
The goodness we see in the world around us is not random. The blessings and mercies we experience everyday, even when life is hard, are thoughtful gifts ‘coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.’ (James 1:17)
The end of Habakkuk gives us a great example of how we should respond:
17 Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
19 God, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the deer’s;
he makes me tread on my high places.
Even when the life we normally expect fails, we can still find joy in our Lord, the God who saves and blesses us.
In summary, as we mature in our faith, we grow in noticing the graces we receive, and then actively worshiping God for them.
How About You?
I’ll bring this plane in for a quick landing with two questions for you.
- What is going well in your life right now? Try to think of at least 3 things, and be as specific as you can.
- Take a few minutes and actively praise God for those things. As we worship, God is honored and we are transformed.
If you have a moment, I’d love to hear from you personally in the comments below about something that’s going well. Let’s rejoice and praise God together!