Welcome to this edition of The COVID-19 Devotionals, a chronicle of our collective experience staying at home and effectively sheltering in place. Since my first post in this series, I’ve tried to share an encouraging word, including prayers, to those of you kind enough to read my blog. There have been many highs and lows in this journey we’ve found ourselves thrust on. At the time I am writing this post, 195,920 people have lost their lives. Nearly 52,000 of those were living in the United States at the time of their death. Globally, almost 3 million people have had a confirmed case of COVID-19. Locally, nationally, and worldwide, the once-booming economy lies in shambles. The US unemployment rate that once stood at about 3.5% at the beginning of 2020 is now believed to be around 20%. Nearly all of the jobs gained in the United States since the Great Recession have been wiped out.
But, many of us have also gotten our stimulus checks and realized the benefits of new working conditions that have us working from home and not fighting the daily commute. Some of my friends in our church’s men’s group shared that they are saving nearly 2 hours of daily drive time and enjoying the extra time with their families. Amid all of the bleakness, we are continuing to see rays of hope and incredible acts of kindness. Even though the storm we’re in is rocking our boats, there remains a lot to be grateful for as we navigate the choppy waters of COVID-19.
I think for me, I realized the key to my day begins and ends with the gratitude I’m feeling and confessing each day. I’ve come to believe that professing my gratitude verbally is an important blessing that shapes my day. It’s easy for us, including me, to get caught up in the negatives and find ourselves tied up in the “nots.”
Practicing Your Gratitudes
- Make a list of what you are grateful for in your life. Don’t just think them, write them down.
- Recite them aloud. Do this first thing in the morning, halfway through the day, and at night before you hit the hay.
- Pray over each of your gratitudes.
- Share your gratitudes with your partner. Talk them over morning coffee, during your walk, or at dinner.
- Thank God for each of your gratitudes.
Remember to enjoy the simple things and find time to bask in the stillness while it lasts. Spiritual growth is hard work. The Holy Spirit helps us but by now you’ve learned that in this life growth comes with pain. “No pain, no gain,” is a motto that rings true as we exercise our physical and our spiritual muscles.
God, thank You for the blessings You have given me. I have a lot to be grateful for in my life, including my wife and those who love, like my family and my friends. You’ve given me the opportunity to speak truth into people’s lives and to shepherd them through their various tests and trials. Thank You for the chance to share the love and shine the light of Jesus. I’m grateful for everything You have done for me, including rescuing me from the pits that I once called home. Thank You for redeeming me and transforming my heart, my mind, and my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
- How has COVID-19 caused you to reevaluate how you spend the minutes, hours, and days of your life?
- What have you learned during this experience that you will do differently when life gets back to normal?
- What are you looking forward to the most when the restrictions are lifted in your area?
- How can I pray for you?
During our walk today, Terri and I noticed a considerable increase in traffic. The number of cars on the road increased significantly since our last walk. The other day, discussions about possibly resuming making in-person worksite visits, rapidly morphed into the reality of being able to make visits to companies performing essential work. I have a number of clients who are involved in the petroleum and energy business as well as accounting services and projects for the Department of Defense. Thursday, I was able to get out and make my first visits in a number of weeks. This is something I am definitely thankful and grateful to have the opportunity to resume.
How about you? What does life look like in your world?
The Devotional Guy™
ABOUT: The Devotional Guy™ is a writing ministry of Chaplain Rainer Bantau, a Swiss-born, German kid who grew up in East Texas and today ministers throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
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