Gifts
Go Confidently
One Nation Under God

Make Lemonade

LemonadeFrom his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another.

–John  1:16

When we look back at 2020-2021 I doubt that the first thing we’ll think of is blessings or gratitude or abundance. But perhaps it’s time to reframe our perception!

Apparently fear sells soap and wins elections, and so that’s what we’ve been inundated with since early 2020 and even well before. A spirit of fear has invaded our lives for far too long. Worry over what might happen has kept too many of us from seeing all the good things that DID happen and the bad things that DIDN’T happen.

Despite the virulence of COVID, by and large the curve WAS flattened and the majority of hospitals were not overwhelmed and most patients received the competent care they deserved. Despite broken supply chains, most stores and companies were able to ‘pivot’ and consumers were able to do without or try something different, and our economy is on its way to recovery. Despite many restaurant and business closures and resulting lost jobs, the government, the charities and the churches stepped in in a big way to try to keep people in their homes with food on the table. Praise God that many families were able to keep working from home, going to school from home, and had the resources to weather this storm. Division and anger threatened to unravel our country, but it is still holding together. Violence has taken hold in cities around our country, but this is stirring communities, churches and various governments to work together, speak out and address issues that have been swept under the rug for far too long. We value our health more, we take everyday activities for granted less. Our world has been profoundly shaken, but we are still standing.

Yes, there has certainly been tragedy. There is definitely hardship and uncertainty still with us. We are much less sure of what the future holds. But believing we could be sure of the future was an illusion anyway. Now we know the power of God to stop the entire world in its tracks. Now we’ve been shaken awake from our complacency.

This is a time to literally count our blessings and name them one by one! For all that COULD have happened, God’s loving, restraining arm held back so much. So many threats and fears were not realized. So much of what once was has been spared. Hopefully we’ve come to realize that it isn’t all about us and our plans, desires, and preferences. Our purpose is to do God’s will, and His will is for us to be salt and light in this world. Salt sitting in the cupboard doesn’t preserve anything. Salt sitting in the cupboard doesn’t flavor anything. And you can’t turn down the darkness – you have to turn up the light. To reach a battered, broken, hurting, vulnerable world, we need to be out in it: not just in the soup kitchens, but in the cities, on the internet, in the schools, in the national conversation. We need to show the world the love and grace we have received. And we need to be always praying and praising God with gratitude for all He has done for us and given to us and for His hand of protection that remains over us.

How great is the goodness you have stored up for those who fear you. You lavish it on those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world. – Psalm 31:19

Blessings!

Jen Jahromi

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