My beautiful, big ol' family
In my mind today, I am thinking about the recent disease pandemic. This morning I began looking at news updates before I opened my devotional. Big mistake! Then I began reading about all of the epidemic and pandemics of the past. I was trying to find some type of consolation for this rapid spreading disease. I had to make myself stop and open my devotional.
I focused on the readings and then flipped back and forth from this week's readings. They had consolation for me where I could not find any anywhere else: tv, internet, or social media.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, / on your own intelligence do not rely; / In all your ways be mindful of him, / and he will make straight your paths. / Do not be wise in your own eyes, / fear the Lord and turn away from evil; / This will mean health for your flesh / and vigor for your bones. / Honor the Lord with your wealth, / with first fruits of all your produce; / Then will your barns be filled with plenty, / with new wine your vats will overflow. / The discipline of the Lord, my son, do not spurn; / do not disdain his reproof; / For whom the Lord loves he reproves, / as a father, the son he favors.
Students read this three times. What pops out? We are reminded that we are mere humans. We do not have all the answers. We do need to live in a godly way. We need to turn from evil. We need to start giving God the glory and love that he deserves. How can we do this? It's really simple. Love each other. This is not going to be the last time something comes around to diminish our lives and livelihood. If we do this, God will take care of us. It may not be on the Earth but we will go to Him up on our death. We were made to flower and fade. We do not get the luxury of choosing the length of our earthly lives.
Then Jeremiah 17: 5-10
Thus says the Lord: / Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings, / who seeks his strength in flesh, / whose heart turns away from the Lord. / He is like a barren bush in the desert / that enjoys no change of season, / But stands in a lava waste, / a salt and empty earth. / Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, / whose hope is the Lord. / He is like a tree planted beside the waters / that stretches out its roots to the stream: / It fears not the heat when it comes, / its leaves stay green; / In the year of drought it shows no distress, / but still bears fruit. / More tortuous than all else is the human heart, / beyond remedy; who can understand it? / I, the Lord, alone probe the mind / and test the heart, / To reward everyone according to his ways, / according to the merit of his deeds.
Students read this one three times. Back row quit grumbling. What is this virus? Is it a curse? Where can we find refuge? That's right front row. We find our hope comes from our belief in God. God has gifted each human with different talents. Those with talents will be leaned heavily upon during this time. Pray for these who are on the front lines fighting this pandemic. I pray that God gives them the insight to create a vaccine.
Psalms 90: 1-4, 14-17
O Lord, you have been our refuge,
from generation to generation.
Before the mountains were born,
or the earth or the world were brought forth,
you are God, from age to age.
You turn human beings back to dust,
and say, “Return, O children of Adam.”
To your eyes a thousand years
are like yesterday, come and gone,
or like a watch in the night.
At dawn, fill us with your faithful love;
we shall exult and rejoice all our days.
Give us joy for the days of our affliction,
for the years when we looked upon evil.
Let your deed be seen by your servants,
and your glorious power by their children.
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us;
give success to the work of our hands.
O give success to the work of our hands.
Students, you know the drill. Read it three times. What sticks out in this one? That's right God is eternal. Before the mountains were born; He has been here from generation to generation. That's right back row, we will turn back to dust. Give us joy in the days of trouble or affliction. That's right back row. We are petitioning God. We are asking him to help us through this. Give success to the heads and hands of those who are working for the greater good. Help those who have continued to look to evil instead of good.
The last two readings were about Joseph's brothers and how they betrayed him and threw him into the well. They sold him as a slave to Egypt. Next, I read about the parable of the vineyard the workers killed the heir as soon as the father/owner had left in order to steal the riches.
First, we are so upset at Joseph's brothers right? He was treated horribly. Envy. Acting out of their sin God turned it into a blessing. Had Joseph not been sold into slavery, the line of Abraham would have ceased to exist. It was for the greater good. The parable of the vineyard shows us how we reject the authority over us. We think how could they tell us what to do? We can overcome them and do it ourselves. We are good at rejecting what is good for us. So many rejected Jesus and his teachings. Who wants rules? That's right back row, nobody. This is pride. We have been gifted with consciousness and made in the image of God. We fall when we try to be the God of our own lives.
Some of us will not make it through this pandemic. My husband and I may very well be two that do not make it. We are susepectible because of underlining issues: COPD & ALS. We will trust in God and take the precautions that have been given. We will use this time to pull closer as a family and a community. We will enjoy this time together in solidarity. We will not live in fear. We will live one day at a time. That's all we get.
Students use this time to grow closer to your loved ones. Use it to enjoy one another's company. Make a blessing out of this. There is no amount of toilet paper or antibiotics that can cure this. Be strong. Put your faith where it should be.
Sal the Fragile Gal
Sarah Anderson Alley
1. Stay home if you can. Only allow one person to be the runner to the stores.
2. Stock up on fever reducer, Mucinex, and cough medicines. Alternate between Tylenol and another fever reducer like ibuprofen.
3. Stay hydrated. Drink a lot of fluids if you start to show signs.
4. If the fever becomes uncontrollable or breathing becomes worse, go to an ER.
5. Use a humidifier or a steamy hot bathroom.