Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

Leave a comment

It was the Worst of Times, but can it also be the Best of Times?

Feeling Down? Count Your Blessings!  How’s that for a trite little “Happy Clappy” phrase? But stay with me please. Have you been feeling down with how things have been going thus far in 2020? It’s really hard not to get down. Let’s see, so far, we’ve been through an impeachment, pandemic, economic crisis, and police brutality, the latter of which has led to both peaceful protests and rioting/looting, some of which has taken place in my relatively small community.
I live in central Illinois, the state with the third highest number of COVID-19 confirmed cases. It is a state that has had some of the longest and most stringent COVID-19 stay at home orders in place from our governor. The order began on March 21, and continues at this time, with the state on track to move to Phase 4, of the 5-phase plan, at the end of June. During this time, wearing a mask has become the norm. We have watched our church worship services online, attended church leadership meetings and small group meetings on Zoom, and used a lot of hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes. We’ve enjoyed socially distanced time with family, but had vacations, conferences, concerts and baseball games cancelled. I’ve talked to people who are doing fine,
but also to those who are sad, isolated and lonely. A friend of mine lost his mother to COVID-19. She was in a nursing home and later a hospital, and he couldn’t visit her in either place. Frankly, at times, I’ve felt like this social media post from pastor Scott Sauls.
It’s easy to focus on all of the bad things that are going on in our lives, country (and world). I admit that I can tend to gravitate to what is wrong, rather than focusing on the blessings in my life that I often take for granted. James tells us that every good gift and every perfect gift is from above (1:17).   Like in Psalm 42, David laments his current circumstances instead of just trying to keep a stiff upper lip.  But then he intentionally speaks to himself and reminds himself of God, His character and His blessings.  This is where his hope comes from.  As I gave it some thought, I came up with a number of blessings that I’ve enjoyed during these days and also a soundtrack for this article: Continue reading