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  • Writer's picturePastor Emily

God is Our Hope!

by Colleen Soldate, Director of Caring Ministries

Is it Five…Six…weeks since we “sheltered in place?” It feels unreal and at times I wonder if I am having a weird dream and just need to wake up. Days run into weeks and weeks run into months and I am very much wanting to get back to my old routine. Maybe you are feeling the same way.

After sitting for a while, it was time to get circulations back into my legs. Grabbing my phone, I headed out the door to go for a walk. From feelings of being confined, my attention was drawn to how freely the birds soared in the warm breeze. I found myself thinking how nice it was that the birds were unrestricted to glide here and there. Half-way around the block my mind shifted from focusing on my personal experience of being “sheltered in place” to focusing on the home-bound who are permanently “sheltered in place.” Keeping in step, my hand gently reached into my pocket to take out the phone and dialed the number to one of my home-bound friends. Disappointed that the number was busy, I slipped the phone back into my pocket. I have always found that walking is a really good time to listen to God and share my concerns. Thinking about my home-bound friend, I asked God to help me to live in the moment, to live with my eyes wide open, to show me what’s important; to help me not overlook what He has in store for me and to remove within me what keeps my eyes closed to His plan for my life.

One foot in front of the other, I recall recently hearing someone say, “how lonely it was being alone during this uncertain season.” Which had me thinking about my friends in care facilities who are “sheltered in their rooms.” Waiting patiently for a car to pass, I gave some thought to being along, day after day with nobody to share the goings on of life. I would offer that being alone might be very difficult to adapt to this mandatory “sheltering in place.” Then, my mind wandered to my friends who are permanently home-bound because of medical reasons.

While walking past Susan’s house and hearing her collie Dalila’s gentle bark, I heard my phone ring and to my surprise it was my friend I had tried to call earlier. During our conversation, I asked, "How do you keep busy throughout the day?"

She shared that she enjoys reading and watching television. I asked, "What makes you laugh?"

Her answer surprised me. What makes me laugh she said is "memories and God.”

“Memories and God…do explain...” I said.

She is right: happy memories bring joy and God’s peace makes everything ok.

The loss of what was our normal schedules and routines force us to incorporate new types of habits. Like daily walks, scheduling calls with family and friends, and reaching out and attending online classes and zoom meetings. One thing I have learned through this experience is that we can do anything when there are no other options. For example, six weeks ago, many of us had never heard of “Zoom” yet today we see many of our friends in the 80s and 90s attending zoom meetings.

Feeling alone can happen in any circumstance, at any age, even when you are surrounded by people. Our God is faithful and no matter how lonely we feel, He is with us. He loves us more than we can ever possibly know. We can be assured that we can turn to God who is the anchor of our hope. His peace surrounds us for I know He is in control even when we are not. Psalm 16:11 “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

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