Hi Everyone!

I have to be honest and admit that this pandemic is getting to me. I miss my friends and family desperately. I have to remember that better days are ahead and hope this is helpful for all of you. Stay safe and well!

One of my favorite religious writers is Max Lucado. Recently I was reading his devotional God is with you every day. One verse literally jumped off the page at me during this COVID 19 crisis.

We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps. (Proverbs 16:9- NLT). Wow – and this was written before the pandemic. Never in our lifetime has this been so true.

My heart truly aches for the many people in our country and around the world who have planned graduations, weddings, milestone birthdays, and special events, only to have it all upended by a virus caused by a bat. I feel terrible for people who have lost their loved ones and cannot hold a funeral or service to obtain closure. I have friends and relatives who have planned cruises, vacations, and once in a lifetime trips to have them thwarted. I know seniors who are anxious to begin internships or jobs and have no idea when they can do this. Even worse, I know people who have had this terrible disease and said you are terrifyingly sick. And several people, including people in our church congregation, are suffering devastating job losses and financial ruin. And every single one of us is worried about this horrible virus attacking us or our loved ones. For some of our CUCC members – it already has.

When this pandemic started, I remarked to our pastor that now when we need church more than ever, we are being forced to do it remotely.

All of us make daily plans, even if it is get-togethers with relatives, lunch or dinner with friends, or marking celebrations. It is these fun events that keep us going and break up the monotony of our lives. As Psalms reminds us, we are making our plans.

However, unexpected events like illness, accidents, or deaths force us to change plans. Never, however, have we seen the whole world turned on its axis and a global interruption of this magnitude.

But, as Psalms also reminds us, the Lord determines our steps. When we are young, most of us believe we can control our lives and destiny. Maturity teaches us that the only thing we truly can control is our reactions to life happenings.

Sometimes, we just need to have blind faith. I do not believe for a second that God makes bad things happen to punish us. My wise mother used to say that God does not cause bad things to happen, but gets us through the tough times.

Our steps have been diverted, changed, and stopped altogether in some instances. Presently, we cannot make plans of any kind. But as the Psalms reminds us, the Lord will determine our next steps. Wherever that goes and however it happens, we need to trust Him. We need to relinquish our belief in our control, pray for the world, and know that things will get better. God also gave us one more emotion that is vitally important – HOPE. We cannot ever lose sight of that.

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