He will give his angels charge of you to guard you in all your ways.
Psalm 91:11 RSV
In my last testimony, I wrote, “On this first day of March, I am like an excited child who cannot wait for Christmas morning to arrive.” You see, I could not wait to see how God was going to paint our landscapes with His glorious spring colors. This year, the show has been spectacular as frequent rain and cooler temperatures extended the life of the many spring flowers. Little did we know back then that an unseen mortal enemy was spreading its way around the world that would change life as we knew it, quite possibly forever.
In the blink of an eye, the world stopped on a dime. The economy came crashing down due to the need to quarantine and shelter in place. “Hot spots” sprung up everywhere as the death toll rose quickly. Fear and anxiety began to spread across the land as it became evident that we were engulfed in a worldwide war. Schools, churches, businesses, etc. were quickly closed; sporting events were cancelled, and normal life activity came to a halt, even a walk in the park was prohibited. Only essential businesses and organizations were allowed open resulting in workers being laid off and furloughed for the foreseeable future. Most needed medical treatment and surgeries had to be postponed as they were deemed elective. COVID-19 treatment took precedent as the fear was that hospitals would be overrun beyond capacity. We rushed to the stores to purchase food and things we needed so we could hunker down for an indefinite period. Uncertainty about the future still looms large even though the curve has been flattened, and states begin to try to reopen without a vaccine and fully effective treatment in place.
How did we as a people respond? For the most part, as individuals, we heeded the regulations staying at home and only traveling as needed. We wore our masks and stayed six feet apart when we had to go out in public. We marvel and are so grateful for all those heroes that are on the front lines: our medical providers who bravely face the deadly enemy on a daily basis; the truck drivers and store employees who keep the stores stocked as best as they can for us; the first responders who without fail are there when needed; our military who stepped in to fill the void; and so many other courageous workers who are making a difference. Then there are those amazing volunteer angels who are doing what they can to help the cause by making masks at home, providing food to shelters and individual families, and delivering meals to shut-ins and medical workers, and the list goes on.
When this pandemic first hit, I thought about how I should respond from a Christian perspective. Fortunately, I am not a big worrier and never have been. Plus, since being saved, I have a strong sense of peace about my life. Being human, I have my less tranquil times as storms do arise, but I can attest as the song goes, “there is a peace when we walk with Him.” During these turbulent times, I feel it is essential to continue to try to do as Paul writes in Colossians 1:10, “So that you may walk worthy of the Lord fully pleasing to Him: bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God.” It took me a while in my Christian walk to figure out that it is much easier to walk worthy of the Lord when you try to give Him your best.
During regular times, there are so many ways to serve Him. But how do you give God your best when the world is shut down? Well, it is the same as when there is no pandemic. You pray and ask God to reveal how you can serve Him to bring Him glory. You then stay alert to see where you can play a role. He amazes me as he has not failed to answer yet. I won’t share the individual things where I’ve been allowed to help, but they are a blessing to me. I love a quote from John Bunyan, English author, and preacher: “You have not lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” From a group perspective, it is a blessing to be a part of a Band of Brothers. We became aware of our local senior center’s desire to help senior families in the county by distributing packages of food to them. We were pleased to donate money, and to learn, we helped upwards of 450 families during these difficult times. Helping to meet the needs of people around us who are less fortunate is a great way to be an angel to someone. There is such a need in all communities these days. That need provides plenty of opportunities for those of us who are abundantly blessed to become an angel to someone.
Here is my personal pandemic story, which brought me encounters with angels. I had not been feeling 100% for a couple of months, and then in mid-April, I hit the wall, headache, bone pain, muscle ache, no energy, etc. After about two weeks feeling that way, I was fortunate to have a scheduled doctor’s appointment coming up. I didn’t think I had COVID-19, but the thought did creep into my mind. Two days after my appointment, I got my blood test results back, and the diagnosis was mononucleosis. My first reaction was “Praise the Lord” it isn’t the coronavirus! Since my diagnosis, I have been encountering angels almost daily. It is such a blessing.
Through this illness, I have come to realize there are people around who genuinely care for me. The calls and texts of offers of help have been so uplifting. Added to that has been people stopping by with goodies to enjoy. The past couple of days has brought two angels to the front door, one with the most delicious blueberry muffins and the other with freshly picked strawberries, such a delight. As I am writing this and as the photo shows, I still have some of these goodies left to enjoy. Thank you, Jesus, for loving me and for showing me that others do too. Please help me to continue to walk worthy of You and to be an angel where I’m needed. Come and join me in the Lord’s work. Don’t let this pandemic leave you sitting on the sidelines when there are people out there who desperately need an angel. Stay safe, stay well, and until next time, Godspeed.
Feature Image: @Backyard Photography, Alan Tucker