On March…

“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”                                                                       Romans 8:38 – 39

Just on a whim, I decided to see what happened in March throughout the years. I found all the factoids fun or fascinating. But one stood out from all the others. In this climate of Covid-19, I found it interesting that on March 11, 1918 the Spanish influenza first reached America as 107 soldiers became sick at Fort Riley, Kansas. One quarter of the U. S. Population would eventually become ill and the deadly virus would result in 500,000 deaths in our country with a death toll of around 22 million worldwide by the end of 1920.

We are, I hope seeing the last days and months of Covid-19. A virus that has so far, taken the lives of over 518,000 in our country alone and worldwide the death toll is around 2, 530,700. With more to come I am sure, as people are still getting sick, and not everyone has been vaccinated. A vaccine that should help people from getting sick with Covid-19 or if they do get it, it will not be as deadly. It is encouraging to see the infection rates going down as our medical professionals are getting a handle on this disease and we are continuing to social distance, wear masks, and other precautions. And I do believe they help when we are diligent about following the protocols.

But it is hard. We are struggling with the separation from our loved ones. In some cases, the separations that have been mandated are tragic as our precious loved ones are dying alone. We are seeing our favorite business establishments close as they can not maintain their overhead with no customers. We are seeing the suicide rate climb, especially among our young people as the lack of social interactions with friends and family and the fact that our typical stress outlets may not be available are increasing our anxieties, fears, and stress. We are grieving all we have lost, and our emotions are running on high.

Psalm 34:18 says, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” We are having to do so many hard things in our world right now and it is all too much. I know many believe that scripture tells us that God will not send us more than we can handle.  I hate to break it to you who believe that, but that is not in scripture. It is not biblical at all. What our scriptures do teach however, is that God will be with us whatever comes in life. This is something we can be comforted by knowing that the God of all creation is with each one of us in every circumstance no matter what that circumstance is.

Knowing that God is there in everything I or you are going through helps get us through some pretty difficult circumstances. I like how Paul put it in his letter to the Roman church and in the verse at the beginning of my blog. Nothing separates us from God, nothing. Which lets us know that in all things, in all the good and bad of life, God is there. You may or may not feel his presence…but rest assured, God is there. And with that, I will leave you with the lyrics to the final verse of a great old gospel hymn: “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms”

What have I to dread, what have I to fear,
Leaning on the everlasting arms?
I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.

Peace,

Pastor Beth

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