Today is the 60th “Thought for the Week” since the pandemic began. Little did we know how things would pan out over the past 14 months. I think it is safe to say that times have been tough. We have lost family and friends. We have lost jobs, businesses, money, time, freedom, health, and so much more. Living in the western world, we probably couldn’t ever have imagined we would be told it would be illegal to meet with our loved ones, go out to work, even stand next to someone and shake their hand! Mental health problems were already rising, and now they are at an all time high. The same can be said for the levels of poverty too. Thousands upon thousands of people reaching out to Foodbank for help. This pandemic has been incredibly hard for so many across all generations.
We are now in a time of cautious hope. We can finally be around our family and friends. We can have people around for dinner. We can even hug if we feel comfortable enough. We are hopefully getting closer to a time where restrictions will become less and less.
Over the past year, we’ve had scientists all over the world working tirelessly to produce a vaccine that will save lives, and they came through for us. We now have hundreds upon hundreds of hardworking staff and volunteers trying to make sure everyone gets their life-saving protection. We have teachers working so hard to try and do the best for our children in a situation that has been far from ideal for any age and lifestyle. That’s not to mention all the NHS workers who are now trying to deal with the fallout, get through the waiting lists, and deal with new illnesses that have appeared since COVID. There are so many people out there now, doing their best to bring life back to our streets, our towns, our cities, our homes, our churches. It isn’t going to be a quick fix, and we may hit obstacles on the way, of varying sizes. But I really do have genuine hope that we will get through this, as long as we can be there for each other and help each other through.
I wonder, when we look back at this time in years to come, what we will think about it all. Will it bring a new way of life? Will we have learnt not to take things for granted? Will we appreciate things we never appreciated before? Will we have benefited from new things that we never thought were possible? I would love to think that this time of darkness which has brought so much pain will not be wasted. I would love to think that for every loss, there will be a genuine gain somewhere, somehow. For every tear shed there will be a smile of joy over something new. For every missed moment, there will be so many other moments that will be special. This, for me, is the essence of my faith in times of struggle. In the deepest of darkness, a light shines through and brings warmth, light and hope. God is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine. He can take something horrible and bring some beauty out of it. Nothing is wasted for God. This is when God wins the battle for us every single day. This is why hope is never really lost.
I pray that you will see this light every day. I pray that you will feel this warmth, experience this love, and see this hope. I pray that God brings you whatever you need for the coming months and years. I pray that you will know that God was never separated from you during the last 14 months, and will never be separated from you in the days, weeks, months and years ahead.
Blessing, love and peace to you all.
Today is our 3rd Son’s birthday, he is 24. He was born on Pentecost Sunday 1997. Currently he is awaiting the imminent arrival of his