InsightNew Every Morning | May 4, 2020
Words of Hope During COVID-19
Diana Sanchez-Bushong, on staff at Discipleship Ministries of the United Methodist Church, shares what times of day have been meaningful to her during the COVID quarantine.
When it is dark, we slow down and use other senses to find our way. At this time in the journey through change and loss, we begin to understand the struggle of faith reflected in the worship of the unseen God. The apostle Paul told the people of Corinth not to lose heart because people of faith look “not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal” (2 Cor. 4:18). When we slow down because what we have seen has disappeared, we gain insight into the power of the unseen to open up the future.
—Dan Moseley, Lose, Love, Live: The Spiritual Gifts of Loss and Change (Upper Room Books, 2011)
What new insights have you gained in times of darkness? Join the conversation.
So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.
—2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
Loving God, gather us together and bring us comfort like a mother hen gathers her chicks under her wings.
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This fits beautifully with what was discussed yesterday morning with one of my cancer support groups. The discussion leader had us looking at three passages, primarily the one in Galatians regarding the Fruit of the Spirit. We looked at examples of the fruit, and how the experience of cancer has enhanced those in our lives. It was so well done, so encouraging. Looking at how trials, if we allow them, can bring us closer to God and bring about significant growth in our lives.
The goodness of the day continued, as it was a perfect afternoon for golf. Comfortable in the mid 70s, the breeze was not chilly at all. And dad said he was pain free throughout the round. He was anxious about how it would feel in the morning. I will call him in a bit and see how he is doing. He played very well, considering it was the first round of the year. He seemed relaxed and enjoying it very much. Hopefully his arm isn’t too bad this morning and we can begin to look forward to a few rounds a week as the weather begins to steady a bit into a summer pattern.
Father – I lift the needs shared here in this space to You. For Andrea’s SIL employment opportunities. For David’s continued progress – may he not worry too much regarding his need for oxygen when he gets home. May he focus on the rehab tasks of the day. For Rick’s heavy school work load, as it looks different now. May he manage his time and schedule well. For Julie and Megan as they go to the eye doctor today, keep them safe and may their interactions with the doctor be what is needed.
Thank You, Father, for hearing our prayers.
Going through the dark wilderness now I have gained insights to Jesus and His suffering and His times of solitude and darkness given His circumstances. He knew what He faced would be painful but He persevered. We know what we are facing is difficult and the uncertainty is harrowing but we can look to One who has gone before us. We can draw nearer to the One who understands and provides us the strength to also persevere.
Prayers for Jill and Larry and prayers Larry’s pain is minimal and more golf will be in their future.
Prayers for Robert and his family as they stay safe and plan a virtual family reunion.
Prayers for Rick and his husband, may they stay healthy and may Rick’s studies become easier as he acclimates to the new online format and the isea of learning remotely.
Prayers for Ally and David, may David’s use of oxygen be less and less each day and may Ally receive rest from her thoughts as she works and helps others through her music.
Prayers for Andrea and her family, may her SIL find employment and al stay healthy.
Thank you for your prayers for Megan and I. We had a very bad day with h yesterday. I am going to eye doctor with much trepidation, but still going.
Prayers and thank you and stay healthy dear UR
Once, on a tour of a famous cemetery in the Caribbean, the guide pointed out the frequent appearance of owl images on the gravestones. He informed us that in his culture, owls symbolize Christ, because owls are awake in darkness. I have loved that metaphor ever since.
Thank you for you prayers for my SIL. We had a wonderful time yesterday hiking a beautiful trail system leading to the Mississippi River. My grandson was enthused and cuddly. We will start a routine where he will spend one night a week with us. As seems to be a pattern, after an episode fraught with tension between my daughter and me, we are very close again. For that, I am so grateful.
I learned that Norma, my last living aunt who is in her 90’s, had a stroke, went into a nursing home, and how has Covid-19, as does her youngest son, Paul. Norma is in hospice at the nursing home and can have one visitor each day. Please pray for them and for their families.
I pray Jill and her Larry continue to have cherished time together through golfing and other activities, and they both have excellent control of pain; for Julie and Megan, may they be surrounded with a shield of God’s love to protect them from h; for David and Ally, may David’s dependence on oxygen resolve, may he be able to go home soon to Ally’s in-person love and support, and may his strength and all his capacities return; for Rick, may his studies go well, may he have good concentration to learn and retain learning from the classes in his heavy load; for Robert and Erich and family, Lou and her children, April, Bj, and all UR friends, may all remain healthy and strong.
Wishing all a blessed day.
I realize that “darkness” as it is used in today’s reflection, is a metaphor for when we have trouble due to the darkness of circumstance and can’t see our way. For me, the hardest time of day is early evening when the sun is very bright and I have trouble seeing when I drive or even in my living room because of the glare. This time of day is also when I am most likely to give in to depression or despair. I call it “early evening melancholy”. On cloudy days, I normally do not experience this. For me, the gray can bring clarity. These feelings were exacerbated during the dark times when David first went to the hospital and was intubated. During that time of personal darkness when I was quarantined and alone, I spent most of my day in prayer and meditation. Instead of eating lunch, I devoted time to scripture and prayer. Prior to David’s illness, I was struggling with faith. So the dark time when I felt I was so alone, chased me to God. He made me keenly aware of His presence and I felt the love of Jesus wash over me. It was if I had been re-baptized. It was a wonderful reminder of the joy I felt at my baptism. I experienced God’s faithfulness in such a tangible way.
I go Friday to attend David’s therapy session so I can see what he can do and where he may need help. Please continue to pray that he will be weaned off the oxygen. Lift up in prayer also his ability to transfer from a wheelchair to bed or toilet. We are believing that he will be able to walk with aid of a walker by the time he comes home in a week. I feel that he needs more therapy (he will have home health working with him), but changes to Medicare over last year mean he will receive only 17 days of in-house rehab instead of 21. I pray I will be able to care for him.
Loving Lord, I lift up Jill as she perseveres with her online teaching. May Larry be able to enjoy golf with minimal pain. I pray for Robert, thanking You for his opportunity to gather with family in a virtual setting. May they enjoy this time together. I lift up Rick and his husband, that they grow in You and stay safe. May Rick adjust to working online and accomplish needed tasks. I pray Julie’s SIL finds meaningful work. I lift up her family as work together to strengthen their relationships. God is able. I pray we all find ways to discover Jesus anew through these dark times. Be blessed!