A Prayer for Those Who Lost a Loved One to COVID-19

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)

I walked hesitantly, unable to see where the pier ended and the river began. The lighthouse was assuredly in the distance, but its presence remained covered by thick fog laying down on the surface. The details of the brightening horizon muddled, and each step became increasingly uneasy. The fog cleared at the end of the pier to reveal the orange sun, making its way up into the sky. The temporary clarity faded as I turned to walk back through the mist.

It’s natural to hesitate when we can’t see. Life during the pandemic has felt like walking though fog. The sun comes up, the days move forward, but everything is unclear, and every step unsteady. When we lose someone we love, the solid standing of our circumstances is shaken.

The COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted plans and closed down many daily routines, while others race to relieve front-line workers. It’s been an unprecedented time for many of us. One that will undoubtably mark generations to come. A time saturated with so much uncertainty has the potential to shake the strongest faith. In order to keep our hearts beating in tune with God’s will, we must learn to praise Him through sorrow and pain. Through the unfairness, He is close to the brokenhearted. In our weakness, He is strong. He fights for us. It’s unnatural to rely on anything other than ourselves, but necessary to survive the hurricane-force winds of change that have overturned families, communities, countries, and individual lives. The only way we are able to illuminate dark times is to give all glory up.

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5 Ways to “Do Good and Share with Others” (Hebrews 13:6) during COVID-19

(Originally posted on April 9th, 2020)

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” Hebrews 13:16, ESV

How do we continue to love and serve others when our normal has been derailed? Tragedy and suffering beg us to be creative in the way we rally to help one another. Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (ESV) God is our faithful Provider, Sustainer, and Healer. It is from our faith and trust in His providence we reach out to love and help those in need. No matter the crisis, He provides a way for Gospel love to keep circulating. We help with what we have and where we’re at, as the people God purposed us to be. 

Author, Audience, and Purpose of the Book of Hebrews

The author of the Book of Hebrews is unknown, but the way in which the author wrote the book reveals he was familiar to those whom the letter was originally written. “No one today knows who wrote Hebrews,” The Moody Bible Commentary states, “but the original recipients did.” The purpose of Hebrews was to confront apostasy, the rejection of Jesus as Messiah. The letter’s audience was returning to the Jewish faith of the Old Testament, and the writer of Hebrews was begging them to embrace Christ as the Author and Perfecter of our faith, whom the Jewish religion and Old Testament Scriptures point to. 

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The Importance of Prayer and Fasting in a Crisis

Life changes moment by moment during a crisis, but God never does. He is sovereign. He is not surprised by crises, and knows what tomorrow will bring. God’s heart is moved by prayer. As our thoughts run rogue alongside ever-changing media reports and exploding social media feeds, the challenge to “take captive every thought” is overwhelming.

Prayer and fasting are critical in a crisis, bringing our minds and hearts back to focus on the One who is always in control, even when our world is reeling. “God doesn’t answer our prayers the way we think He should because He loves us, and He knows what is best for us,” wrote Billy Graham. “We see only part of the picture—but God sees the whole. This is why we must seek God’s will when we pray, and not just our own.” Created in His image, each person innately craves a close connection to God. The sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross allows believers to now come directly to God with the pleas of our hearts. We are promised thatprayer is powerful, told to pray continually, and that prayer moves the heart of God.

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A Prayer for Teachers and Educators during the COVID Crisis

(Originally posted April 13, 2020)

Teachers, educators, counselors, and coaches have a huge impact in the lives of the students they work with. With most schools closed for the remainder of the school year, many educators have been getting used to the new normal of online learning. This new learning experience has certainly made many grateful for their teachers. Even kids who tend to complain about the mundane daily routine of school are missing each other and anxiously awaiting being reunited with their students.

Parents and students with zero homeschooling experience are also being thrust into this new upheaval of daily schedules and isolated work from home and schooling environments. Many parents are essential workers, unable to be at home with their children to guide them through lessons and projects. Though many are able to connect through technology and virtual classrooms, there will be an inevitable need to reach out to those who remain disconnected. Not every student has access to a computer, and not every school system is able to provide one for every student.

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It’s OK to be Afraid- 10 Ways to Help Kids through COVID-19

(Originally posted April 2020)

It’s OK to be afraid momentarily, but we don’t have to live scared, “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7 ESV). When Peter walked on the water, Jesus reached for him immediately as he began to sink. Immediately. God is not surprised by our fear, nor the current pandemic. Our God goes before us, behind us, and remains with us, always. Jesus, our Savior, knows our fears intimately. People of great faith are wrestling with fear right now. Our children are no different. We don’t have to supply all of the scholarly answers for them. The most important thing Jesus told us to do was to love one another. Parents, caregivers, educators, counselors, and coaches—all those whose lives border and influence a child’s—love is the way through this.

John Piper, in his message “How to Talk to Children About the Coronoavirus,” referenced Matthew 4:24: “They brought [Jesus] the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains … and he healed them”(ESV).Love, in Christ, is our comfort. He is steady when our world has been rocked. He is constant, calm, and comforting. In the midst of the storm, when we are sinking, immediately, He is there. “Jesus is more powerful than diseases—every one of them,” Piper teaches.

Here are 10 ways we can help kids cope during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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