As we mark the one-year anniversary of the coronavirus pandemic we all have stories to tell. Some have lost family members or friends, others jobs or semesters at school, and all of us time with people we care about. Yet in this loss there is gain — in our forgetting, a remembering.
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that things are temporary and the most important part of your life is your relationship with God. He is the unshakeable one who during the storm and after it offers us new life.
A Good Name
Let love and faithfulness never leave you;Proverbs 3:3-4
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.
Love and faithfulness are covenant words that refer to God’s commands — the teachings of Scripture. Likened to a necklace, they symbolize protection, guidance, grace, and favor. Yet these are not simply words to be memorized but lived. This extended season of loss for so many is an opportunity for each of us to meet real needs for others.
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,Proverbs 3:27-28
when it is in your power to act.
Do not say to your neighbor,
“Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”—
when you already have it with you.
When we choose to live our beliefs, we bring hope and help others see God. None of us need to look very far to see people who need help, who need standing up for. And this is not defined as an act of charity but responsibility. As one writer has said, “If you have things your neighbor doesn’t have, share them, because he or she has the right to the part of the world over which God has made you a temporary steward.”
A Healthy Body
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;Proverbs 3:5-8
fear the Lord and shun evil.
This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones
The Christian faith, as portrayed in the Bible, is an integrated whole — mind, body, and spirit. Sadly, for many our faith remains private and compartmentalized from much of our everyday life.
Yet in this season of forgetting we have the opportunity to remember the true object of our faith and what it really means to believe. To trust in the Lord with all your heart means you stop trusting other things for your real significance and happiness. It means God knows better than you who you are and how you need to live. If you want to find your true life you need to lose your false one — the one built on the half-truths you tell yourself about you.
A Strong Heart
Above all else, guard your heart,Proverbs 4:23
for everything you do flows from it.
This single verse is one of the great heights of wisdom found in all the Bible. If you take it seriously it will change everything in your life for the better. We are commanded to guard our hearts because everything good in our lives stems from it. The heart is the source of the body’s activities. It determines the direction our lives take.
We guard our hearts first by healing them — choosing to daily bring the Gospel to bear on our hurts, our sins, and our self-condemnation. “Therefore, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus “(Romans 8:1).
We guard our hearts second by sharing them with others who know us, love us, and tell us the truth. “Instead speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ” (Ephesians 4:15).
Finally we guard our hearts by choosing to take time to worship and thank God every day. “I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever.” (Psalm 86.12).
So choose to forget some of what you’ve lost and remember the important things you’ve been given and make this a year of new beginnings with God.
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash.