Faith: Being Thankful Even When It���s Hard

Wow, it’s hard to believe that we have been in this pandemic for almost two years. During this time, we have had to adjust to many things and one of them was not being able to go inside the walls of the church.

As the religion reporter for The Chronicle, I thought about how long it has been since I have entered a church for an event such as a pastoral anniversary or a special event a church may be holding and I thought I would share my thoughts and my journey with God during the pandemic.

As a kid, I remember having to go to church several days per week for several reasons. We had Sunday school and 11 a.m. service on Sunday and other things throughout the week like choir practice and usher board meetings that my parents attended.

As I grew older, I was not required to attend church as much with my parents and grandparents, but my relationship with the Lord never wavered. My grandmother used to always say that “you need to be in the house of the Lord” to make sure your connection with Him remained strong. When I became an adult and going to church was on me, my grandmother’s words still resonated with me.

It was not until I graduated college and went out on my own and realized, for me, that no matter where I am, I can worship the Lord and that He is always with me. That is what has stayed with me throughout this pandemic.

When the pandemic first hit, it didn’t really resonate with me how I would deal with this new way of living we would have to go through. I also didn’t think things were going to last this long, as I thought we would have gone back to normal much sooner than this.

As the months of the pandemic rolled on, that is when it really started to hit me that I have to find a way to continue my connection and relationship with the Lord without the ability of going inside of the physical church. That led me back to my younger days of being an adult and that made my journey much easier.

With me now being a middle-aged man, my journey with the Lord has continued to evolve over the years. Now with the pandemic, some of the ways I adjusted were to listen to more gospel music, listening to sermons on social media, and enhancing how I pray.

Listening to gospel music seems to always put me in the right frame of mind, whether I am in a good mood or not. For some reason, with most of the songs I can find some lyrics in the song that I can relate to. During this pandemic, I know we all have had some hardships to endure and listening to gospel music from time to time has been an effective way for me to deal with some of my issues.

Admittedly, I have not listened to as many sermons as I would have liked over the last 18 months or so, but for the ones I have heard, they have been exactly what I needed to hear at that moment. I remember when we had to make tough choices here at The Chronicle due to the pandemic.  

It was not something that was expected, but once it was upon us, we had to deal with it. It was only my faith in God that brought me through that situation. Even though things looked dire at times, I knew that my God would not let me down and he didn’t. Yes, my faith was tested, but it never wavered and that was because he has never let me down before.

Now, when it comes to the prayer aspect, I think that has been the biggest component for me during this time. I have not only prayed for myself, but I find myself praying more and more for other people. At first, I thought this pandemic was something that was being overblown by the government and media, but once it began to affect people that I know and love, it became “real” so to speak.

It was even more real once the virus entered my home. I know that over a half million people had lost their lives to COVID, but once again my faith would not let that thought cross my mind about anyone I know and loved. I knew my God would not allow that virus to seriously affect my household and luckily, it did not.

I know many people were not that lucky and have either lost loved ones due to the pandemic or have lost employment, so I began praying more for those people, because honestly, I feel like I was one of the more fortunate.

Prayer has really been my saving grace, to be honest. I find myself praying at times that I never did before, like at stoplights, in line at the grocery store, or even just sitting in front of the television. There are so many things that I have to be thankful for, I feel compelled to just thank God. On the other hand, I know there are people still in need of assistance, so I pray for their well being also, and this is all because of the pandemic.

I think I have a closer relationship with God now than I had prior to the pandemic. I look more to him now for guidance on decisions because I know things can be taken away at any time and I want to make sure I don’t put my family in that situation ever again. 

So, I am not happy that this pandemic is ravaging the world; however, I am happy that I am able to get closer to God in the midst of it.

 

Source : https://wschronicle.com/lets-talk-religion-connecting-with-god-during-the-pandemic/

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