Reflections on God’s Unexpected Pandemic Gifts
Gone! There was not really one obvious event which brought the pandemic into our reality. Not like when JFK was assassinated or 9/11. Everyone remembers exactly where they were and what they were doing when those tragedies occurred. Not so with the 2020 coronavirus.
It crept up on us. With some believing it was no more dangerous than the annual flu epidemic. Creeping, creeping, creeping and then it was gone. Not the virus but our freedoms!
Many of us were in shock for weeks trying to comprehend what was happening, others suffered the awful shock of losing a loved one to the virus. Some have created “bubbles” which include a few people, mostly family members, with whom they can have physical contact. Social distancing for social people? How awkward and uncomfortable. 14 day quarantined? A worldwide pandemic. Loss of our freedom to worship. How debilitating.
I am not sure when I first heard this phrase, but upon hearing it, it consumed my sequestered thoughts: “Why is God doing this for us?” A twist on the “Why is God doing this to us.” If you pause, as I have over these past months, you might be overwhelmed with appreciation for the answers you come up with.
“Why is God doing this for us: the Crouse family?”
- God slowed all of us down! What a gift.
- My wife, Laura, and I (over an eight-week period) delivered 40 dinners to families shut in by the coronavirus. We learned where many people in our church live!
- We were able to spend five months in northern Michigan due to the cancellation of my annual men’s pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
- Thus, like many families we were unexpectedly blessed with extended visits with our kids and grandkids living life together in northern Michigan. This provided the blessing of spending loads of time with our grandchildren.
- From this extended living together, we created “Cousin Camp.” Moms and Dads took turns mornings and afternoons creatively leading our grandchildren’s camp.
- As we lived life together, I intentionally spoke words and told stories of the adventures of Jesus to our grandchildren. Our four-year-old Stanley who lives in Brooklyn continues to look up into the sky and with much enthusiasm shout out “Hello, Jesus.” I also discovered the “Action Bible” and read many stories from it to our grandchildren.
- For 10 Sundays we hosted Zoom Home Church with family members.
- Under the emergency of the coronavirus, our Charleston family conducted the baptism of our granddaughter, Eulalah Crouse.
- Our family spent much time in spontaneous prayers.
- The extraordinary book by Andrew Murray, Abide in Christ became a centerpiece of inspiration during this time.
- In our family we put a boundary around talking about politics!
- Since God did slow me down, this time gave me the opportunity to think through our diocesan Men’s Ministry mission, and God opened up a some very powerful insights and opportunities.
- And the list goes on…
Take some time and reflect for yourselves on the question: “Why has God done this for us?” You will be blessed.
By Jay Crouse, Diocesan Coordinator for Men’s Ministry