“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” [Jeremiah ch29 v11]
Now you might think that this is a hopeful verse form the Bible and it certainly was to those who first heard. It was a message of Hope and comfort to a people who were in exile. Far away from everything they knew, their whole way of life gone and all that made them a society had disappeared. They were in a sorry state and in dire need of Hope and of the need to change.
The prophet gave them a message from God, that He had not abandoned them, and that the time of exile will change and they will return. It was hard to see this from where they were standing, yet with faith and obedience [which some had barely shown before] they found a new way of living. They were given a word of encouragement where God told them to settle, to be a blessing to those around them. To continue in their faith and it was at that time that people realised that God was with them wherever they were, not tied to the Temple but everywhere.
We are finding a new way of living, helping neighbours, contacting people who live alone to offer help and talking to people and valuing such short conversations. Many folks are finding ways of helping others by getting messages or medications and we all go through the ritual of a knock at the door, leaving the bag at the door and a chat at the end of the path.
It would be a wonderful thing to see some of that caring to continue once we are back out of Isolation, particularly a chat with a person who lives alone. What we may also gain is an appreciation of what is important to us, family, friends, and we have had time to think regarding what is necessary in our lives and what we really did not need.
This time gives us the opportunity to take a good look at ourselves and have a think about how we live our lives and how we use our resources. I hope that we all truly appreciate the Key Workers in our society and there are so many that we have taken for granted in the past. There should be some kind of appreciation when all things go back to normal. I always thank the shop workers when I do my regular shop for staying open and supplying us with our necessities. A small thing but it seems to be appreciated.
So let’s give thanks to God for the small blessings every day as we travel through this time of trouble. For the Hope and Comfort found in His word, for the loveliness of the goodness of people and their thoughtfulness. For the opportunities for change which lies ahead of us.
LET US PRAY
We think today of the Key Workers and all that they have done and are doing to maintain our lives as we sit here in isolation. Help us never to take them for granted again and to value the work of all those who keep our country running.
We pray for the leaders across the world who have to take on such heavy burdens, making decisions that they would never have dreamt of before. We particularly think of our own leaders and ask that You walk with them and grant them Your courage, strength and peace.
In this time of change draw near to us that we might sense Your presence and Your love for each one of us. Comfort this day all those who mourn especially at this difficult time with so many restrictions.
Lord hold us all in the Palm of Your Hands. We ask in the name of Jesus.
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