It’s hard to take the long view when the short term looks so uncertain for so many.

Every morning over the past week, I’m watching hundreds of new cases of COVID-19 reported in our nation. Earlier this week, three positive cases were confirmed by our local health department, and other cases were reported in neighboring counties.

Businesses are either closed or working with skeleton crews behind closed doors. Public gatherings are temporarily banned.

But I have also seen and listened to some of the most uplifting and positive moments I’ve seen and heard in a while.

I talked to a local business owner the other night. Times are tough, but they’re making it work. They made a personal decision to not take a paycheck for several months, to see things through.

A longtime friend and journalist in another state spent days in hospital isolation, very ill. She was released from the hospital after waiting for days and days for the results of a COVID-19 test. It finally came, she was negative, and released to recuperate at home. Through it all, she kept her humor and her faith.

Chalk art on driveways. Flamingo yard art. Window visits with loved ones at local nursing homes. Continued offers from residents to check in on the elderly and most vulnerable in our community.

Best all for me, is the continued outreach from local churches. I love that I’ve been preached to and sang along with so many local faith leaders and followers at all times of day and the evening.

It lifts us all up, these gestures.

Earlier this week I felt led to offer a suggestion in these strange times: Be wise, take care of yourself and your family. Be kind. Guard your temper/tongue. Be gracious. And do NOT fear. God is sovereign. He is our Healer, our Provider, our Peace! Pray for God’s protection and loving hand of healing for those going through a hard time. Let’s know that God doesn’t say we won’t go through some stuff. But, He says He is with us always!

“Waymaker,” a popular worship song many of you probably have heard, starts out with the words, “You are here, moving in our midst...”

Sometimes when we’re in the midst of our “stuff” we feel one way, but God tells us not to cling to what we see or feel — cling to our faith in Him.

The book of Acts, starting in verse 25, tells me “He supplies life and breath and all things to every living being,” and in the following verses, reminds us “...He sets the boundaries of people and nations, determining their appointed times in history. 27 He has done this so that every person would long for God, feel their way to him, and find him—for he is the God who is easy to discover! It is through him that we live and function and have our identity...”

He’s here. With us!

Email Andrea Howe at andrea@pdclarion.com

— Email Andrea Howe at andrea@pdclarion.com

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