Saturday, March 28, 2020

Only a Season ~ Guest Post by Mary Zatkalik

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven."
Ecclesiastes 3:1


Drenching rain continues in Arizona.  We’ve received about four inches in the past week.  The consistent moisture replenishes our desert lands.  I know it’s a season, but sometimes the dreariness and muddy roads overshadow the few spring flowers popping up in my garden.

It’s dreary in our nation right now and globally as well.  The COVID-19C, Corona Virus, is a real threat and keeps most of us homebound except for emergencies.  Church services switched to online streaming and many seek drive-through grocery lanes.

What Are We Learning?

We are reminded that God knew this was coming so we must not fear.  We learned from 9-11 that Americans are resilient, and together we can get through a crisis.  We learned that we need one another.

We face this new crisis together, too.  We here at my place are stocked adequately with cushy comforts and draw strength from our family times and friendly neighbors.   We look back over the year with gratitude.  Prophetic Ministries delivered warnings.  We learned to buy some extra paper products and step up repentance in our lives.   “The storm is coming,” They would say.  Prepare.

Here’s our Story

We are not afraid.  In fact, we see a crisis as a time for the church to arise.


Last week I accompanied my husband to the large clinic for his follow up appointment.  I hesitated entering the reception area, but I peeked in to see only a handful of folks so I took a seat.  The clinic was sparkling clean and all the magazines were removed and Holy Bibles were placed on each end table in their place.  I’ve noticed lately people rarely have their heads down looking at their cell phones but instead look up desperately for someone to visit with and exchange uncertainties.  The chatty gal seated near me needed to talk and I needed to listen.  Soon another woman chimed in and before we knew it, the conversation swung from the lack of eggs at Fry’s to deep worries.  The chatty one’s daughter is depressed and the crisis pushed her over into suicidal thoughts.

As we drove home, we stopped for groceries.  I observed Tom’s willingness to cheer up the distraught cashier.  I watched her throw her head back and laugh at his jokes.  All the stress went away and she looked radiant.  I saw another worker in the store and leaned close to tell her that I see her hard efforts.  Her eyes watered and she shared her heart with me.  When I promised to pray for her, she revealed the job doesn’t even come close to personal burdens.  We loaded our groceries into our truck and noticed a retired couple just like us that needed to stop and talk awhile and we listened intently.  

Tom and I prayed for all we met that day on our drive home.

Blessed, Broken, and Given

One of our elderly neighbors asked Tom to trim her long hair.  The older woman expressed fear to go out.  When one of our kids found out she hugged us, they reprimanded us and told us to stay put in our home until the plague passes.  I thought that was funny.  Are the kids our parents, now?  When Jesus hung on the cross for us, He gave it all.  He held nothing back for fear of what it might cost him.

Now is the time for the church to arise.  We live in a dark, broken world.  It is a golden opportunity to be a light in that darkness.  People are open to receive encouragement!

My daughter sent me a text message with a video link to watch.  Folks in big cities are displaying their outdoor Christmas lights to bring cheer.  She wrote:  “Maybe you should unpack the lighted HOPE sign which Dad made that you display at Christmas and prop it up on the front lawn.”

When I prayed about it, God told me I didn’t have to round up a few family members and lug out the HOPE sign, but to be the hope.  Our family unit is powerful and strong when we reach out together and extend the Hope of our Savior.  He told us to do it. 

I don’t know about you, but I am happy that I do not need a doctor’s degree in theology to serve the Lord right now and encourage the disheartened.  I don’t need a badge from a church or a cross around my neck to be ready and equipped.  I pray for a heart of compassion every day.

More rain is forecasted for Arizona.  


It’s a season.  Soon the warm front will arrive and stay.  My apricot tree will bud and sunny days return with long green blades of grass to cut.  The nation will employ workers and gyms will re-open.  Our economy will soar once again.  

It’s only a season.

Bio:  Mary lives with her husband, Tom, in central Arizona.  She loves the outdoors, to read, cook, and enjoy family gatherings with her two married daughters and their families.  Mary and Tom love grand-parenting their two young granddaughters.  Mary writes at Pile of Smiles and reviews books at My Calm Corner.  You can also connect with her on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.













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Please visit Mary's blogwhere you will find a wonderful, encouraging, welcoming space!


Let It Rain ~ Crowder & Mandisa

Many blessings to you all!
Stay strong!

34 comments:

  1. I like the idea that together we can overcome the crisis caused by the corona virus.

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    1. We may be separated, but it's good to remember that we are never alone. There are many ways to communicate that now!

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    2. God is with us through it all! He is ever faithful!

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  2. Thank you for this message of hope. The news is gloom and doom. We read today in Revelation about a plague and it sparked a discussion between the two of us. We're definitely living in interesting times but we know the end. Even if the worst happens. Bless you for being a light for Him as you go about your lives.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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    1. Thank you for reading it, Betsy. The church never stops being the church, in a building or not.

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    2. Many blessings to you, dear Betsy! Praying for you and your family.

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  3. A delight to visit your blog and be uplifted.

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    1. Cheryl knows how to get us united as we meet up here.

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    2. I am so thankful for you and your support! God bless you.

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  4. It is only a season, and we will all get through this together, with God's help. Beautiful post, Mary! Thank you, Cheryl!

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    1. Thank you, Martha. I'm seeing things in this season I want to bring into the next like quietness, less activity, hearing the voice of the Lord without so much distraction. Combine those with being able to go out for Mexican food, fellowship and the movie theater and I'm in Heaven.

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    2. Thank you so much for reading and for your faithful encouragement, Martha!

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  5. Being a hugger, this social distancing business is a challenge. Thank you for your 'voice of reason' and reminder, this is but a season!

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    1. Many huggers are saying that! It's hard for me to say: "Don't hug me now." I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. But I am in the vulnerable age group.

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    2. It surely is hard not to be able to express our love to others. Surely God is with us in this season, as all others. May He bless you, Mevvely!

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  6. Love the attitude! And I'm not surprised at all by Mary's attitude! I've had the pleasure to meet Mary and Tom over a cup of coffee a few years back. They are the real deal!

    Mary reminds us to live with the confidence in knowing our lives and the timing of them belong to our Father. We revere Him, not what He causes or allows in His creation.

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    1. Oh, I can only imagine how blessed your time together was! I absolutely believe Tom and Mary are the real deal. You can just feel the love of Christ in all they do. Thank you for your visit and kind words of encouragement, Floyd!

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    2. Coffee never tasted so good as with you, Floyd. Stay safe! God bless your days ahead.

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  7. Time to pray for a miracle.

    God bless.

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    1. God bless you, Victor, believing for many miracles in this season too.

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    2. God bless you, too, Victor.

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  8. Thank you Mary. I love hugs and I miss hugging the elderly people at my church. There's a group of them that look forward to my hugs and I their hugs.
    And I know in due season, things will return to normal and we can all meet in our individual churches again. I can't wait!
    And Mary, Lord willing we will need to meet up for coffee some time. I don't drive so we will have to meet closer to my neck of the woods.☺

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    1. I want to meet you so much in person, too, Regina! You are just over the mountain; let's make it happen one day!

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    2. Aw, that is so pitiful that you aren't able to visit and hug those precious souls. I hope you and Mary can meet and spend some time together, and I look forward to reading about it when you do!

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  9. Indeed it is a season . . . a troubling one. A trying one. One that is forcing us to remember Who we serve and Who is in control and Who is surprised by nothing. Thank you for these encouraging words!

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    1. Oh, how very true, Lauren! If we don't keep our eyes on Jesus, we will surely be overwhelmed. Thank you so much for your visit and kind words!

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  10. As always I adore the writing of Mary. She always seems to know what I need to read is most often right about the time I read it! Keeping my eyes focused and my prayer is to be a Hope to those that feel they have none. Lord, find me faithful. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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    1. YES! Mary is such a dear blessing to us all. We all greatly benefit from her Godly wisdom. So thankful for her and for you, too, my friend! Many blessings to you!

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  11. Wonderful words of truth Mary! We can be about the Father's business, even when church doors are closed for a season. How wonderful that you and your husband are doing all you can to strengthen, encourage and lift up the lives of those around you! Bless you Cheryl for this amazing series, such a blessing you are to all of us! Much love to you both :)

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    1. Thank you so much for your support, friendship, encouragement, and prayers, sweet friend. Sending much love back to you!

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  12. I loved Mary’s heartfelt message this morning. Even though we can’t visit with our family, I am thankful that we can talk to them and even FaceTime. I even did a book study meeting with my church group this past Saturday, through Zoom. I guess we are all finding new ways to communicate with each other. Thank you. Mary and Cheryl! God bless you!

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    1. Yes, praise the Lord for modern inventions at a time like this. Imagine how isolated we would all feel if we weren't able to connect online! God bless you, too, Kitty! I trust God will continue to keep you and your loved ones healthy and safe.

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  13. Thank you Mary for this very heartfelt and encouraging post. I too have noticed that when people do get to interact such as in a grocery store, it seems more intentional now. It is as if we appreciate each other more now that we have to keep our distance.

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    1. So true, Rochelle! We have to see the good in this in spite of all the bad. God is surely trying to teach us through this dark time.

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