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.

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!