August 11, 2020
Seeing the Good

by Tom Gould
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:9
I am an optimist. The glass isn’t half-full for me… it’s (mostly!) full. In part, that is, simply, intentional – we feel better about ourselves and the world around us when we see the good in it – but in a much larger way, I have confidence and faith that God is with us – always has been, always will be.

It is natural, in times of challenge, to not see or appreciate the good, but consider, for example:

  • Adversity yields innovation. And does so at speed. And does so disruptively. Consider: APC, in a few short weeks, created a strong virtual presence (worship, study groups, meetings, etc.) where there previously was none. New ideas, new ways of doing things. (And, for some, their first video conference!). We will emerge better and stronger.

  • Has the pandemic torn us apart? No! Consider: we have been invited “into” more APC homes in the last five months than in total previously. We’ve met cats and dogs, admired bookshelves and backyards, and come to know a bit more of the “real” us.

  • We have created relationships with countless APC members that we wouldn’t have otherwise… and rekindled bonds that had weakened.

  • We have seen heroes emerge. Front-line workers who put their lives on the line. Teachers who truly ensure that no child is left behind. People lending hands to those who are down. Communities rallying together. I wish we didn’t need heroes. I’m grateful we have them.

  • We’ve tapped into compassion and empathy that was always there, but sometimes needs a little jolt to invigorate. And we will remember the giving and receiving of them both.

Does this mean there haven’t been devastating impacts to millions of people? Absolutely not… the pain must be acknowledged, and I wouldn’t for a second diminish its reality. And yet, by remembering and focusing on the GOOD that we see, every day, we are not only reminded of God’s eternal presence and promise. We also lift ourselves up, knowing that we can make a difference, knowing that others care about us, giving us the strength to see this through.
Holy God, you are with us always, in times of good and in times of trial. Let us not be dismayed, but reassured. Let us not be frightened, but confident. We are thankful for your steadfast support, and pray for strength and courage to see us through whatever we face. Amen.
Alpharetta Presbyterian Church
180 Academy Street, Alpharetta, GA 30009