Devotion for Wednesday, June 10  

The other day I read a meditation by Joni Eareckson Tada that was so appropriate for us during this Covid-19 time. I thought I would share it with you today.
In case you don't know who Joni Eareckson Tada is, let me give you a little of her story.
Joni had always been very active, but on July 30, 1967, she dove into the Chesapeake Bay after misjudging the shallowness of the water. She suffered a fracture between the fourth and fifth cervical levels and became a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the shoulders down.
After a long period of rehabilitation, filled with anger, depression, suicidal thoughts, and religious doubts, she learned to draw on her faith and for the last 50+ years has been an artist- painting with a brush between her teeth, an author, singer, motivational speaker and an advocate for people with disabilities. I hope you receive as much from her meditation as I have.
- - - - - - - - -
"How are you persevering through this COVID-19 season? Are you hopeful? Expectant? Yes, we may have to "shelter in place" yet again if this virus returns, but as restrictions let up a little now, it's a good idea to do an assessment of just how well we're persevering.
James 1:12 says, "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, for when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life to those who love him."
Did you persevere under the trial of COVID-19; did you stand the test? If you are persevering, can you sense God's blessing?

We are far from out of the woods, but no doubt you have become more resilient than you thought capable. You have survived, one day at a time! You are learning how to live, how to get up in the morning, and move forward into your day with purpose... and you have done it in one of the most unprecedented seasons of global upheaval in history. You are learning to look out for your neighbors; the elderly; the fragile. Maybe you are even moving forward through the grief of a loss: your job, a loved one...
Friend, you are persevering. And as you persevere under trial, are you becoming more prayerful; more flexible; more tolerant? I hope so. I hope you have learned to lean more on Jesus Christ and the Word of God for hope and assurance.
And now? Keep all the good things you've learned close! Ingrain them into character. Make them new habits. Be more like Christ as you move forward into this new normal. Do not settle for the status quo you relied on back before the pandemic. Leave behind old expectations and learn to build on the new that God is leading us all towards.
These last few months were not a detour; this is God's new highway, and this new normal? It is His.
Let all the mistakes and failures, faults and worries of days gone by blow away like chaff, and keep the grain: the good habits, the richer faith, the stronger hope, the robust character, and the deeper reliance on our great, sovereign God.
After all, God's will in this new normal is clear: rescue more souls for heaven. So, be bold to say the name of Jesus; be creative in whetting the spiritual appetite of your neighbors and friends who still live in darkness. Know what God's will is: you are a stronger soldier
now, and you've got marching orders to make known the salvation story of Jesus Christ.
And friends, use what you have learned during this time of crisis to foster an even greater compassion for the weak and vulnerable, the elderly, and the medically fragile. Care about them as God cares. Do not waste these past months!
Be brave, courageous, and be the best representative of your Savior as you "run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus." It's a good race. And it's a good fight we are in.
So together, let's follow Him on this new highway through the wilderness... this new normal that He holds in His hands.  And as we do, let's bring many more people with us into the kingdom of Christ!"
- - - - - - - - -
Brothers and Sisters, let us go into this new normal phase of our lives confident in our faith and determined to be better than we were before Covid-19. God has been with us every day during this time, and He will continue to be with us as we adjust to our "new normal" - whatever that looks like.
Let us pray: Dear God, we thank you for your constant presence and protection. Help us to always listen for your "still small voice" guiding us day by day. Amen.
                                                             Pastor Ruth
820 Almshouse Road  Ivyland, PA 18974
215 357-6998