Devotional 3/17/2020

As many of you know, Felix recently traveled to Puerto Rico.  As crazy as this now sounds, even last week travel warnings were not what they were.  His father is retiring after almost 50 years as a pastor and a missionary and Felix was going for the retirement celebration and to see family and friends.  So last Wednesday the girls and I took Felix to the airport at 4:30 in the morning and shipped him off.  

At first the trip went great.  His planes were all on time and his parents picked him up promptly for a late lunch together.  And right there it fell apart.  As they were eating, his parents got a call that someone they had been with the Sunday before had now been diagnosed with COVID-19.  So they were ordered to immediately go into quarantine for the remainder of the time from 2 weeks from when they saw this person.  Which meant until the end of the next Saturday.  And now, Felix had been in contact with them.  Even though they did not know if they did or did not have it, they all thought it best that Felix serve out that quarantine with them.  Even though none had signs they opted for extreme caution. 

So they headed for their remote mountain home.  That they told Felix on the way did not have a fully functioning toilet.  So if it could only be fixed from inside the house, it meant it could not be worked on until after the quarantine ended.  At this point in the conversation, I asked Felix if he was punking me because this was beginning to sound to ridiculous.  

Now to fast forward to the end- the toilet did get fixed, and his parents did not have COVID-19.  But they of course did not know this at the time.  And due to uncertainty, they cancelled the retirement celebration and all their plans to see family.  It was a sad thing to do, but a right one and they did it without regret even when they were cleared.  

But here is actually the part I want to get around to sharing.  Felix's parents had only gotten home from a 10 day trip themselves on Monday and picked Felix up on Wednesday.  They had spent Tuesday mostly catching up on what had to be caught up on.  So when they whisked immediately into quarantine they did so without a trip to the grocery store.  Now they had some staples at the house such as rice and canned beans but as far as fresh food or food aplenty, they did not have much.  

But Felix said they never went hungry.  His dad has spent years cultivating the ground around their house and so they spent their days picking and then cooking and eating various foods provided by the land.  Bananas prepared in different ways were a part of all the meals.  Fresh oranges and pineapples and more were collected.  It may not have been the most varied diet but it was healthy and filling.  

Now most of us cannot live off of our own land at this time of year in quite the same way.  However, this does make me even more grateful for all the farmers and others who work to provide me with food so conveniently.  

But really what this reminds me is that the ground, the food, the animals, this earth are indeed good.  Felix and his family lived comfortably on the goodness of the earth.  It is true that his dad had practiced good stewardship of that land for years, but at the heart of it, the earth was good.  In Genesis 1, at the end of every day of creation scripture reads that God saw it was good.  The land, the water, the sun, the moon, the birds, the fish, the animals, the trees, the fruit, and so on.  Every day except the sixth.  The sixth day ends with that statement that "God saw all that he had made and it was VERY good".  

Right now things do not feel good.  Things feel bad, overwhelming, and worse.  But let us remember that while situations are bad, and this certainly is a trying one, that creation at its heart is good.  The world we were given is good and we those who people it were created and seen very good by God.  And above all God is a good and loving God.  

So I invite all of us today to take 10 minutes to soak in the good of God and the world.  Look outside, go outside, look at pictures of fun times, call a friend with a memory of an amazing time, pet the dog who loves you, reflect on all the good that has filled your life, do something to refocus the good of creation.  Yesterday, in the heart of reading some news, Felix looked out our window and saw 5 bluejays.  He called Belle over to see them and her response was "Wow, I've never been a bluejay before, they are cute."  Take the time to see the cuteness out there and be amazed.  

Seriously, put down the news in whatever form you consume it, and take time to fill up with some good.  I invite you to pull out your Bible and read Genesis 1:1-2:3 and just think about where you see God's creation and its goodness.  And then go to God in prayer.  Pray your concerns certainly, but name to God what good you see and how thankful you are for it.  God is good and so is this world.  But we can overlook all of that if we allow panic and uncertainty take control.  Give control of your life, your emotions, your beliefs back to God the Creator knowing that what God makes is indeed good.

 

In Love, 

 Beth