The LORD heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out from the bog and the mire, and set my feet on a hard, firm path, and steadied me as I walked along.
~Psalm 40:1-2, LB
Apart from Jesus Himself, there is no greater gift than His peace: I will take it over length of days, wealth, success or fame.
My first response to the COVID-19 was it is just the flu and we are over reacting. I was more afraid of the panic and the political fallout than the virus. My attitude changed a couple of weeks ago: suddenly it dawned on me that I had taken foolish risk and was not taking this virus as seriously as I ought. Then for a day or so last week, I could not get it off my mind; I could feel the apprehension, tension and anxiety building. I even went to bed last Friday night with it on my mind and woke up thinking about it. I had just popped off a few days before about “wanting to depart this world while I am active,” and then the reality of this thing hit me like a cold wind. Suddenly I had a desire to live a little longer. My grand kids need me I reasoned.
Last Friday I went to the office and started my devotional time, I eventually got to Psalm 40 in the Living Bible. When I got to verse two, the cloud of anxiety was lifted. This simple verse of scripture calmed by troubled heart. If there is anything I desire, it is that “steady walk” with Christ. I do not ask to be free of problems, pain or suffering but only to be filled with HIS peace. Have you noticed: every time Jesus meets with the disciples after the crucifixion, He greets them with the gift of peace. There is no greater gift: I will take it over length of days, wealth, success or fame.
There is an aside: I love my grand children and I work to create good memories for them. I have no good memories of my grand father. I never knew my grand father on the Bailey side but my mother talked about him like he was a saint. My daddy had such respect for him that he went silent while mother praised Joe David Bailey [nick name Jodie]. I wish I could have known him but that is another story. The grand daddy I knew was gruff and had no great affinity for children. I can remember two days with him; one in the field as I rode the tractor with him and I carried him to a family reunion after I got my license. We talked a little that day but I don’t remember any of the conversation. Unless I’m missing something: he never bought me a coke, hamburger or even a candy bar. He certainly never attended a ball game where I was playing–my parents didn’t even attend. I have to admit, this was not uncommon in the 50’s and 60’s. I was not the only kid who didn’t have a parent at the game. All of this conditioned me for parenthood. I was no model father; certainly not one you would want to emulate but I have tried to reset the bar on the grand daddy thing. I have always felt that grand parenthood is God gift of grace to those of us who didn’t do so great as a parent. The LORD, in His mercy, gives us a chance to redeem ourselves. Of course I will be glad with the virus thing is over but I have to admit it has given me extra time with my grand children. My problem is: I am doing to much playing and not enough teaching. I must tell you, I am a very wealthy man: I am rich, exceeding rich in grand children. I hope every single one of them grows up loving Jesus with all their heart.
Not a dramatic increase in the COVIN-19 UPDATE: Morgan County has 30 confirmed cases. State wide we have 2,006 confirmed cases and 32 deaths. We were at 28 last Friday. Around 11% of the confirmed cases end up in a hospital. I am encouraged. Don’t go to Huntsville unless you have to and certainly you need to avoid big cities. We are going to get to do DRIVE-IN WORSHIP this Sunday if they don’t change their minds. Our folks are excited about DRIVE-IN Easter worship. You have to stay in your car unless you are on stage or working security and you need to park 6 feet from nearest car. You will get the opportunity to do a drive by offering and a honk if you love Jesus. Josh and I are pumped.
We have to praise Jesus for this wonderful weather that is going to end in a few hours but it was nice and I got two rows of corn planted.
Have a great day and a great week.