Devotional by Beth Smith

This must be the season for orchids to bloom here in Southwest Florida. As I walk around our community here at Lexington, I see the orchids profusely blooming in the ground, in pots and on trees. I have taken several pictures of these beautiful flowers since I enjoy making my own note cards.

As I studied my pictures, though, I was struck with the ugly roots and limp unattractive leaves. Yet if I follow the long stem springing forth, I see many beautifully colored blossoms. How can God cause something so beautiful to spring from something so ugly?

Then I went a step further and compared to the orchid this uncertain time we are in during this pandemic which is ugly, scary, harmful and causing great concern and uncertainty, knowing that God will use His hand to bring something beautiful from this time. I am reminded of Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him who have been called according to His purpose”.

I see families relating to each other as they have not in quite some time. Parents are actually listening to, playing with and, yes, even teaching their children. Each family member is learning to appreciate one another more with greater love and respect.

God has shown us through this time that we are all interconnected and need each other. The virus spares no country, race or age and because of this we are learning even a greater degree of community spirit and servanthood. Jesus stressed serving when he said, “The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:11-12). Keep on reaching out, even if from a distance, to the people that need you, especially the lonely, the elderly, the depressed and those that don’t know our God as we do.

“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it…”( Psalm 24:1) Conservation is being learned. There is less waste and we are becoming better stewards of our resources. God cares for His creation and expects us to do the same. Because the earth is the Lord’s and we are his children, all of us are stewards and caretakers.

We have drawn closer to God and His Word during this time. Sons and daughters of Christ are hungry for His Word and seeking it even more fervently than before this present crisis.

In closing I want you to think about when the disciples cried out to Jesus when a storm came up while they were fishing. Jesus said, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” The disciples panicked rather than exercised their faith. This power of Jesus can help us deal with our present situation. But we must cry out in faith, not in fear as the disciples did. God acts after we exercise our faith. “Those who know Your name will trust in You, for You, Lord have never forsaken those who seek You.” ( Psalm 9:10).

(Deuteronomy 31:8): “Do not be afraid or terrified …for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

(John 16:33:) “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

God is with us through the ugliness of COVID-19 and will bring forth beauty again.