Last month, despite my efforts to be very careful, I contracted the dreaded Coronavirus. At first I thought I just had a bad cold, but a few days later, I tested positive, and ended up spending four days in the hospital. Thankfully, I was spared from some of the really bad effects of the virus. My wife, Cathi, also got COVID, though her case was not as severe. We thank God for His mercy, and for the many friends who prayed for us.
James Chapter 1 tells us to "Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." I have to admit, when I was lying alone in a hospital room, looking at the ceiling and struggling just to take a breath, that was not my first thought. My prayer was more, "Lord, here I am. If you want me to live and continue to serve You, I know you can carry me through this." The scripture that kept coming to my mind was "Trust in the Lord with all your heart." God uses affliction of various types to burn away the pride, presumption, ingratitude, lack of care towards others, and general self-centeredness that is so prominent in our hearts. Therefore, we can say with the Psalmist that "it is good for me that I was afflicted" (Psalm 119:71). We have to be broken of our self-will and our self-righteousness in order to be made more like Christ. This I believe is an important part of discipleship and the Spirit's work in our hearts. But praise God that He also restores us and gives us His peace and the assurance of His love for us (see Romans 5:1-5).
I am learning patience as my road to recovery hasn't been as fast as I'd like. I am learning sympathy towards others as I realize that all over the world, millions of people are suffering way, way more than I have, either from COVID, or from some other difficulty. I am learning surrender as I say, "Lord, here I am - do with me as You will."
How has God been working in your life lately? What has He been teaching you?
NEW ORCHESTRA PIECE! Check out my new arrangement of “We Have Heard the Joyful Sound (Jesus Saves).” It’s a fun, jazzy version of a great old hymn. It's scored for full orchestra, but could be performed with just two flutes, two trumpets, and rhythm.