Well, with a new year comes all sorts of things; new hopes, new ideas, new dreams, and new adventures. People make New Year’s Resolutions hoping and dreaming of change. Some people choose to fast, giving up something or creating new paths for growth. Right now there are many people starting down this road of adventure. We see this not only happen in individuals, but also in churches and nonprofits. Church attendance and nonprofit involvement increases for a period of time, but isn’t sustainable throughout the year. In some cases we see decline or the fall of some churches as they can not keep up with the times and tithing can’t keep the lights on. We see this in our labor shortages. With the influx of wages comes new people setting out for new jobs with higher rates, leaving behind the “grunt work” unfilled as wait times for products and customer service all lag behind. Our finances all hit some ups and downs the last couple of years when people were out of work due to the shut down and essential workers were burned out from being overworked. The stimulus payments left some people with savings while some burned a hole in their pocket. The last few years have really left us waiting on edge, waiting for the other shoe to drop. What disasters could 2022 bring? We enter 2022 with a new wave of the coronavirus sweeping the nation. Children scared and worried, who will save us from danger? Is the coronavirus the worst danger we are facing or is there a more dangerous problem?
When everyone around us speaks about the danger of the coronavirus, it is natural to feel afraid. Everything for the last few years has just been getting worse, to the point of separating us from our friends and family. We also have a lot of questions and not knowing the answers can cause us fear. Has God stopped loving us? Is God angry with us? Did I get sick because I am bad? Is this the end of the world? It is never wrong to ask questions, BUT we should always go to the Bible to get our answers. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world” – ALL of the world, and all means ALL! All the people no matter what language, race, gender, poverty level, or side of town you grew up on. God loves every one of us because He created us. Even though the coronavirus separates us from the people we love, sin is much worse because it separates us from God! When you disobey your parents, hit your sibling, lie, steal, or even think about doing something wrong, it is a sin. Everyone has sinned. The Bible says, “No one is righteous”. Sin separates you from being with God in Heaven someday and being His friend right now.
There is a solution!! Doctors are working to create vaccines and medicine to help fight the virus. It isn’t your fault if you get the virus, but you were born with the sin problem. God has already given us the only cure for our sin and that is Jesus Christ. When Jesus lived on earth He was human, with a human body and emotions and thoughts. While on earth He cured many diseases, performed miracles, and taught about the heart of God. In the end, the reason He came to earth was to make a way for us to be forgiven of our sin. Jesus allowed Himself to be nailed to a cross, where He bled and died for our sin. He died, was buried and came alive again on the third day. He is now in Heaven preparing a place for believers. You can clean your hands with soap and water, sanitizer too, to try to help stop the virus. You can know for sure that Jesus cleans you from sin when you believe (trust) in Him. “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved”, Acts 16:31. Doctors give lots of advice so people can stay healthy. God also gives advice in His Word, the Bible. When you believe in Jesus, you should get to know Him better. You can do this by reading and obeying the Bible. You can talk to God in prayer anytime about your thoughts, feelings, people you love, school, and so many things! He hears you and He loves you. Remember, do not be afraid, take everything to Him, and He is with you always even though you can’t see Him.