This Too Shall Pass

Happy Passover!

On Tuesday, Jerry came home from work (yes, his job is considered an essential service, thankfully), in pain demonstrating a host of unfortunate symptoms. After waiting a few hours to see if they would subside and then making a few phone calls, we decided to go to the Emergency Room. That in of itself was a stressful ordeal due to this pandemic. Jerry had to be screened in a tent in the parking lot while I waited outside sitting on the curb. Naturally, nearly every one we saw was wearing a face mask as were we. Because I had previously been tested for COVID-19 at that same hospital (the results were negative), I already knew that particular location is not where they screen and test suspected victims. So knowing the healthcare system strives to keep the two separate brought some relief. Nevertheless, my Jerry was suffering and I could not be there to comfort him nor learn what was wrong. When he and the nurse exited the tent, they advised me they were taking him in to do some tests and that I needed to go home since no visitors can enter the hospital. A mixture of emotions surged my mind from relief I wouldn’t have to expose myself to potential threatening germs to concern about what would happen to Jerry and would he be admitted to the hospital. I found myself attempting to concentrate during the dark drive home while not allowing the surging thoughts to consume me.

Upon arriving home on the boat, I attempted to busy myself by hanging up a large canvas tarp over the v-berth to shade my berth (bed) from the Texas sun. The temperatures seem to be climbing higher this Spring than last year’s. Of course, it was dark out and I was ever-careful not to trip or slip putting myself overboard or also in the ER. My efforts revealed I did not know what I was doing because upon careful inspection I realized my Jerry makes the canvas look much nicer and more efficient. Consequently, thoughts continued to bombard me about if something dire were to happen to him would I be able to handle the boat by myself, a factor I weighed upon buying a 30 foot sailboat figuring a smaller boat is wiser as rookie sailors – particularly a rookie sailor with a husband 16 years my senior. All of this reminds me practicing shalom in the home of our minds during sudden storms and peculiar pandemics is no easy feat sometimes!

After many tests on Jerry and a few hours of me scrubbing and clearing the sink drain on our boat (since Jerry vommited so much it clogged our sink), Jerry called to inform me he has a 7mm kidney stone. Ouch! He was released from the hospital late Tuesday night. Meanwhile, I seemed to have developed a sinus infection and later brief bouts of diarrhea probably from the stress. Wednesday, I found myself catering to him and running around to pick up his prescriptions covering myself in a face mask and gloves while entering the grocery store’s pharmacy area. How bizarre to think of such common places of health as a danger zone!

Despite all of the pandemic precautions and kidney stone kinetics, we managed to work together to put on a decent Passover dinner. The photos shown is our version of the “blood of the Lamb” on our doorpost. The winches of our sailboat are holding up the red sheet outlining our companionway entrance with cushions on each side of the entrance way. Despite waiting for Jerry’s kidney stone to pass, we had a nice dinner last night with lamb and the traditional seder elements. As an added bonus, my favorite rose bloomed for the first time yesterday (notice ‘Sailvation’, our boat name, appropriate for Passover).

‘Lady Emma Hamilton’, a fragrant David Austin rose blooms with white-flowering Alyssum growing snug at the base.

Keep Jerry in your prayers please and me as well. He has to have a painful surgery done on Monday to address the kidney stone. In the meantime, us sailors are learning to stay calm in this storm. We hope you are yours are staying home indoors like the Israelites did during Passover and like Isaiah 26:20 foreworns. Afterall, this too shall “pass”.

Illness Never from the LORD?

If you see people write on Facebook or wherever that “Illness is NEVER from the LORD.”, feel free to share this little Bible study that says otherwise. We need to stop tickling ears and instead fall on our faces. Time to grow up, kids. We are being matured: repentance then revival.

Coronavirus Repellant?

I have found it concerning and even alarming some Christians are pridefully quoting various verses such as “there is no fear in love” (I John 4:17-19), for example, out of context and rather attempting to use it as a magic charm to prevent the discomfort and potential spiritual growth of themselves or other believers. Conversely, I wrote an article (actually several) in recent days combating false teachings spreading on social media while using verses such as the one in 1 John 4:17-19, Psalm 91, and others. In Scripture, particularly the book of Jeremiah, we see more issues would befall the nation of Israel, for example, because of false prophets rising up saying similar things promising peace and security rather than repentance and obedience. It would be wise for more ministries/Christians to write or speak about that on social media then using God’s word as a magic charm to avoid tribulation and trials such as these.

For example, some are quoting 1 John 4:17-19 famous verse which in part says “there is no fear in love” ignoring the context of that phrase.The entire book of 1st John describes true love as obeying God’s commands. The author reiterates over and over again that you can distinguish those who are authentic believers abiding in God verses those who aren’t by who is and isn’t cheerfully, willfully obeying God’s laws, which ultimately defines how to love God and others (to list a few: 1 John 3:4, 7, 10, 22, 24, 4:12, 20, 21; 5:3). In fact, 1 John 3:4 defines sin as breaking God’s laws or being without God’s laws (rebellion). So by the time the author arrives up to the verses being commonly quoted during this pandemic in 1 John 4:17-19, it is understood that believers do not have to be afraid of God’s judgment because they are operating in perfect love by being living sacrifices laying down their flesh to a lifestyle of loving obedience to God’s commands, which ultimately is loving God and others. This is why we don’t have to fear. It has nothing to do with other circumstances and isn’t a misquoted magic charm to protect you from God’s discipline or judgment (unless of course, you are operating and led by His lawful Spirit of Holiness and being obedient as He brings you into more and more truth). Conversely, it would be more enlightening and productive to quote 1 John 3:22 in regards to this pandemic:

Furthermore, the verses to follow the misquoted passage of “There is no fear in love” defines love as obeying God’s commands and why we need not fear (see 1 John 5:3). We need not fear God’s judgment because we are obeying God’s commands, which are pretty easy and hopefully, most Christians are doing much of them without even thinking about it. If you aren’t obeying God, well then you are not being perfected in love and yes, you should fear very much (fear God).

Just something to ponder and dig into during these days of rest and reflection. Much love!

To study more on this subject, click the below link.