Here Comes the Sun!

WCC

WATERFORD COMMUNITY CHURCH - 11:00am Sunday WORSHIP

by: Brent Wood

02/26/2021

0

Yesterday afternoon was pretty nice.  Forty-five degree temps and lots of sunshine.  If you are like me, it probably boosted your mood a bit.  Feels good, doesn't it.  But there is more that we can be feeling good about right now - from significant to simple.  But here are 12 reasons to be encouraged even after all that we have been through in the past 12 months.

1.  The pandemic has brought about an increase in mental health issues - and that is certainly negative.  But at the same time, we have seen an increased focus on treating people who struggle, we have made care more available, and we have reduced the stigma of the struggle for those affected.  Without debating the ins and outs of mental health, we can all be grateful for every person who is finding help and hope - even in knowing that they are not alone!

2.  Families have had increased time to spend together.  While school from home, work from home and even church from home has been difficult, we have been able to spend more time with each other.  And my guess is that most families have eaten more meals together.  I know it's not exactly a Bible principle, but I believe that families that eat meals together stay closer.

3.  We have experienced huge breakthroughs in the medical and science worlds.  In less than 12 months we have developed and tested a vaccine for a deadly disease that we had not seen before.  And with the pandemic not quite a year old we have seen over 50 million Americans already inoculated.  That's pretty amazing.

4.  And COVID numbers are decreasing.  We have seen 40 straight days of decrease in the numbers of hospitalizations.  Our losses have been incredible, but news like this is hopeful.

5.  We have figured out many ways to use technology for good - and not just for mindless scrolling on our phones.  Sure we are all zoomed out, but think about what zoom and other similar platforms have allowed us to do.  For me, some of the fun has been how it has allowed us to visit face-to-face with family that is scattered around the country.  And live streaming has made it possible to bring church right into our living rooms.  That's pretty awesome!

6.  We've been made more aware of our need for community.  Obviously that awareness has come because of what we have not been able to do - just get together with people and hang out.  Yet, at the same time, it has reminded us all of how important our relationships really are, and how much we are blessed with the friends and family we have.

7.  We can go out to eat again.  Now if you don't feel comfortable eating out, this is not to make you feel bad, but after weeks and weeks of trying to think up new things to have for dinner (I am speaking for my wife here), it's nice to pick something off the menu and let someone else cook it.

8.  We've already made it through three bad months of winter - and we're at least one day closer to spring than we were yesterday.  Maybe it will come early this year?  (I'm done with the snowing in May thing we have done the past couple of years.)  But spring will encourage many of us to get back outdoors and enjoy the fresh air.  (By the way, Michigan is a great place to live - from local parks to the beaches and shores of the Great Lakes to the wide open spaces of Up North!  We're blessed to live here.)

9.  World poverty has decreased considerably.  In 1990, 36% of the world lived below the poverty line.  In 2020, that figure was less than 10% (although that line is pretty low).  In that same timeframe, more than 2.6 billion people have gained access to clean drinking water.  

10.  Before the pandemic, volunteerism was at an all time high in our country.  Over 77 million Americans (30% of the population) volunteered through an organization.  Over 50% of the population participated informal volunteerism by helping neighbors.  And in many cases, that informal neighborliness has grown during the pandemic.

11.  Spring training has started.  The Tigers have a new manager, and the young talent they have been collecting is now a year older.  So, who knows, right?  (Ok, so maybe this isn't the best example of hope and encouragement.)

12.  God is still God.  He's still in control.  He still loves you unconditionally and has a plan for your life.  He hears you and goes before you and is there for you and blesses you because He is good.  He also gives you the Holy Spirit who is called the paraklete - the "God with his arm around your shoulder."  He is the Counselor, the Comforter and the Great Encourager!

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Yesterday afternoon was pretty nice.  Forty-five degree temps and lots of sunshine.  If you are like me, it probably boosted your mood a bit.  Feels good, doesn't it.  But there is more that we can be feeling good about right now - from significant to simple.  But here are 12 reasons to be encouraged even after all that we have been through in the past 12 months.

1.  The pandemic has brought about an increase in mental health issues - and that is certainly negative.  But at the same time, we have seen an increased focus on treating people who struggle, we have made care more available, and we have reduced the stigma of the struggle for those affected.  Without debating the ins and outs of mental health, we can all be grateful for every person who is finding help and hope - even in knowing that they are not alone!

2.  Families have had increased time to spend together.  While school from home, work from home and even church from home has been difficult, we have been able to spend more time with each other.  And my guess is that most families have eaten more meals together.  I know it's not exactly a Bible principle, but I believe that families that eat meals together stay closer.

3.  We have experienced huge breakthroughs in the medical and science worlds.  In less than 12 months we have developed and tested a vaccine for a deadly disease that we had not seen before.  And with the pandemic not quite a year old we have seen over 50 million Americans already inoculated.  That's pretty amazing.

4.  And COVID numbers are decreasing.  We have seen 40 straight days of decrease in the numbers of hospitalizations.  Our losses have been incredible, but news like this is hopeful.

5.  We have figured out many ways to use technology for good - and not just for mindless scrolling on our phones.  Sure we are all zoomed out, but think about what zoom and other similar platforms have allowed us to do.  For me, some of the fun has been how it has allowed us to visit face-to-face with family that is scattered around the country.  And live streaming has made it possible to bring church right into our living rooms.  That's pretty awesome!

6.  We've been made more aware of our need for community.  Obviously that awareness has come because of what we have not been able to do - just get together with people and hang out.  Yet, at the same time, it has reminded us all of how important our relationships really are, and how much we are blessed with the friends and family we have.

7.  We can go out to eat again.  Now if you don't feel comfortable eating out, this is not to make you feel bad, but after weeks and weeks of trying to think up new things to have for dinner (I am speaking for my wife here), it's nice to pick something off the menu and let someone else cook it.

8.  We've already made it through three bad months of winter - and we're at least one day closer to spring than we were yesterday.  Maybe it will come early this year?  (I'm done with the snowing in May thing we have done the past couple of years.)  But spring will encourage many of us to get back outdoors and enjoy the fresh air.  (By the way, Michigan is a great place to live - from local parks to the beaches and shores of the Great Lakes to the wide open spaces of Up North!  We're blessed to live here.)

9.  World poverty has decreased considerably.  In 1990, 36% of the world lived below the poverty line.  In 2020, that figure was less than 10% (although that line is pretty low).  In that same timeframe, more than 2.6 billion people have gained access to clean drinking water.  

10.  Before the pandemic, volunteerism was at an all time high in our country.  Over 77 million Americans (30% of the population) volunteered through an organization.  Over 50% of the population participated informal volunteerism by helping neighbors.  And in many cases, that informal neighborliness has grown during the pandemic.

11.  Spring training has started.  The Tigers have a new manager, and the young talent they have been collecting is now a year older.  So, who knows, right?  (Ok, so maybe this isn't the best example of hope and encouragement.)

12.  God is still God.  He's still in control.  He still loves you unconditionally and has a plan for your life.  He hears you and goes before you and is there for you and blesses you because He is good.  He also gives you the Holy Spirit who is called the paraklete - the "God with his arm around your shoulder."  He is the Counselor, the Comforter and the Great Encourager!

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