After Rain: Weekly Devotions for Comfort and Peace

After Rain: Weekly Devotions for Comfort and Peace

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For some time God has been whispering to me to write a book of devotions, and I have resisted the whispers, thinking surely not I, Lord. I’m not a divinity graduate, preacher, theologian, or prophet. I’m not qualified to interpret scripture or offer words of wisdom or guidance to others. I mess up all the time and find myself in need of forgiveness every day, both from God and other people. How can I write a devotion book? Lately, the whispers have been accompanied by nudges, and I am compelled to listen and obey, trusting that whatever I write is not from my limited wisdom, but from a limitless God. So, like King David, another flawed human, I pray, “May the words of my [pen] and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer (Psalm 19:14).”The year is 2020, the year of the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic. As citizens of the world shelter in place, we don’t know what the future holds. Schools are closed, travel is restricted, and businesses are failing. My family and community are okay, but throughout the world, thousands are not. We are still able to see humor in the midst of this rapidly spreading virus. On social media sites, we share jokes about toilet-paper hoarding and pictures of each other working from home in our pajamas. But thousands have lost loved ones to the disease and can’t even hold funerals or memorial services because of mandatory physical distancing. Healthcare workers and first responders are placed in danger every day as hospital ICUs overflow with COVID patients. It is a time of worry, fear and uncertainty. I’m in my seventies, and nothing like this pandemic has occurred in my lifetime. During such a profound crisis, there’s a steep learning curve for governments, medical personnel and individuals regarding how to handle it. We have no precedent upon which to base our procedures. The Spanish Flu of 1918 is not even a memory for people living today. What I know for sure is that we can count on our living, loving God to see us through. Believers in the risen Christ are never alone in any circumstance. It is Jesus Christ who brings us the comfort and peace that transcend earthly circumstances, even a pandemic. My fervent prayer for this book is that, in these pages, readers will find comfort amid chaos and hope for an uncertain future. All biblical references are from the NASB edition of the Ryrie Study Bible, copyright 1995. Specific quoted verses are indicated in quotation marks with the chapter and verse noted. Italics indicate paraphrased references or inspired messages to the author. All proceeds from the sale of this book benefit Hospice House & Support Care of Williamsburg, Virginia, the most uplifting haven of comfort and peace this side of heaven. “Hospice House & Support Care of Williamsburg is a social-model hospice that provides physical, emotional, social and spiritual support to enhance the quality of living for individuals facing the last phases of life and the people who love them. The Hospice House itself is a spacious residence that is a home away from home for our guests and their families. Support care services range from companionship in families’ homes to extensive bereavement programs provided to families throughout the community. Hospice House & Support Care of Williamsburg is a 501(c)(3) organization that is entirely funded by contributions. No family or individual ever receives a bill for our services and support; nor do we accept Medicare, Medicaid or other reimbursements.”**williamsburghospice.org