It’s another beautiful morning here in LA. I got my coffee, my comfy mischievous mickey mouse sweatshirt on, and some updates for you.
Like I said yesterday, we’re committed to bringing you guys good, inspiring, helpful content throughout this week. Check out today’s article by Amanda Barratt about what Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s teaches us about isolation and COVID-19.
Total global case count for COVID-19 rose to over 250,000 with over 10,000 deaths and 86,000 recoveries. In the US, the total number of cases grew by nearly 40% in just under 24 hours and is now over 16,000, with 216 deaths and 121 recoveries.
THE GOOD NEWS
Due to a lack of demand for it, China just closed down the last of fourteen temporary hospitals they had built in response to the high demand for beds in the wake of COVID-19. This means they’re on the back side of the virus (Independent).
Also in China, a 103 year old woman is said to have made a full recovery from COVID-19, according to Independent. That’s encouraging since the elderly have been among the most vulnerable.
And Reuters reports that Apple has reopened all of its branded stores in China. These are good signs and should give us hope as we face our own quarantines and state-wide shutdowns here in America.
THE OTHER NEWS
According to a new poll reported by CNN, only 2 out of 5 Americans cancelled plans to be in big crowds. That means most Americans, according to the poll, did not cancel plans to be in big crowds.
This is unfortunate because the less people respond to calls for self-isolation, the more the government is going to need to demand it in order to stem the spread.
California Among States to Completely Shut
Last night, California Governor Gavin Newsom order residents to stay at home.
According to the L.A. Times, “The mandatory order allows Californians to continue to visit gas stations, pharmacies, grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, takeout and delivery restaurants, banks and laundromats. People can leave their homes to care for a relative or a friend or seek healthcare services.”
There has been no time frame set by the Governor, but the hope is that keeping everyone at home and restricting social interaction will help slow the spread of the virus and avoid overrunning the healthcare systems.
Jesus DIDN’t Promise Easy LiVeS
I know these are weird times and many of us feel anxious about what’s going to happen.
But, as Brett Harris pointed out in his article, the world has been in situations like this before and we (or at least our parents and grandparents) made it through.
I think it’s mostly that a lot of us just aren’t used to having our lives disrupted at this scale. We as Westerners have grown very comfortable and even arrogant in our comfort. I’m not going to sit here and tell you to look on the bright side. I’m not even going to say there’s absolutely nothing to worry about.
Although I obviously can’t know for sure, there’s a really high chance most of the people reading this are going to make it through to the other side. But I can’t guarantee you’ll come out unscathed and, frankly, comfort and security in this life aren’t things Jesus promised us.
Tribulation–not ease of life–is guaranteed
Jesus told us in John 16: “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
What were the things Jesus said that we may have peace?
Earlier in the chapter, he told us about the Holy Spirit coming:“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you” (John 16:13-15).
Before that in chapter 15, Jesus had talked about how he is the vine and that it’s by abiding in his presence that we receive life and bear fruit.
But here’s what I love and think is so applicable for us right now (I’m actually kind of working my way backward through Jesus sermon).
In Chapter 14, Jesus tells us to “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.” And then he goes on to describe the promise of eternity and his presence.
Verse 2 Jesus promises that he is going to prepare a place for us and then in verses 18 and 19 he gives these comforting words, promising the presence of his Spirit: “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.”
As Christians, we don’t put our hope and trust in having an easy life, good health, or being financially successful prosperous: We put our hope and find our joy in being in the presence of Jesus.
I don’t know about you, but I needed that reminder this morning.