Week of: November 15, 2020
Editor's note: For our devotions for the month of November, three teenagers will share their experiences during the pandemic and reflect on what they still find to be hopeful and grateful for in these challenging times. These devotions will not reflect the traditional Lectionary scriptures for each week, but we pray that they bring you hope and gratitude as we enter into a season of Thanksgiving.
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
(1 Peter 5:10, NIV)
This scripture brings me comfort in a time like this because God is reassuring us that through our struggles, no matter how big or small, God will replenish our focus and strength. I imagine almost everyone, no matter if you are a student or working professional, feels drained and possibly even insecure during these challenging times. My family and friends have been a strong source of love and encouragement throughout my life, and I am grateful for their love and guidance as I grow physically, mentally, and spiritually. Yet during the past six months, as one school year ended with a graduation and a new year began in college, I discovered God provided a new and unexpected blessing.
I have been especially thankful for the educators who are teaching my classes this semester. They have done a much better job than I have in adjusting to the times we are facing. I have looked to them for direction and guidance in my education, and they have been there to support and encourage me. However, there has been one thing missing in my first year in college – the opportunity to collaborate with others in some artistic capacity. This all changed last month when my college's jazz band invited me to join them for weekly rehearsals, and I could not have been more excited. For me, the ability to return to making music with others, even in a different format, has given me hope and restored my soul. I now have a way to be expressive again using the talents that God has given me.
In this pandemic filled with social distancing and isolation, I have discovered that God is blessing me with supportive teachers, new friends, new opportunities, and new ways to collaborate with others despite all we must do to be safe. Take a look at your situation. How is God blessing you in the midst of this suffering and discomfort?
Dear Lord, no words can express how thankful we are for receiving your blessings. Thank you for protection and for bringing healing to those who have faced trouble. We know you are on our side every step of our journey, and we pray that you will restore us and keep us steadfast in doing your will. Amen.
Freshman, Illinois Central College
East Peoria, IL