Let’s face it, we’re all feeling a bit rubbish at the moment. The combination of yet more pandemic-related restrictions, homeschooling, isolation, grief, loss, miserable weather and short, dark days has left many of us feeling drained and despondent. Even for the most optimistic personality, it can be difficult to put a positive spin on the current situation.
Praise God then that, in the midst of all this darkness, his light shines as brightly as ever. There’s joy to be found all around us. Sometimes we all need a reminder to focus less on the challenges we’re facing and more on how God is able to bless us through the small details of our ordinary, everyday lives. Now, more than ever, it’s these things to which we must hold tight.
There’s a light at the end of the tunnel
The main difference between the first lockdown and this one, for me, is that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Though it may seem painfully slow at times, the three approved COVID-19 vaccines are being rolled out across the UK and, gradually, vulnerable people are getting the protection they need from this virus. As it stands, more than four million people across the UK have received their first dose. Why not set aside some time today to pray for the vaccine roll-out in the UK and across the globe?
We’ve spent more time with friends and family (if only virtually)
Whether you’re dealing with a house full of kids 24/7 or experiencing the isolation of living alone during lockdown, we’re all facing our own challenges right now. I feel extremely grateful that this pandemic happened in the modern age, when the internet, smartphones and virtual connections exist. I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent more time video calling over the last year than I ever would have ordinarily. The physical separation has pushed me to prioritise my relationships more than I normally would, and I think they’ve benefitted as a result.
For all you parents doubling up as homeschool teachers, perhaps it feels exhausting most of the time and it may be hard to see the positives. Viv, a dad-of-two, says, ‘The lockdown has taught us about slowing down. Weekends used to always be about “where shall we go today?” and now we’re enjoying going for walks locally or doing things around the house like playing board games. It’s shown us that life doesn’t have to be full and active all of the time. We’re learning that enjoying and investing in time with each other is what matters most.’
Mum Claire said, ‘It’s an opportunity to think about what I want my daughter to learn right now. A chance to be right there as she navigates a really topsy turvy world to help her feel steady and safe.’
What are some positives about your current situation? Everyone’s lockdown looks different, so try to not make comparisons – that which someone else is finding really easy may be challenging for you, and vice versa. Leave a comment below and let us know.
We’ve spent more time outdoors
If there’s one good thing that’s come from the social restrictions, it seems to have pushed many of us to spend more time outside. When the snow hit Britain in January, my social media feeds were filled with photos of happy children whizzing down the hillside aboard a sledge, and misty lakes where families had taken the opportunity to go for a wander. Even in the chilly weather, I find something so refreshing about being outside and feeling free, which is probably what we’re all seeking right now. Thank God for his creation and the opportunity it allows us to escape, if only for a short while. Could you find time this weekend to wrap up warm and get out and about?
God never stops changing lives
Here at CAP over the last year, we’ve been constantly adapting our services in line with Government guidelines, but praise God that this hasn’t stopped our work from continuing. Amidst all the challenges, lives are still being transformed through the work of CAP and the Church.
If you’re signed up to receive our postal mailings, you’ll have had your celebration of 2020 through the letterbox recently, filled with uplifting stories from clients who found joy and hope despite the pandemic. If not, you can read the stories online here. I assure you that these five remarkable clients, and the way Jesus has touched their lives, will give you a welcome dose of positivity!
When everything around us is uncertain, Jesus is unchanging
What I love about Hebrews 13:8 is that, regardless of the translation, the wording is more or less exactly the same. It’s just a clear, powerful message: ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever’.
When everything around us feels scary and uncertain, we can hold tight to the one who never changes, who is always faithful, always good, always stronger than any challenge we may face. The song God is able by Hillsong Worship always helps me to remember this – you can have a listen to it on CAP’s worship playlist, as well as loads of uplifting songs to help get you through this season.
Remember to let us know your reasons to feel positive in the comments below.