Wherever we turn these days, it is nearly impossible to avoid news, information or conversation about the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on all of us individually and collectively. Certainly, it has changed the way of living for every one of us, and some of these changes will likely outlive the life cycle of this virus.
Our hearts go out in concern and sympathy for those who have suffered from this virus, be it themselves, family members, or loved ones in any manner, in ways physical, financial, or emotional. Our prayers are with them, as well as with our first responders and leaders who work tirelessly on the front lines of this battle against COVID-19.
Times like these often cause us to reflect on our lives and our purpose. Steven R. Covey was a famous motivational speaker and author who wrote “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” which was a bestseller for several years.
One of his seven habits was called “Begin with the End in Mind.” When I read this, I first thought that he meant that we need to plan ahead when we begin a task or project. However, the author had something much more significant in mind.
He asked us to look ahead and imagine the day of our own funeral, and ask us to consider what our friends, family and loved ones would say or think about us as they passed by our casket. In addition, he asked us to consider what God would think of us and the life we had lived.
Although death, sooner or later, comes to us all, we have this hope and promise given in I Corinthians 15: 19: “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.”
In other words, why are we abstaining from worldly pleasures and not submitting to sinful desires in obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ if we do not live again after death?
The apostle Paul continues in verses 20 and 22: “But now is Christ risen from the dead and become the firstfruits of them that slept…. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”
As much as I enjoy the Christmas season, Easter has become my favorite holiday. Christmas, of course, celebrates the birth of the promised Christ, the Savior of the world. Easter, though, is the event that celebrates the Savior delivering on the long-awaited promises.
The first vow: that he would suffer on our behalf for our sins, so that we could attain forgiveness for those sins through faith in Jesus Christ, repentance (changing and leaving our sinful behavior behind) and obedience to his teachings.
Secondly: through his resurrection that glorious Easter morning, he would break the bands of death for each of us.
I know this has been a difficult time for many, if not most of us. However, I have also heard friends and associates comment on the fact that this has allowed them to focus on the things that matter most to them.
This Easter season, as we pray for family, friends, and even strangers that have been affected by this current outbreak, may we also express gratitude to our Creator for the blessings of life, health, family, friend, jobs, and the beauty of the world around us, which was created for us.
Most of all, give thanks to God, our Heavenly Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ, for the gifts of their gospel teachings, which bring true and lasting happiness to us, and for the gift of the resurrection, allowing us the opportunity to live again with those we love.
John 16:33: “…in the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
Remember, this too shall pass. Happy Easter to all!