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Stories through Covid

Finding Rest in the Third Wave by Louise O'Brien

A new season, another lockdown! As restrictions remain in place, who knows when it will end? It is another week of: Home schooling, Working from home, Zoom calls, Church gatherings online and Tesco deliveries. In between are several hours of family Skype calls each week because County borders separate us - no travel beyond 5km, unless for essential work. These all seemed like choices in the past, but now they have defined our every waking day! "In the beginning God made the heavens and the earth". (Genesis 1v1)

To be reminded of these words today is a great encouragement. Knowing our God has created all things for him and by him. He made us in his image. For him! He is Sovereign and rules over all. We can delight in Him. As I look at the spring flowers appearing in our garden, it brings new hope, sunshine, longer days, but reminds me that this is just another season. However, with God, He is always there, constant, everlasting, eternal.

Finding space In our home, I have always felt that the kitchen is my space, a place I enjoy to cook, bake, to read or relax with a cup of tea. Some say its the heart of the home. I miss it. The kitchen table is where we gather around for meals, family time, fellowship, guests to our home. Now it is used not just for for breakfast, dinner and tea, but several daily tea and hot chocolate breaks, 7days a week It becomes the classroom for two, a desk for Mammy (with her teacher's hat on!), Dad's office, and a place for the laptops and chargers. It's the tea break room, the table for school projects, the art room. Amidst the busyness and chaos of the week, He is there:

"Come to me all ye who are weary and burdened, I will give you rest".

As Jesus sought many a quiet place and solitude, to pray to his Father, so I am taught to do the same. I need to be intentional each day to take that time and place to rest, to pray to God, and be with Him. It is not always easy, but a blessing and joy when it happens. Giving thanks I give thanks to God for his comforting words of scripture, all his blessings and unconditional love, especially during these harder days. It may seem our freedom is limited now, physically isolated from family and friends. However, knowing the Lord, we are free in Him, saved, redeemed. He gives us eternal life and a future with Him in our heavenly home. There will be no borders or restrictions and no physical separation.

I have a lot to be thankful for. A good husband, two beautiful children, a nice home, the enjoyment of lovely walks in the countryside and my part time job. When I go out to work for a couple of hours each day, it reminds me of what joy it is to care for the elderly. I give thanks for them.

However, I do long for the fellowship of others, to be physically with other believers and church family again. I look forward to hugging my parents, my grandparents, my brothers and sister. I pray that day will come soon.

I look for rest in the Psalms. A favourite one is Psalm 62:

"My soul finds rest in God alone, he is my fortress I will not be shaken".

It recalls a place, a person who I can go to, to find rest. Being reminded of who God is, and what he has done for me. It is a blessing like no other. When everything around me feels like it is falling apart, I can take refuge in the Lord, He protects me. When, I am reading God's word, it gives me strength for today, and hope for tomorrow. Great is our faithful God who loves and cares so deep for us all.

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