Mountain Tops

Quarantine has brought a lot of lows, a lot of sadness, and a lot of confusion. It feels like a never ending valley with no way out. I know that I have struggled to find joy and bright spots over the last month and so I wanted this post to be about the good that is still happening in our community and around the world.

From famous actors like John Krasinksi and his Some Good News segment which is bringing laughter and joy into homes around the world with the latest heartwarming stories, to great financial planners like Dave Ramsey who is reminding his followers to look for the good in the news, I wanted to join in on the spreading of good news in our community as well.

The truth is, Jesus is still on the move. He is providing for our needs and bringing joy in the mundane. He has filled people with creativity and selflessness. We are safe and can be at peace because of his faithful love. Because of him, there is so much to be thankful for.

I have compiled stories from many of our readers and from around the world to remind you that this time is not just a valley – there are mountain tops too.

Here are those stories:

If I’m being honest, I didn’t expect quarantine to be hard. I was wrong. God has used this time to reveal my idols, sometimes painfully. I have much more time these days to pray and read the Word, and when the author of Hebrews says that “the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit” (Hebrews 4:12), he is not lying! God’s Word and prayer have revealed a lot of problems in my heart that I have been refusing to acknowledge or been totally unaware of for a really long time. This has been hard because I’m having to wrestle with a lot of my own thoughts, but at the same time it is good because I know that God is refining me into gold. It is good to be able to spend so much time with Him and remember that my identity rests in Him and Him alone.

I am finding time to rest and study for a big licensing exam I have in May. I wouldn’t have had nearly as much time pre-pandemic. I have also had the opportunity to go out in nature and explore in the Blue Ridge mountains.

Our experts and scientists report that our strategy to slow the spread has saved hundreds of thousands of lives. Models predicted between 1.5 million and 2.2 million U.S. deaths — if there was no mitigation, it could have even been higher than that — and between 100,000 and 240,000 deaths with mitigation. It’s looking like we will come far under even these lowest numbers…Our experts say the curve has flattened and the peak in new cases is behind us. – White House Press Conference, April 16, 2020

God is providing for all of our needs and more!

I’ve learned that I like working from home. I have had more quality family time in the last 30 days than I have had in a long time. I like the slower pace of life. I like all of the walks I have taken.

In hospitals in Massachusetts, medical staff have started a trend called #CodeRocky. Everytime a Covid-19 patient is discharged, the Rocky theme song rings out loud and proud across the hospital speaker system as staff cheer on the newly recovered individual.

This past week was spring break here in Lebanon and I was supposed to travel to Jordan. However, I ended up being here in Beirut and getting to bond with the people in my building so much this week. Without this time, I would not have been available to listen and be present for two of my neighbors who are really struggling. It gave me a renewed sense of purpose for why I’m here at this time.

Pet adoptions across the US are up as much as 10-fold and some shelters are now completely empty. – USA Today

The best thing that has happened during this quarantine has been the sweetness of unrushed family times and finally experiencing the things we’ve wanted to do regularly — meals, walks, movie nights, prayer times, devos. I don’t want to go back to the rush.

IKEA published their famous meatball recipe so customers can enjoy their unbeatable food from home. All you have to do is throw on some HGTV and you are set for the night!

A medical charity in England has figured out a way to train dogs to sniff out Covid-19! This provides a noninvasive test and is very efficient – not to mention, so cute! These dogs could be used at airports to check travelers and hopefully limit outbreaks in the future.

Praise the Lord that the greatest “Good News” is that God is on the throne, we have a way to him through salvation because of Jesus’ death on the cross, and life eternal is our gift if we just believe.

The mountain tops are there, but you just might have to climb a little higher to see them. Keep climbing and keep pressing on.

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