Can I Still be Thankful?

A friend asked me if I could still give thanks to God amid a pandemic and everything else that has happened since? My friend read the blog I wrote in November 2020 called, “Can you give Thanks to God in the Midst of a Pandemic?” My answer was yes, I still give thanks to God for all His goodness. READ that blog here.

So many things have happened since the shutdown back in 2020. My family and I experienced disappointments, and failures, Covid-19 or one of its variants, and a tragedy. Some of you know that our house of 15 years was destroyed when my neighbor’s house exploded due to the remnants of Hurricane Ida. We had left our house earlier due to flooding and stayed two houses over. Our thought was of coming back to our house after the floodwaters had receded. Needless to say, we didn’t take much with us and we didn’t think things were going to go south, so fast. The explosion happened and we were alive. My oldest daughter had a cut on her forehead and my neighbor had cut his leg. Our house and many other houses on our street suffered major damages.

My wife and I went back the next day. Our neighbors were able to recover our phones and wallets that we had left behind. I had a chance to go back inside the house through a dining room window to survey the damage. It was like being on a war movie set. Pieces of the wall and ceiling were missing, the windows had blown out leaving glass everywhere, some furniture pieces were overturned, pictures that were on the wall were on the floor, doors were torn off their frames, the stairs were detached from the wall leaving access to the second floor impossible. I had a chance to go back a couple of times by myself, the same day and days after. It was when I was there by myself when thoughts came to my mind as, why did this happen? Did I do something wrong? Why did God let this happen?

The answer to those questions are: I don’t know; Maybe I did something wrong so I better confess my sins; and I don’t know. To be truly honest, I will never know why our house was destroyed and that’s ok.

One thing I do know, is that God did everything in His power to show me how much He loves me. How? By sending Jesus to our world. We celebrated Jesus’ birth almost two weeks ago, but do we truly know what we are celebrating? Are we celebrating that Jesus came to earth to show us how to live a good life? Or, are we celebrating that Jesus came, so that we can be nice to one another? I believe those are good things to do, but it doesn’t tell us why Jesus came to this earth.

The Gospel of Matthew in the retelling of the birth of Jesus, the angel says to Joseph,

“She [Mary] will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” ~ (1:21 NIV).

Sin is any act that goes against God’s law, rule, or code of conduct and sinning separates us from God. I am a sinner first because I don’t love God the way He loves me (1st -3rd commandment) and oftentimes I don’t love my neighbors as I should (4th – 10th commandment). For that reason, I am a sinner, and as a sinner I deserve death. The apostle Paul says, “For the wages of sin is death.” And here is where Jesus comes in, “but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23 NIV).”

I am reminded daily that Jesus came to this earth to save me from my own sins, to reconcile me with God, to bring me closer to Him. In those times where I was by myself in front of my destroyed house overwhelmed by a ray of emotions, I was reminded that “God is good.” The creator of heaven and earth is good because He sent His one and only son, so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

Can I still give thanks to God amid a pandemic and everything else that has happened since? Yes! Why? Because He sent Jesus to me to save me from the worst thing that could happen to me – my sins.

My friends, I encourage you to see the goodness of God in the midst of your own tragedy. To know that He has already done what needed to be done, so that you would be closer to Him.

 

PS. Thanks for reading this blog. This is one of 31 blogs that I will be writing this month. I encourage you to come back to my website to read the next blog. These blogs will be written both in English and Spanish. Click here to read blog #1 and click here for blog #2.

 

Photo credit: Photo by Marcos Paulo Prado on Unsplash

6 Comments

  1. Martha on January 5, 2022 at 8:30 pm

    Thank you.

    • Pastor Dan on January 6, 2022 at 7:59 pm

      Thank you for reading, Martha.

  2. Mandi on January 5, 2022 at 10:11 pm

    Hi Pastor Dan, I think that the fact your house exploded was not a punishment for anything you did wrong. Have you heard the phrase “let your test be your testimony?” God knows that you will broadcast your faith as you are now and he has given you this opportunity to be able to share this amazing story of how your family lost everything and yet through your faith really walked away with all that truly mattered. God is strong in our weakest moments, we only need to call his name. Some people might be tested in difficult times and turn away from the Lord, but you are able to show through your actions, word and attitude that how God has blessed you despite the loss of your earthly treasures. And He will help you rebuild. I feel like he may already be at work. XO Mandi

    • Pastor Dan on January 6, 2022 at 7:58 pm

      Thank you for your kind words, Mandi. Yes, God is already at work.

  3. Margaret Ives on January 6, 2022 at 1:49 pm

    Pastor Dan, I believe You and your beautiful family are truly blessed!
    And thank you for being such a great example of living a life of faith. 🙏

    • Pastor Dan on January 6, 2022 at 7:57 pm

      Thank you Margaret! You are a blessing to me and my family.

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