by Billy Beasley
We are obviously in unprecedented times with the havoc the coronavirus is wreaking on our nation and world. I am a retired/writer and I am an extreme introvert, so my life is not so different.
But I do love and enjoy people and this is really getting to me. I have checked on my son, who is as extroverted as I am introverted. His roommate moved out of state shortly before the virus descended upon us and took his two dogs with him. And like many, my son is working from home. He is not complaining and he is happy to have a job when so many are out of work. That includes my wife, Julie, who has been laid off from her job.
The word that has come to me often during this struggle is fragile. How fragile our lives really are and the things we cling too.
My heart has gone out to people who hoarded toilet paper and other supplies, living in such fear. Full disclosure. My wife and I are concerned but we are not living in fear. I am sixty-three and I have asthma. I am in that high-risk group.
I don’t want to leave my wife but if I contract the coronavirus and pass away, I won’t be passing away. I will be passing through that veil and Jesus will be waiting on me. It won’t be because of any good deeds or because I am not a flawed, scarred man, for I most certainly am. It will be because my heart belongs to Him.
My hope, my prayer is that down the road, when this is behind us. We will hear about mass salvations. People who asked the question, “Do I have to live this way and is there another way?”
We know that there is indeed another way. It does not mean we won’t be afraid at times. We will. We just don’t have to remain there. The comfort of a Savior is a powerful thing indeed. I am not talking about a comfortable relationship with the church you attend but an intimate, powerful relationship with the almighty God.
Rather than succumb to fears I found the opposite has occurred in my life. My faith has been better and stronger in the midst of this virus. It has simplified life and that is one of the good things to come out of a terrible time.
One thing that thankfully has not been taken away is our nearby State Park, which remains open to walk the many trails in the woods. This is my prayer closet. A place to shut the door of the world behind me and focus on communication with my God. I heard a whisper in those woods recently.
It’s time to show our faith. Not our fears.
I have thought about my friend, Nicky Pipkin, who in the midst of a battle with cancer, that he would ultimately succumb too, saying to me.
“Billy, you are an encourager and that is the greatest of the spiritual gifts.”
I am realizing that when I struggle with my calling and what it might be. The words that Nicky spoke is my calling and when I don’t know where to serve or what to do. I can simply encourage people.
Maybe that is my only spiritual gift. I don’t know. My wife will tell me very kind things that other Christians have spoken about me. I always shut her down. I am not comfortable with any praise in that vein. I know the flawed, scarred man in the mirror all too well.
But I can encourage and speaking of encouraging, a Facebook friend, Mary Grey Sheneman Ham, has posted different photos of a light in front of their home, like the one below, accompanied by scripture.
I found the simplicity of her photos to speak volumes and I found encouragement in what she was sharing. The darkness surrounding us as it is now—but if we will look, if we will seek, the light—the lamp of God is still there. He has not left us.
When you look at this photo, despite the darkness, what are you drawn too? The light. And that is what He wants for all of us. To be drawn too and to focus on the light. Not on the things of this world that we can’t control.
Thank you for the encouragement. Mary Grey.
And we will get through this. We will return to hugging people and enjoying their company. We will shop without fear.
My prayer is that I, we, don’t forget this time and I pray it impacts us favorably for the remainder of our lives. And ultimately, we will remember that the things that we cling to are indeed temporary and only Jesus is everlasting.
Here are just a few of the scriptures that Mary Grey shared along with her photos. I pray that they resonate with you.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. – Psalm 119:105
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:10
“I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the LORD; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart.” – Jeremiah 24:7
I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. John 12:46
The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5
A blog I wrote when President Trump called us to a day of prayer, titled, What if?
About the Author
Billy Beasley resides in Carolina Beach, NC with his wife Julie and their Australian Cattle Dog, Teke. They are active members of Lifepoint Church in Wilmington, NC.
The Preacher’s Letter is his second traditionally published work of fiction.
Billy’s shares two simple beliefs with his favorite character in his first novel, The River Hideaway—Faith in God and a conviction that ‘Hearts have no color’. His third novel, The Girl in the River, releases summer, 2020.
You can read his “Sunday Inspiration” column on the 2nd Sunday each month here at Mustard Seed Sentinel.