Bread of Life
There are times in life where challenges just seems to pour over you. For many, this season of COVID-19 would fall in that category for a variety of different reasons. Like most people, my life since COVID has changed drastically. But while most people are spending more time at home, I seem to be on the road a lot.
I've been retired for a number of years. My husband Gary had retired earlier, so I fell into his retirement schedule of going to the gym, visiting friends, and getting some projects completed. We were fortunate to have the time and resources to visit our daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter in BC several time and travel abroad. I do miss the travel, and FaceTime's just not the same as being there in person and spending time with family. I had started writing Don't Tell, and was just about ready to approach a publisher with it when COVID hit. Life was good.
One year later, the gyms are closed, indoor visits are out. Though I'd really felt a nudge to go back to Greece and teach English to refugees, travel restrictions put a stop to that. We couldn't get there. We heard about the fires in Lesvos and the earthquake in Samos, and wanted desperately to go help, but were sheltered in place in St. Catharines. I'm still waiting on the book Don’tTell to be released - patiently, but God has filled my time with His work. I'm busier than ever.
The church where we attend had started a food bank in the spring of 2020, at the outset of the COVID outbreak, and asked for volunteers to drive and deliver groceries. We found ourselves with spare time, so Gary volunteered to deliver for two hours a week, and I tagged along. We blinked, and now spend a few more than just a couple of hours, coordinating the delivery of food to forty families each week.
I have always found that Jesus provides the tools and resources needed to accomplish the task He sets before you. It's just who he is. In big ways, He did it for the well project I was involved with in Kenya. The project was way beyond my own capabilities, and he provided resources; human, material, and financial, to accomplish the building of the well. Because no one person was able to claim victory, God's name was glorified. And so in so many ways, I see God's hand in the little things around me.
Whenever I look around and wonder how we are going to reach the next level or meet the next need, a door is opened, a volunteer appears, the need is met. I can't say enough about the generosity of the many volunteers who shop, stock, pack and deliver; the businesses who have stepped up and provided food and supplies; and the many people who continue to provide the funds to allow the food bank to not only survive, but to thrive. We have reached over 260 individual families (over 800 people) with the love of Jesus. He cares of each one of these people, and is using this food bank to reach out to them. This is how COVID-19 has affected my life.
Often times, we want to set limits and parameters to something within our own capabilities. It's much more comfortable that way. It feeds the illusion that we are in control. But if there is one thing that this pandemic should have taught us, it’s that we are not in control, and we have no idea what the big picture is. Neither Gary nor I, nor any of the volunteers involved would ever have imagined possible what this food bank has become. Our small church is only two years old, yet we feed 40 families each week and are considering a community garden on site so that we will have additional fresh produce resources this summer. Gary and I look at each other and say, "We need help." I smile, because I know that God will provide, but sweat a little because it's just crazy what is happening and I wonder when enough is enough. (If you are a gardener, reach out, we could use you.)
No matter how much physical food our team provides, it’s imperative we remember that Jesus is the true Bread of Life. We provide nourishment as an opportunity to reach people with the love of Jesus.
This pandemic is full of challenges. Each challenge presents opportunities to trust Jesus and be his hands and feet to the world around you. How can you take the opportunity in today’s challenges?