While in this life, it is hard to understand why God allows pain, suffering, tragedy, and so on, I do know beyond a doubt that He can cause all things to work together for good, as only He is able, as we do our best to follow Him.
A few years ago, I took on a part-time musical gig playing in nursing homes. My music was well received, and word spread to several nursing homes in my city, causing more opportunities to open up. I enjoyed doing this. Each day, I was busy practicing songs and learning new ones. This was helping me grow and develop more as a guitarist/singer.
Unfortunately, when restrictions were put in place at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, I was unable to continue this type of activity. I wasn’t too concerned at first, as I thought things would quickly return to normal. But days turned into weeks, and weeks into months. I soon had to face the painful truth that for the time being, until things drastically changed, I was out of a job, as far as performing was concerned.
Not only did I miss doing this. I now had more time on my hands than I knew how to occupy. I momentarily felt discouraged, even upset.
However, I knew that God wanted me to rise above the situation somehow, and that entertaining negative feelings and emotions wouldn’t help me accomplish this. So I began thanking God for the first things that came to mind. I thanked Him for giving me a place to live. I thanked Him for my health and that of my loved ones. I thanked Him that I was fairly tech-savvy despite my blindness. I am able to use computers and smartphones with assistive screen-reading technology. The more I thanked Him, the more peaceful and the happier I felt as the days went by. I also found myself better able to relate to those who were experiencing job loss or upheaval due to the world situation. My heart truly went out to them, and I began praying for others more regularly.
Around this time, I began participating in online fellowship meetings and Bible studies hosted over Zoom. These greatly inspired me and boosted my morale. I also began digging deeper into the Bible than ever before—meditating on God’s many promises contained therein.
One day, a member of one of the online groups I belonged to contacted me and suggested I start my own online Bible study group using Zoom. “You have a lot to share,” she said, “and people really need it, especially in times like these.” I had to think about it for a while; and the more I did, the more I wanted to do it.
The truth was, I’ve always loved God’s Word and wished I could teach it more. I just didn’t consider myself to be a very capable teacher. This is why I pursued other things I felt more comfortable with, such as music. But in praying about this new idea, I could sense God’s voice saying that He would help me. He even showed me practical ways to carry this out. I knew how to read and write with a computer, so preparing classes was plenty doable. I would also occasionally read text out loud to people by plugging earphones into my laptop, and repeating after the screen-reader as it read the texts. I realized I could easily do the same live over Zoom.
Sharing God’s Word with others in this way has helped me continue to grow spiritually and given me a greater sense of fulfillment than anything I’ve pursued in the past. In spite of the challenges the pandemic brought, I do thank God for taking its repercussions on my life and working them out for my good. Had I been able to continue with my previous music job, I would likely not have found my new passion and calling of teaching God’s Word to others.
Are you experiencing the ending of a particular chapter in your life? Instead of giving in to discouragement and hopelessness, look up, count your blessings, and turn to Jesus. For everything that comes to an end, He has a new beginning of some sort; and God always works everything He allows to come into our lives for good. “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”1
- Romans 8:28 NIV