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Look up: Gratitude

By Gianluca Cueva

When I look at your heavens, the works of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is humanity that you are mindful of them, and human beings that you care for? Psalm 8:3-4

In the early Spring of 2020, when we began to feel the impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic, so many things were unsure. It seemed that any news that was coming in was simply “bad news”. Yet perhaps like me, in the midst of a wave of information, you began to hear reports of the effects that the shutdown was having on the environment. To be honest, the impacts that COVID was having on our environment was the last thing on my mind. But with flights grounded, cars parked, and bustling movement halted, for what seemed like a brief moment creation began to relax and breathe. The skies were reported to be clearer, and Florida was no exception. 

When the waves are raging and the wind is howling, it can seem impossible to stay afloat. But even in the chaos of uncertainty that the pandemic brought, God provided small opportunities that helped us to look up, to see the works of his fingers. I remember venturing outside my apartment to see the sky that our Father paints every day for us. And as I looked up I was reminded of the psalmist’s words. In light of this beauty and majesty, what was I, what were we that God cares for us? 

It’s now been over a year from the beginning of this global pandemic, and so much has happened. And although we’re not completely sure of what the future will hold, there are four things we can stop and reflect on this summer. We can look up, look in, look around, and look out. We want to spend time looking up to our Father and God in worship and thanksgiving. We want to look in and reflect how this past year has changed and formed us. We want to look around our very own church family and find places to extend hospitality and brotherly love. And finally, we want to look out into our community and city and see how COVID has impacted it and how we could serve it. 

We have been changed. Our church has changed. Our communities have changed. However, in the midst of all of this change, one thing remains the same. Our God is the Almighty, the Ancient of Days. But unfortunately, we can too often spend more of our time and mental energy on all the things we missed out on, or the things we couldn’t do this past year. However, if we follow the psalmist, and humbly stop to “look up” there is so much to be thankful for. In a year where there was so much loss, our God continues to incredibly provide for his people. Let us be thankful and praise our God for “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights…"