Though we’ve dealt with many challenging things this year, I think one of the most difficult consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic has been an inability to make plans or to enjoy the things we planned long ago. For example, this past Christmas, everyone in my family drew the name of one person for whom they would buy a gift. Luckily for me, I drew my mom’s name. Since she is one of the most kind, selfless, and generous people I know, I thought long and hard about something special I could give her. As I pondered, I remembered a story she told me years ago about being a young twenty-something on a trip to Italy. As she was enjoying a meal in a sidewalk cafe in Rome, a young blind man got up and began to sing. She was blown away by his voice and never forgot his moving performance. While she wondered if she would ever see him again, years later, he rose to stardom and became a household name. If you haven’t guessed by now, I’m talking about Andrea Bocelli. Because of my mom’s unique experience seeing him before he was “someone,” I thought it would be really great to get us tickets to watch him perform again. Turns out he was playing at the Hollywood Bowl in June, so I snagged some seats and we began looking forward to the evening with great anticipation. However, as the coronavirus situation progressed, it became clear that we would be forced to change our plans. When they finally cancelled the concert, we were both sad, and I was reminded again of why this time has been especially tough for so many. More than just concerts, some people have missed milestone events like graduations, weddings, performance opportunities, and long-anticipated vacations. Yet in spite of all these disappointments, we can and should encourage ourselves in the Lord and remember that because of who He is, there are still better things ahead.
My friend, no matter where you find yourself today, brighter days are coming! Your Savior is the giver of every good and perfect gift, and He will satisfy the desires of your heart as you trust in and wait for Him. He has fountains of joy in store for your future, it’s just that there is a veil that prevents you from seeing them right now. While it may require you to stretch your patience and shift your perspective, I encourage you to meditate on the character of your loving Lord and know that He has given you things to look forward to. Since faith is being confident in what you hope for, even if you can’t behold it, now is the best time to proactively build positive trust into your life. You will see God’s goodness in the land of the living and the blessings He has in store will far surpass the pain of these temporary trials!