Update from Pastor Rick

Is the glass half full or half empty? Neither, the glass isn’t large enough to contain all of the blessings God has in store for us!

That pretty much sums up my approach to life. My dad taught me years ago, you will never live a positive life with a negative mindset. It is impossible. In every failure there is a valuable life lesson. In every crisis there is an opportunity. In every experience of suffering there is a miracle.

I have learned by reading my Bible, it is possible to stare the harsh, ugly, brutal facts eyeball to eyeball and still live through the mess with hope and joy. In every negative situation there is a positive outcome just waiting to be harvested.

In other words, you find what you are looking for.

Here are the brutal facts. I tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday, December 14th. In this case being positive is a negative, or is it?

Looking back, I started experiencing minor symptoms on Saturday afternoon the 12th.  The symptoms were similar to my seasonal allergy issues, nothing I hadn’t fought and preached through multiple times. Monday night, Covid unleashed her holy hell upon my body.

I woke up Tuesday morning with a burning tightness in my chest. I could tell Covid was trying to take over my lungs. I prayed nonstop, thanking God for my body and the good work my lungs were doing to thwart the virus’ efforts to take up permanent residence.

I woke up Wednesday at 5:30AM feeling great. For 2 hours, my hopes began to soar thinking about all I was going to read, write and accomplish in my remaining days of quarantine. Then wham! Covid knocked me on my butt. I fell into a deep 5 hour sleep, more like a drug induced stupor, in the middle of the day. I was both unconscious and conscious at the same time.

At one point, I was awake but I couldn’t move my body. My mind was instructing my body to move, to get up, but there was no response. Even when finally responding, my body felt like it weighed thousands of pounds. I had just slept 5 hours but my brain felt like it had not slept for days. My head felt heavy, filled with a haze, a fog that made formulating the simplest of thoughts arduous labor.

I write this on Wednesday night from the confines of my upstairs quarantine, still declaring that the glass is not large enough to contain all of the blessings God wants to pour out. In fact, even now I declare “my cup overflows” and “God’s goodness and mercy will follow me all of the days of my life.” Even in the midst of my Covid experience, God is working for the good. How?

I have shown up on the weekend numerous times and taught through a raspy voice and an annoying cough. If one of the members of our small group had not called me Thursday afternoon and told me about their positive test, I would have been present in the flesh last weekend.

I am certain I didn’t test positive from the Wednesday night exposure. I had lunch with two of my best friends Thursday at noon. Sunday afternoon, AFTER worship, one of them called me and told me he tested positive. Up to that point, I was convinced my Monday test would yield a negative result. After his call, I knew in my gut it would be positive.

I shudder to think of the negative outcomes if I had shown up last weekend, teaching, hugging and praying with you. How many of you would now be fighting the Covid battle? How many of you would be having to adjust your pre-Christmas plans? How many of you would be struggling to breathe, overcome with a fever and lethargy, all the while striving to protect your family from the same? How many of you would be staring into the face of death itself?

I self-quarantined and recorded the message on Saturday morning as a protocol precaution. I felt great. No symptoms. I was certain my Wednesday night exposure was a false alarm. It was, but God knew the Thursday exposure would be the real deal.

The glass isn’t large enough to contain all of the blessing God wants to pour on us!

Thank you God for protecting our Church Family from what could have been a super spreader Covid event! Thank you that I didn’t pick up Lennyx for Papa Friday! Thank you that I didn’t stop by to see my parents. Thank you that I didn’t go to the gym, Costco and Sprouts. Thank you that I didn’t preside at the Saturday wedding! Thank you Dallas is negative! Thank you God for protecting those I deeply love! The glass isn’t big enough.

One more thing, my quarantine will expire on December 22. That means I will be seeing you and your invited guests on Christmas Eve, on-site or online. I can’t wait!

Remember, you will find what you’re looking for.

Merry Christmas!

Rick

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