April 1, 2020

Yesterday, as Shannon left for the post office. She said, “I need a break from you.” Then she said, “That came out wrong. I was trying to say, ‘You need a break from me.'”

While I silently agreed, I realized for safety’s sake, I had better keep my opinion to myself.

Even two people in love can get on each other’s nerves. But if I have to shelter-in-place with anyone, I want it to be Shannon. That’s because I truly believe God made her for me.

I am convinced long ago, God looked down from heaven, saw me, and said to the angels, “Tom is one weird guy. We are going to have to work extra hard to find someone who can fit his weirdness.” So God made Shannon.

Having said that, Shannon’s not perfect. In fact, I started to list all her flaws but I always try to keep the devotional to one page and that would have taken reams of paper. Luckily, I have no flaws so we balance each other out.

The bottom line is that all relationships take work. And many relationships are going to be put to the test these next few months. For some, the reality of living in the world with COVID-19 is just now beginning to settle in. It’s going to be a long haul.

The good news in all of this mayhem is that I am having to examine what really matters and what doesn’t. So much of what I was concerned about now seems frivolous. What has become very clear is that my relationships matter more than possessions or accomplishments. They matter more than anything, because relationships are what give our lives a legitimate holy purpose.

In the 22nd chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, a lawyer asks Jesus what commandment matters most. Now, if it was up to me, I’d have told the lawyer the most important thing was tithing to the church – that’s just me. Jesus goes in a completely different direction.

Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40)

Jesus highlighted that our relationships, first with God and then with others, matter more than anything else. And it all revolves around love.

So, as you find yourself with isolated with the same people, day, after day, after day, after day, do your very best to always err on the side of grace. By doing so, you will be making relationships matter most. I am convinced that’s God’s will for all of us.

Prayer: Dear Gracious Heavenly God, during this time of trial, help me to be a blessing to others. Fill my heart with joy, my mind with wisdom, my mouth with words of comfort, and my hands with loving action. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Make sure your actions, words, and thoughts revolve around love. That will make God smile and make your time of sheltering-in-place much better than it would have been. I promise.

I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.
Tom Robbins