Friday Feature #11

Welcome back to “Friday Feature!” Grab a cup of coffee, relax, and enjoy today’s devotion! If you missed last week’s devotion, you can read it here!

Courtney Collingsworth Metz brings us today’s devotion titled, ‘Joyful in Hope.’ As many of you know, Courtney sings as an Alto with her family, @thecollingsworthfamily. She’s also an accomplished violinist and avid photographer. She has her very own clothing boutique on Amazon called the ‘Courtney Collection,’ with a new line hopefully coming out in the Fall! She and Michael, her husband, flip houses in their spare time. I’m always thrilled when Courtney and her family stop in Georgia for a concert! I’ve had the privilege to meet Courtney several times over the years, and she is always so sweet, genuine, and approachable. And she has an incredible taste for fashion and decor! Give her IG page a follow! @courtneycollingsworthmetz

Joyful In Hope

I have always been a person who tends to be able to dwell on the positive. When things get tough I try to think of the blessings in my life instead of the negative… but then… 2020 came. Yes, 2020, the year when the whole world fell apart… or so it seems. Covid-19 came in with a vengeance in March and has changed so much for so many people. Job losses, hours reduced, lockdown, quarantine, sick family and friends, death. So much change in so little time.

Most of you know that I travel and sing with my family, The Collingsworth Family. We have been so blessed to do 120 concerts a year for the past 20 years. Although we were on the road almost half of the year, I had a routine. I knew what was coming for at least a year at a time since our schedule was always booked in advance. I knew how to pack a suitcase to get on our tour bus in 15 mins flat. I had it down. I had a routine.

But what do you do when it just stops? I went from a mad rush every week to… just nothing. The only thing routine in my life right now is cooking, dishes, and laundry. 

To be honest, the first few weeks at home seemed like the best vacation ever. I felt like Martha Stewart… trying new recipes, planting flowers, and organizing everything. 

Then as reality started to settle in, I began to realize that this was going to be more than a few weeks break. March passed, then April… then May and June. With not much to do, I found myself scrolling through my Facebook feed feeling upset, worried and anxious. What used to be a fun way to connect with friends and family all the sudden had become a place where people argued about solutions and theories about what is happening in our world. Reading this kind of “stuff” every day had me starting to think about the “what-ifs”. What if we can’t work for the rest of the year, what if my family members get sick, what if life never goes back to normal… whatever that is. 

Sound familiar? I know I’m not alone in having thoughts like these. Thankfully, I have heard enough sermons from my mom’s ironing board growing up to know that God does not give us a spirit of fear… but of a sound mind. So, with that in mind, a few weeks ago I decided to take a step back from social media. I still checked in with friends and family, but I just didn’t watch every video or read every article that came down my feed. I quit watching the news and started digging deeper in God’s Word… and this verse just jumped out at me.

“Do not be anxious about anything.” -Philippians 4:6 

Seems simple enough, right? Don’t be anxious. Easier said than done… My human self wants to say, “but God don’t you see what is happening down here? How am I supposed to not be anxious?” but as I continued daily in my Bible study I also read these verses:

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal”. – 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

This verse stopped me in my tracks… Everything going on in our world feels very real, long lasting, and daunting… but the Bible says that it is transient. I looked up the word “transient”, and the exact definition is “lasting only for a short time; impermanent.” While Covid-19 may seem like it has taken up permanent residence in our world, the Bible says it isn’t so! As Christians we don’t have to have the anxiety and unrest of an unbeliever. If we continue to renew ourselves daily in God’s word we will feel a joy and peace that lifts us above our circumstances, and a hope that there is so much more waiting for us.

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.” -Romans 12:12

Over the past few weeks of stepping away from social media I have felt such a lift in my spirit. What a gift it is to feel complete peace when the world continues to spiral around us. When we dwell on Scripture and spend time in prayer there is a marked difference in our lives… Lord, help us to focus on you when our world is in chaos. Help us to be “joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.” 

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