This blog was updated on November 18, 2020, to include new information about Caroline Greville’s book.
When I wrote my latest devotional for The Upper Room we hadn’t heard of COVID-19, life was “normal” and predictable, and at times it seemed that we were all in danger of having shallow faith. Yet this November we still can proclaim, “LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”(Psalm 8:1, NIV). More than ever we know God’s deep assurance; God is our “ever present help in trouble” and is never scared. We know God is in charge. These days won’t last, but while they do, the Lord is faithful, as he always has been and always will be. As believers we “live in the shelter of the Most High” and he’s the security that we run into. We can rest in the knowledge that the Lord’s shadow falls over us (see Psalm 91). And if our days have been unspeakably challenging, we know that God is able to carry us through.
My own lockdown trials have been trivial compared to those of many, and I don’t want to sound flippant or dismissive of anyone’s trials. I would strongly recommend to anyone who is struggling mentally or spiritually that you seek out the help of a Christian friend and place some encouraging promises from the Bible around your house. Engage in the discussion in the comments on this website, and have courage to reach out for help.
In my own life, I was blessed to have all four of my children (aged between 12 and 21) home from March to September, and while our eldest is away again studying to be a teacher, we have the assurance that she belongs to God. Yet I can tell you of one struggle that’s come along that I wasn’t expecting. My book came out during lockdown. “Hoorah,” I should say! What an answer to prayer! Yet it’s not ideal. It was slow to roll off the printing press, there were no book launches to go to, and it’s much harder to generate publicity and support in these times. However, I know that it is selling, and I’ve been very encouraged by the comments I’ve received. More than anything I felt it was a book the Lord wanted me to write, and I believe he promised that salvation would come from it. Early on in the project I had a picture in my mind’s eye of poppy seed heads bursting and spreading on the wind. It wouldn’t leave me. On the day that I finished writing the last story I stumbled across a mass of poppy heads ready to burst, and I found myself astonished. I think this virus too has resulted in much ripe seed, for I believe many are coming to faith (and will come to faith) in this time. Widespread spiritual awakening always comes on the heels of social upheaval, and as a believer I pray that a significant harvest results.
My publisher tells me that my book will be available in the US starting November 10th, 2020. Please look out for it! I’d be very grateful if you’d call in on my website at carolinegreville.com where you’ll find more on my book and some devotionals to read too. I hope to catch up with you soon.
Update: There was a slight delay in making my book available in the US. My publisher says US customers can now place an order or reserve a copy at https://www.faithbuilders.org.uk/. They will then be contacted by the Faithbuilders office in Texas. Copies are being printed this week, and books should arrive in America next week. The email address for the editor, David Powell, is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have added more info about this on my personal blog, which I updated yesterday:
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
View a growing list of resources for the spiritual work of overcoming racism.