For many of us, the Coronavirus ranks as one of the most impactful events we have ever lived through. You may have even been reassured by a friend or pastor that, “None of us knows how to navigate a pandemic.” And while this is true in the literal sense, the truth is that history offers us many examples of those who’ve suffered great loss and upheaval.
Author Shirley Stahl has spent considerable time studying this subject and offers us these thoughts, as well as an exciting announcement:
“…..And he sat down among the ashes” (Job 2:8 KJV).
There was a man named Job. He lived a life with riches, fame and family. Job was a respected member of society; a counselor to those in need and most importantly Job was counted “perfect” and “upright” in God’s eyes. But suddenly, everything changed and Job’s possessions and positions were gone.
Job in his helplessness sat down in the ashes of all that was left of the life he had lived in the grandeur of yesterday and considered the emptiness of today.
There was a family named Shank who lived at the time of the ushering in of the twentieth century. The Shank Mennonite Family story tells of the sudden loss of all possessions and no means of obtaining everyday necessities. The family must find a way to pick up the pieces of their lives and locate a path into the future. Although Job lived thousands of years before the Shank family, the devastation of each was no less dramatic.
Today multitudes of people around the world are experiencing the unleashed power of the destroyer virus Corona-19. This unseen invader has penetrated the unprepared nations, bringing death and destruction with him. The Corona-19 virus story is similar to that of the death destroying angel that passed through Egypt in the time of Moses (Exodus 12) and relates to the stories of Job and the Shank family.
There is a common bond between Job, Corona-19 virus-infected people and the Shank family since the person or group suddenly tragically loses everything important. One might say each is experiencing sitting on the ash heap of their dreams.
The crises that came upon Job and those fighting in the war against Corona-19 virus and the Shank family disaster indicate a greater loss than possessions and a familiar way of living. Each crisis requires a response from those involved that will be decisive to the outcome of their story. A person can read the story of Job in God’s word. The story of the Corona 19 virus and people today has not ended but even now is being written.
I am proud to announce that my new book centered on the Shank family story, Finding the Good of the Day, is in the process of publication.
Who is this Shank family and what is their story? Three Shank women hold the family together after being met with devastating losses. The household includes four children who attend the Mennonite school system and Minerva who has recently graduated from school. She is almost fifteen. Finding the Good of the Day is a pledge Minerva makes to herself.
How do the Shank family members handle the challenges they face?
1. They meet daily and pray together.
2. Faith in God is their backbone, connecting them to God and each other.
3. They determine as a family unit to triumph over the demands of circumstances.
4. Family members show love for one another and speak of this love.
5. They daily share promises from God’s word and thoughts about these promises.
7. They know about and use the value of good work ethics.
8. They look toward the future without fear.
9. When opportunity is knocking at their door, they open the door.
10. They count their blessings.
Grandmother Mary, Mom and Minerva propel you through the good and the less-than-good days ahead. Will they Find the Good of the Day?
Some of Shirley’s earliest remembrances are going to a small country church in Northwestern Ohio where she heard the stories about Jesus. The Word of God has been her constant companion ever since.
She and her husband make their home in Western Michigan where she continues to teach and write.
Shirley is the author of Peter Got Out of the Boat, which challenges the believer to be an overcomer and participator with Jesus in extraordinary events.