Gratitude Day 619

Psalm 91:2 – He’s the hope that holds me and the stronghold to shelter me, the only God for me, and my great confidence.

There is a collective sigh in the Vielhuber household. Hubby Rick and I have both received the full dosage of the COVID-19 vaccine.

We have both been waiting for the day when this would be completed. We independently decided that we wanted to get the vaccine and have patiently waited until it would be possible.

I am very much aware that writing about us getting the vaccine might turn some people away today. Some may feel offended and wonder why I am addressing this here. If so, I apologize in advance. Whether you choose to get vaccinated is clearly YOUR CHOICE. I will still call you my friend whether you get vaccinated or not.  

Yet, part of the reason why Rick and I have felt so passionate about getting vaccinated goes back to how we view the Kingdom of God. If your view of God’s kingdom is different from mine, IT’S OK. We don’t have to agree. But because our faith IS part of how we reached our conclusion and because I write about connecting everyday life with faith, I am choosing to go a little deeper with our choice today.

I do not remember the first time I heard about COVID-19. I DO remember the exact day that I realized this was something that could potentially have a huge impact to our country and the world. It was the day my friend Sara contacted me and shared that her Mom, Linda, had just been hospitalized with a severe case of COVID-19. Linda was one of the incredibly early COVID-19 cases here in Wisconsin. She was in the hospital before the state stay-at-home order was issued. A couple days later, Sara let our friend group know that her Mom was in ICU and so precarious that she was being intubated. Before the tube was inserted, Linda said a very tearful and difficult good-bye to her family. A few weeks later, Linda went home to heal. Her healing process has continued. Looking at her, you would not know physically how severe her case was. Speaking with her, Linda shares how this virus has COMPLETELY. CHANGED. HER LIFE. And her family’s life as well.

From the beginning of the stay-at-home order, Hubby Rick and I knew that we fell on the “least affected list.” We still worked, although I was now working 100% from home. Our financial situation was not affected. I continued to volunteer with the various charitable food programs that I am involved with, watching our needs increase. Thankfully, the organizations have been so blessed that we have easily met the additional needs and are SO GRATEFUL for this. Rick and I discovered additional creative ways that we could support others who were struggling. But like many others, there came a point that we also began to experience COVID fatigue.

As the pandemic lagged on, Hubby Rick and I carefully chose what to do and not do. How to interact with people. There is risk by simply getting out of bed in the morning. We tried to mitigate COVID risk with what is important to us as believers in God’s kingdom. Sometimes, we found ourselves in situations that we knew next time to rethink. This was part of our individual COVID learning curve. Certainly, there were times when we felt the risk was justifiable, if only to ourselves.

Lots has been written about why God allowed the pandemic to happen. I’m not going to rehash it here except to say that I believe there is evil in this world. In the depth of my being, I don’t believe God “caused” this to happen. There isn’t some great theological or moral lesson God is trying to teach us. Bad things simply just happen. That’s how it’s been since the very beginning. We CAN choose to discover how we might respond or grow or adjust our lives in the midst of this challenge, which I pray we have all taken at least a few hot minutes to ponder.

So, how ARE we to respond to the pandemic? Again, this is a very personal question. On more than one occasion in just the last week, friends have clearly stated that the pandemic HAS had spurred some particularly good outcomes for them personally and their family. These folks are choosing to make lemonade out of a very dyer and challenging time. It’s not because God felt they must do this. They are identifying and picking lifestyle changes and shifts that will benefit them. Quite honestly, Hubby Rick and I continue to have lots of conversations about this as we sift through what we have learned about God, ourselves and our relationship with God during the pandemic.

This is where our choice to get vaccinated enters. At the end of the day, Jesus shared two commandments for believers to follow: love God and love our neighbor. For us, getting vaccinated is one way we choose to love our neighbors. We believe vaccines are for ourselves AND for those around us. If we want to be able to safely have more interactions with others, then it seems to us that getting vaccinated is a step in the right direction.

Personally, I see vaccines as one way God is making lemonade out of the whole situation. God inspired scientists and microbiologists and researchers to explore and discover ways to provide a safety net for human beings. I am confident the discoveries made as a result of developing this vaccine WILL have far more reaching impact on health and safety beyond COVID-19. Yep, I am not a person in the “know” of these things. But I have hope that the learning lessons from this pandemic will impact humans for decades and generations to come.

As a world-wide society, how do we avoid something like this happening again? The answer to this question is way beyond my pay grade. As Hubby Rick and I have listened to those who know a lot more about these kinds of things than we do, along with reflecting upon our faith, it became clear for us that getting vaccine made sense.

Just because I’m an ordained pastor does not mean God is going to drape a protective cloud over me any more or less than God will over you or any other believer. This is one of the crazy things about this pandemic. The virus is not discriminating. Randomly, it affects a wide cross section of people. The level of severity to each person is also unique. None of it makes sense. Left with few tools to interpret it logically, Hubby Rick and I came back to interpreting this decision as a part of how we love God and love our neighbor.

The verse from Psalm 91:2 has been one that I have turned to over and over during the pandemic. To me, it says no matter what happens, God will be my stronghold IF I allow God to do so. God is the one place where I can have great confidence. Our world is filled with so many things that shake our confidence. No matter what happens, I pray that I keep  God’s confidence at the very core of who I am, how I live daily and the choices I make.

Now, if God’s hope and confidence is leading you down a different path than I feel called to, IT’S OK. I pray that we will celebrate our faith in God together, even when we may not fully agree on what God is saying to us. This is part of being in God’s kingdom. We will not always agree. But I pray that we WILL always love each other, just as Jesus taught us to do.

For knowing that God’s strength, hope and confidence is always available to me, I am grateful.

Blessings –


Holy God – Every day, we make tons of decisions. As we make those choices, I pray we stop at least for a breath and consult you, especially on the really big ones. Continue to be with those who are recovering from COVID-19. Hold closely in your hand those who have lost a loved one during this pandemic. May we have a heart to fully love each other, especially when we do not agree. Amen.

If you have enjoyed this blog, please pass it along to someone else who will also enjoy it.

Comments are closed