Tuesday, April 27, 2021

So far the only side-effect I'm feeling is gratefulness.

A real shot in the arm! 

You might not be able to tell with my mask on, but I'm smiling big today. 

So far the only side-effect I'm feeling is gratefulness. I feel like there is so much to be thankful for as Heather and I received jab #2 of our COVID vaccine: 

1. I'm thankful for the scientists, researchers, doctors, public health officials, hospital administrators, testing volunteers, and everyone else who worked so hard to develop these vaccines. 

2. I'm thankful for our governmental leaders past and present for their efforts to get these vaccines made and out to us here in the sticks. I'm thankful today for how the Trump/Pence administration cut through all of the bureaucratic red-tape and shrewdly invested our tax dollars in vaccine research so that we could have such incredibly effective vaccines in such a short amount of time and for how the Biden/Harris administration has accelerated the widespread distribution so that 140 million people have gotten one shot already in just a few months. American ingenuity and determination at work! 

3. I'm thankful to the Lord for building repeatable regularity into the world He has made so that science is possible. There would be no science or technology without God (Proverbs 25:2, Psalm 24:1). 

4. I'm thankful that getting immunized against COVID will enable me to get closer to people. As a pastor, the hardest part of the pandemic has been keeping my distance out of love for others. My natural inclination is to move towards others, and now I can do that more and more! For me, the vaccine helps me to love people better, and that sure feels good. In two weeks, I plan to use my full immunity to get busy in visiting people once again. You will be safe from me. Invite me over, and I'll be there! 

5. Most of all I'm thankful to belong to the Lord Jesus because no medical technology is perfect and life is short no matter what. "You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man's life is but a breath" (Psalm 39:5). What matters is being in His hands (Psalm 31:15). My safety and security are in Him. I hope you can say the same. If not, give Him a try. 

 "Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him" (Psalm 34:8).


One year later, gratitude is still my main feeling about these shots.

A lot changed in the last 12 months as the variants (Delta, Omicron, etc.) blew past the "full immunity" hopes we had at first. "Full vaccination status" would have been a better way of saying it then anyway, as it was never 100%. But as I understand it, these vaccines continue to be really effective at preventing severe covid, hospitalization, and death (and still pretty helpful for fighting off infection, too). I'm thankful for my two shots (and my first booster, too), and am planning to get my next booster when it's recommended for people in my age and health categories.

Thank you, Lord, for your good gifts. Give us wisdom in how we use them for your glory.