Inspirational Devotions of Hope During America's-COVID Pandemic
by Leda Rafter
Authors' Tranquility Press

"He who dwells in the shelter of the Highest will rest in the shadow of the almighty."

In Rafter’s inspirational devotions, themes of loss, grief, faith, and unyielding determination are intricately intertwined with the boundless love of the Lord in order to help the modern era of mankind understand that even through the darkest times, God and the Word light the way. To thoroughly examine the devastating effect of the pandemic on morale and mental health, the author shifts the paradigm by referencing biblical stories that arguably rivaled and exceeded the devastation of Covid-19. Each devotion sheds light on what it means to be human and how to battle through adversity, yet Rafter’s own experience with loss spearheads the empathetic quality of her work.

Without question, the narrative acknowledges the depths of pain and despair that the victims’ families must be facing. However, the author produces this text to show that one must not be mired in this eternal spiral but rather seek prayer to discover their true inner strength. The imagery at the onset of the work of overflowing shelves at the grocery store looking meager and barren sets the tone of what adversity is capable of: breaking people down, eradicating faith, and creating a mindset of division where collaboration is replaced by selfishness and a “me first” attitude. Such a mindset is a recipe for disaster, and Rafter uses scripture to cite the lives of countless biblical figures that achieved an even-keel life, where they were neither moved overwhelmingly by success nor failure but just continued to walk, grabbing hold, in her words, of “God’s plumb line of truth.”

Be it the loss of her young adult son or that of her daughter due to metastatic breast cancer, Rafter has persevered through one spiritual storm after another. However, every time she takes shelter within the miracles of individuals like Peter and the impactful Book of Jonah. In a world that has been broken, brought to its knees for nearly three years, and made weary, the author paves the path of prayer with one incredible thought referring to the relationship between God and his people: “Will their lack of faith nullify God’s faithfulness?”

Where many faith-based works dwell almost exclusively on scripture, Rafter focuses on the here and now with examples such as praying for the man outside her place of employment who had fallen upon times of misfortune. Above all else, the author aligns with scripture by pleading for readers to share, whether that is joy or grief, and understand that humanity is eternally connected. Being there for others is really the fast track to being there for yourself. Interestingly, cataclysmic events like the Covid-19 pandemic are quick to shake the foundation of faith within believers. Yet the author highlights miracle after miracle from the Bible that revolve around divine forgiveness so long as one does not quit. This trial by fire embodies the author’s life, yet the adamant tone of faith permeates throughout the work, providing a simple and straightforward opportunity for all audiences to ease the burden of the material world off their mind and bask in prayer and the Lord.

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