When you’re in the middle of a storm, it’s hard to imagine that it could ever end. When the thunder is crashing and the lightning is flashing, you start to think the storm is here to stay. It’s all-consuming and frightening. Logically, we know that at some point, the sun will peek from behind the dark clouds, the air will clear, and the water will dry up. But convincing our emotions and fears to listen to logic is often a losing battle.

I recently had a friend who went through five months of chemotherapy. She got to ring the bell, signaling her last treatment just the other week. She made it! But in the beginning, it felt like an endless journey before her. When we’re parenting prodigals, nervously eyeing our dwindling bank accounts, taking care of aging parents, or going through a health battle—the storm can seem never-ending.

This nation-wide quarantine has felt the same. Worry, anxiety, and concern abound over all the what-if’s and unknowns. I’ve fought the illogical questions myself of “what if this never ends? What if we’re stuck in our houses forever?” But, like every storm, it will eventually pass. There might be lingering damage in its wake, but the waters will recede. Our country’s “new normal” might look a little different than it did before the pandemic, but there will be a new normal. Life will resume.

Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind.” (Psalm 107:28-31 NIV)

The question becomes—will you be ready? Will you forget the lessons learned during this pandemic? Will you go right back to complaining about the heat of the sun and forget about the torrents of rain that just ended? Or will you have a heart that’s permanently grateful, focused on thanksgiving, and ever counting your blessings?

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV)

Here are 10 things to stop taking for granted after the pandemic.

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