Do not fear, Zion; do not let your hands hang limp. The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. Zephaniah 3:16-17 NIV
The disciples got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach. John 21:3-4
" not let your hands hang limp," struck me today. I have just read a journal entry of a nurse who is working the front line at her hospital as she continues to fight the scourge that Covid has brought into the lives of too many. She described the heartbreak of having to pass last messages back and forth between family members who cannot be with a dying loved one. She described having to tell a person that there is no more that can be done and that death is near. She told of having to do this twice on most days and remembers having seven such conversations one horrific day. What follows such news is that two available staff members comfort the patient during those last moments of life. 
Yet, she continues and does not plan to quit this merciful task which is her calling. She continues despite the exhaustion and discouragements brought on during each shift. There are moments of triumph, of course, when patients who are severely ill begin to recover, but there are too many who do not recover. She is not alone in this, but is one of thousands who "do not let their hands hang limp."
Faith prevails during the worst of times and lifts us up from our own discouragements. Continuing verses in Zephaniah: "...he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing as on a day of festival." The faith that it takes to live through whatever tries to bring one down can and does sustain to bring one forward to a better time. The assurance of God's grace available to each and every person who has faith is a beacon of hope.
Dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
Thank you for overcoming death--yours and ours--and leading us to eternal life. Lift each one of us out of our weakness to follow you through the darkness of this world into the brightness of your heavenly kingdom. Amen.
Florence Smallfield