Have you found yourself praying more since the coronavirus moved into our lives? Well, I have.

Have things become more meaningful to you? I used to think I was a pretty good prayer. In the morning, when I arose, I thanked God for a good night’s rest, Then, morning devotions, a quick thank-you for meals, evening devotions, a thank-you before sleep.

Now, it seems as if God is everywhere.

I live in an assisted-living facility, housing 40-plus residents. All the residents are in lockdown and we can only leave our apartments to grab a newspaper and get our mail. When we do this, because we obey all the safety rules, we wear a mask.

If someone is getting their newspaper at the same time, hopefully, you will recognize their mask and, as long as you are 6 feet away, sneak in a “Good morning, how are you holding up?” and go back to your apartment.

As I go past the other apartments, I wonder how they are doing and send up a little prayer that they will not feel too confined or unhappy.

Up goes another little prayer that we are still all well and not quarantined because one of the residents has become ill with the virus.

Again, because we can’t leave our residence, meals are brought to our apartments by a certified nurse assistant. Since I am the lazy sort, I kind of like that, but one has no choice in the food or the amount.

When I lift the little lid of the serving box, I think, “Oh, no, not pasta again,” and right away, I mentally slap my wrists and think of all the people who are standing in line to obtain food for their families that may only last for the day.

The next time I am served, I don’t complain, and quietly and thankfully eat what is set before me.

I have so many blessings in my life, I can not enumerate them all. When we have a cloudy day, I ask God for sunshine, and the next day, the sun comes out brighter than ever.

If I stub my toe, I thank God I did not break it. I am old and fall easily, and when I don’t lose my balance, I am really thankful. Even at times, the hurts become a blessing.

When I hear on the news of the many people who are sick and dying, I pray to God to give them relief and make them well, and if not, in his mercy, to take them with him to heaven.

I try not to worry too much about situations I cannot do anything about, but when I do began to worry, I think of a “Peanuts” cartoon that was in the paper recently.

Two little boys were sitting at their school desks. The first one said, “I am so tired. I didn’t sleep all night. I worried and worried.”

Linus, the other boy, said, “What did you worry about?”

“Well, I was afraid I would not pass my test,” the boy said.

“What happened?” Linus asked.

The boy said, “I got an A.”

“Well,” said Linus, “you just used up a good worry.”

And that is the way we are in a lot of instances. When I talk with my sister and other members of my family, and they or I complain about a little ache or pain, we always say, “Don’t use up a good worry.”

God did not send the <saxo:ch value=”226 128 168”/>coronavirus, but he will see us through it. He doesn’t want us to use up a good worry, but I am certain he will hear our prayers, large or small.

In one of our Bible-study classes, someone expressed a concern they had, and I said that God said “Don’t be afraid.”

Our pastor, Matt Bahnfleth, said there are 375 places in the Bible (I was going to say jokingly that I only counted 374) where God said “Don’t be afraid,” starting with Abraham, who did not question God when God said “Get your people together, I am going to make of you a great nation and to Moses and Joshua and on to Christ.”

Now, when I feel a worry coming on, I look up to God and hear him say, very gently, “Don’t be afraid.”

I am a former registered nurse and have been involved with some tough situations, but never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined myself in places where the medical profession is now.

Do they get a little “oh, oh,” and send up a quick little prayer? No, no. I’d like to gather them all in one place and ask God to personally bless them for doing such a heroic job.

There are many, many more things I thank God for throughout the day, but they are too numerous to mention. I would ask you to try the same if you haven’t.

It will give you great comfort. And remember: Don’t be afraid, and don’t waste a good worry.

Marie Hitz, a retired nurse, lives in Rantoul.