COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc in our world, in our nation. Places like New York are continuing to feel the extreme pain of disease and death. Our own corner of Florida is the hardest hit in the state, which is why it did not start reopening this week like the rest of the state. After my previous blog, some individuals were encouraged to think through some of the lessons they had learned and were kind enough to share them with me. Knowing that the original list was by no means exhaustive, I’m adding theirs and a couple more I’m learning:
Slowing down – where was it getting us anyway, the speed we are going at in life? Some, like first responders, medical personnel, teachers, parents turned teachers and so many in hard hit areas have ramped up their workload and schedules. But for most of us, things are different but a bit slower than before. Enjoy the good moments, cherish the time…let us all learn to slow down.
Equal ground – it does not matter how much or how little money one has, what country you live in, language you speak, social status you possess or position you have acquired, COVID-19 has been an unforeseen equalizer. I’ve heard it said that the ground around the Cross of Christ is level, meaning we are all in need of a Savior because we have all sinned – the greatest equalizer. But I have to admit, this virus has us all on the same boat…again, an eerie reminder that we are all equal, even with all of our differences.
Wisdom – fear has invaded so many people’s hearts, while others have been carefree and living life as usual. Overreacting and under reacting can cause serious issues during a world wide pandemic, even death, both from disease and from stress. Know how to balance caution and trust, have faith that God will take care of us and that His plan is perfect (even when we can’t see it all). Follow medical/government guidelines and follow God’s directions for our lives. Practice wisdom!
Sovereignty – up until a few weeks ago, many thought they had control of their lives, jobs, bank accounts, health, whereabouts, only to have all of that change. When employees I serve ask me how I am doing, I often say, “I talked to God this morning and He was sitting on the throne.” One thing is to say it, quite another to acknowledge and surrender to His sovereignty over our lives. God is God. A simple and profound statement that tells me He is in control, He is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. He is who He says He is. His ways are not our ways, His thoughts are not our thoughts. He is sitting on the throne right now…He’s got this!
Hygiene – never before have I washed my hands as much, and rightly so. Being aware of sneezing into a tissue or my elbow, watching for people around me with symptoms of any disease, using hand sanitizer regularly, realizing alcohol is best for killing germs, cleaning surfaces that others have used or that unclean objects have been on…all of these are good habits. I confess I probably won’t do them all at all times, but I certainly should most of the time. You too!
Normalcy – what was your “normal” before COVID-19? Whatever it was, it will change. Whether by ourselves, others or the mere circumstances surrounding the virus, our normal will change. We have been thrown into different routines, new habits and eye openning lessons. May our new normal include more of the positives (many of the ones that I’ve mentioned in my blogs) and much more God in our lives. The new “normal” should find us better, kinder, more intentional…and much closer to Him!
Let us recap the lessons mentioned – Preparation, Gratefulness, Family, Technology, Dependence, Slowing Down, Equal Ground, Wisdom, Sovereignty, Hygiene, Normalcy. May we learn and practice these going forward.
As I write this I see masked individuals keeping their distance. I’m hoping and praying that is over soon. We will get through this! “God is for us” does not mean that we are exempt from troubles and suffering. It does mean that He will ride this terrible wave with us and see us through to the other side…whatever that looks like.
The Old Testament prophet Habakkuk had a major national and personal crisis. God had allowed an army to come and conquer them. The land in this agricultural society was devastated and their farm animals had been taken or killed. In the midst of an overwhelming crisis, he learned to trust and rely on God like never before. Here is what he said:
“Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
God, the Lord, is my strength…” Habakkuk 3:17-19a
Though so much had been taken away, yet he had joy and relied on God’s strength. May He help us do the same!