The time in which we find ourselves sure is unprecedented, is it not? In fact, it is unparalleled for many of us under a certain age whose entire lives have been in a well-vaccinated time of the late 20th century.
Those of us who are western Gen Xers, children of 1980s or later, have always lived in a time when epidemics were under control, and life was free of that kind of scare. Polio, measles, smallpox … those were things we maybe heard about as kids, but didn’t have any experience with or category for in our thinking.
This pandemic has caught many of us by surprise. Even though, at the time of this writing, we’ve had several weeks to process it and get used to “the new normal” of isolation and social distancing, it is still a shock to our systems. At least to mine.
There is a lot that could be said about the politics behind it, and critiquing the responses of individual governments. Everyone has an opinion about what should be done about it, and how each of us should be behaving in light of what our governments have asked us to do to flatten the curve. I’ll leave the political part to someone else to handle.
My goal for this post is to get to the heart of the matter.
The proverbial heart, that is. The emotional part. Emotions are messy. They are hard to manage, even if you can identify what they are, and why they are causing you to act in a certain way. Many times, we don’t even get that far in the analysis of our behavior.
A global pandemic only complicates emotional responses. When the world as we know it gets turned on its head, and shaken fiercely like a snow globe, what happens next is unknown and unpredictable.
People freak out. Peace of mind about coronavirus seems somewhat rare.
Maybe you’ve encountered some people who are freaking out. Perhaps you’re one of them. If you are, keep reading. I’m about to get to the good stuff.
I used to to freak out a lot more often. I still do sometimes, but I’ve learned something – it doesn’t help me. I’ll go on a limb and boldly assert that it doesn’t help you, either.
I can’t think of a single time that panicking about something helped me in the slightest to achieve a solution. What does come to mind, is plenty of times I’ve squandered precious time in the midst of a panic episode. When I finally calmed down, I still had a mountain in front of me to conquer, I was just lacking the time I had wasted on panicking.
Can you relate to that?
As I’m writing this self-therapy session (thank you for peeking in the windows to offer moral support), I’m thinking of the application to the covid-19 craze in which we find ourselves in this first half of 2020.
I’m not freaking out. Surprisingly, I’m cool, calm, and collected about this whole thing. How is that possible?
An aside, before you get riled up about that outlandish statement. That does not insinuate that I am not taking the threat seriously, or that I am being flippant about the precautions. I am, and I am not, respectively.
Why I have peace of mind about coronavirus
The peace I have deep in my heart is not one that I manufactured due to mindfulness or the reading of some self-help guru. Rather it is through something known as “the peace that surpasses all understanding.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
Through a lifetime of reading about what God has revealed about Himself and His ways in the pages of the Bible, I have gotten to know Him in a more meaningful way. It has changed everything about the way I do life.
In the pages of scripture, I learn that God …
… Is always accomplishing His purposes (Isaiah 46:9-10)
… The us* mentioned above applies to those who love Him in return
This particular point has been hotly debated for all of human history, and I’m surely not going to settle the matter in one blog post. So I’ll just leave it there for your consideration and pray that you look into it for yourself to determine whether it is correct. I’d suggest starting by reading all of Romans 8-9.
Through the years of having these truths worked into the fabric of my heart and soul through Bible reading, preaching, and life experience, I have come to realize that there is no reason to fear.
Make no mistake, I still have fears. Anxiety still gets the best of me — more than I care to admit. Still, the calming promises of peace from God become more normal, the more I walk with Him.
So what does that mean for me?
“That’s great for you, Summer,” perhaps you’re thinking. What about for those of us who don’t have our head in the clouds?
First of all, I’ll let that condescending remark slide and ask you – why are you allowing the troubles of this world to bother you?
Why settle for fear when you can have peace?
Is it prudent to look to fallen, sinful humans for hope, when you can rest in the assurance of the Almighty?
Why shake your fist at God, and ask, “how could You allow this to happen?” instead of acknowledging that everything you have is a gift from Him (James 1:17) and respond with repentance, gratitude and humility? (Romans 1:18-22)
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” – Proverbs 9:10
Here’s why I’m telling you this
I write this post because I care deeply about you. Even if we’ve never met. I have a burning desire for you to experience the peace and joy that I have, regardless of what life brings.
It is found in the gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s offensive to the secular mind. Even to a lot of religious minds.
I care about you enough to offend you if it means you’ll honestly examine yourself in light of God’s law and eternity.
Let me know with a comment if you have any questions, concerns, gripes or disagreements. I welcome them all. Thank you for reading!
“Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?” – 2 Corinthians 13:5
“Jesus *said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”‘ – John 14:6