In case you’re wondering, this is tied to my previous post, HOPE and COVID-19.
Since that time, the lock-down has been extended to April 30th. Myself and many others have learned (or are still learning) to adjust to doing online classes for everything. My dance competitions have been cancelled. My youth rally was cancelled. My friends’ speech and debate tournaments have been cancelled. I hate reading the news because it only shows the same old panic. I hate going to the stores and feeling like I live in some sort of socialist or communist country when I see the bare shelves and the signs saying, “Due to limited supplies, please take only one of each item.” It hurts me to see so many messages of people who are talking about how they’re kept from going to work for this or that reason or who feel discouraged and depressed about what’s going on in the world right now. I would love to just ignore what’s going on and pretend I live in some other world where everything is not shut down.
But that’s not a good way to deal with the problem, is it?
Our world is currently wrecked by fear. I wouldn’t be surprised if at the end of this, there’ll be more deaths by suicide than COVID-19. Hospitals are ordered to mark all deaths that could possibly be traced to COVID-19 as a COVID-19 death; or if the person had COVID-19 and died, even if it wasn’t from that virus, it’s still marked as a COVID-19 death. Right there, you see that the deaths are nowhere near as high as the media makes them out to be!
But I’m no expert on this and neither do I claim to be. Do your research. Don’t believe the media. Most of what they say is garbage anyway.
My point is this: from a human standpoint, this all looks pretty dark. It’s fearful. It’s depressing.
Good news: nothing lasts forever. Neither will this. COVID-19 will end. It’s going to end. I don’t know when—none of us do—but it will end.
More good news: God is in control.
“Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:”
~ Isaiah 46:10
“The LORD of Hosts has sworn: “As I have planned, so will it be; as I have purposed, so will it stand.””
~ Isaiah 14: 24
COVID-19 did not catch God unawares. No matter what happens in the future, God is still in control of the universe.
This is why we can have hope in the midst of despair. This is why we can have joy midst the darkness. This isn’t going to last forever and God is in control.
My state is closed for at least another month. Possibly longer. COVID-19 will end, but it’s not over yet.
But there are many things that I’ve already learned.
Big Lesson #1 — Don’t take things for granted
If there’s anything I’ve learned from this COVID-19 experience, it is that. Especially where church is concerned. Being unable to meet corporately with fellow believers for worship is something I miss terribly. I now regret all the times that I wished to stay home from evening service for whatever reason. I would give anything to be able to go now.
Not to mention how much I miss getting out of the house for dance class. The online version, while it works, is still not the same has being near other people and having 3000 ft. squared to dance in. Or how much I miss the lost opportunities to see my friends that live far away, opportunities that were cancelled due to COVID-19.
Big Lesson #2 — Be grateful for what you have
Seriously, there is so much to be grateful for. And as a Christian, this is a golden opportunity to shine the light of Christ to the fearful world. Everyone’s lamenting the inability to do such-and-such, the cancellations of plans, vacations, etc., or even the scarcity of toilet paper. (Sorry, I’m still not over this joke.)
- Be grateful that we can still meet for worship in our homes and that we aren’t forbidden to worship God. (And remember the Persecuted Church in your prayers; this is their life, being unable to meet and being persecuted when they do—and even when they don’t.)
- Be grateful that the United States has one of the cleanest sanitation systems in the world. The disease would probably be much worse otherwise.
- Be grateful that the sun can still shine and that the star that brightens the daytime sky is not in quarantine.
- Be grateful for the blessings God has given you, whatever they may be.
- Be grateful that God is in control, not you or anybody else.
I know how easy it is to look at what’s going on and complain; I’m guilty of it. And I shouldn’t be complaining. Because we are blessed with so much. We just tend to loose sight of it and instead, as the song Mercy Awaits, says, “focus on that which You [God] take.”
Big Lesson #3 — Remember who’s in control
You guessed it. God’s in control, not you, not me, not President Trump, not anyone else in the world.
This is why we have hope! God is sovereign and He is in control of this situation. I don’t know how many times you need that said—I need it told to me constantly.
Whatever comes, however long COVID-19 lasts, remember:
God is in control. Therefore, it’s going to be okay.