Seeing Past the Pandemic
This is a word I have heard countless times over the past few months as the world has been turned upside down by the global pandemic, COVID-19. And yes, this word holds true. As this is surely something of the likes we have never known. We have seen all of humanity face the same uncertainty, fear, and anxiety. It matters not how much money you have in your account or the ranking of your IQ score, all have been affected.
And when these times pass and become only a memory. Not all the issues we face will pass. Uncertainty, fear, and anxiety will always try to creep in. It is just now we see them attempting to break the door down. The pandemic may have changed the way we go about life, 6 feet apart, and masks in all. But it has not changed the reality of life. The reality that the life we have been blessed with is short and full of hardships. That we are not guaranteed tomorrow, pandemic or not. In these moments we find ourselves given a lens through which we are forced to see what was always there, both good and bad. Let us not miss out on what we can learn from it.
The world has surely seen itself turned upside down. But in reality, it was never fully right side up. If we had our hope in the stock market, in our health, in our job, or in anything else that once felt normal and dependable. Then we never had much hope at all. But even with this sad truth, we still have hope. We only have found that our hope was built upon something that could not bear its weight. Our hope must lie in the truth, that in facing great loss we have not lost the God who ultimately provides. When we put our hope in the God who prospers us, who gives us health, and who gives us all that is found in our lives. That is when our hope is finally built upon that which cannot be shaken.
If you have found that the pandemic has stolen your peace, then did you ever truly have it? I admit, even in times like these, those who do not deal with anxiety are prone to find it. But peace is not the absence of anxiety. But the true understanding that when anxiety comes, it has no place in our life because of the truth of who God is. A true peace which, when we are living in anxious and uncertain times, passes by our understanding and relies upon who God is. A peace that a pandemic can never touch.
One of the most revealing lessons that we all have learned while trying to live life in this new “normal”, is the value of others. With the loss and forced distancing of family and friends, we can see what we may have taken for granted. So I urge us all when we are no longer facing a social distance, let us fight to love when we are distanced only by our busyness or hurt. When we feel like those we love are more of a chore or checklist item, let us place them as a meaningful priority in our day to day. And in these times when we long for the embrace of a loved one, let us remember that this is a gift we should never stop embracing.
After we have mourned all that was lost in these unprecedented times and find ourselves living these moments only as memories. I pray that we do not face another great tragedy. To go through all of this, learning about where our true hope and peace is found, the beautiful gift of human life, and the simple blessings of being alive. To find ourselves going back to living like none of this ever happened.
They say that history repeats itself. But let us not go another day, pandemic or not, without living with love for one another, being thankful for family and friends, and knowing that our hope in life is not in anything that we have here on this earth, but with the one who put it all here.
Let us see hope in the darkness when we have traded a pandemic for personal hardship. Let us embrace our family and friends when it is no longer social distancing that stops us, but only ourselves. And let us help others not when the whole world needs a helping hand, but when only our neighbor does.