Rhonda is a bit panicked in this picture. Fortunately she is not panicked by a pandemic.
Are you panicked by pandemic, feeling stressed.? Are you fearful of getting the coronavirus or fearful for an elderly loved one with underlying conditions? Is your business failing? Have you lost your job? Are you fretting over the latest statement on your evaporating retirement account that has been devastated by a plunging stock market?
Is isolation driving you crazy? All your events are cancelled and there are no sports on TV. You want to see your kids, hug your grandkids, take spouse out for dinner, go to church with your friends, see a movie and go to the grocery store without feeling like your entering a battlefield. You want to turn on the evening news without it being sensationalized focus on one subject, COVID-19. When will things get back to normal?
Are we isolated though? Do we really want to return to “normal?” What is God’s purpose for pandemic? While I don’t purport to know the latter, when I get over my pity party, I’m thankful for the numerous blessings I have and the lessons I think can be learned through our current trials.
Pandemic comes from the Greek words, “pan” meaning all, and “demos” meaning people. In fact on the surface it may appear the pandemic has separated us with social distancing, I would argue that “all people” have been drawn together in worldwide fight against this disease. Are you hearing about a lot of wars on the news right now? When is the last time you saw competing pharmaceutical businesses work together? Have you seen our polarized congress work together on anything in the last several years? Now we have the largest relief bills in history being passed at lightning speed with bipartisan approval. While politics has not disappeared are you hearing a lot of divisive campaign commercials right now?
We are the most powerful nation in the world. We have the largest wealth, greatest economy, strongest military, unbelievable technology, incredible healthcare. Perhaps our strength has made us believe we are invincible, independent, and not in need of the God who controls the universe?
Maybe social distancing has not pulled us apart but pulled us together. Maybe it’s reminded us who is in control and how dependent we are on him. Maybe it’s reminded us of just how blessed we are. It’s reminded us to slow down, read a book, do a video chat with your family, tell them you love them, appreciate your friends. It’s reminded us the true heroes are not movie stars or professional athletes, but truck drivers, grocery clerks, food processors, Dr’s, Nurses, and hospital janitors.
It’s not a coincidence our church started a Hope Center in January that provides groceries to 100’s of families each week for “such a time as this?” I’m convinced it was a plan put in place by God long before the pandemic he knew was coming. Even though I started this blog by grumbling and complaining, I won’t be standing in line at the Hope Center to receive groceries, but to hand them out. The travel business may not be fun right now, but in 8 years we’ve been to more than 50 countries and had a chance to meet many incredible people (including many of you). I’ve placed a higher value on my faith, my family, my friends, my marriage and the only one really in control. My new perspective on pandemic leads me to reflect on blessings too numerous to count. While I hope that with God’s help the world can conquer this current crisis, I also hope it is a long, long time before we return to “normal.”
Pandemic has not pulled us apart; it’s pushed us together. We can all be thankful for that.
COL 3:14-15 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
ROM 8:28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
EPH 4:3-4 Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.
EPH 4:13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.
PHIL 2:2 Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.