So, you thought you could predict your future? You did things right and expected good things should follow. Ha! The Covid-19 tornado lifted your well-greased train of life and the bottom dropped out of your methodical plans.
Who would have thought you couldn’t find a package of dried black beans or peanut butter in a grocery store, and toilet paper would be treasure? You may have thought you were in Russia after the cold war, with lines out the door and little to nothing on the shelves. This is the United States of America after all. Is this for real?
How does one’s brain organize this kind of information? Thousands of deaths, schools closed, businesses closed, weddings cancelled. At first, I felt physically ill—like a dark cloud had landed over my head and paralyzed me. I felt the pain of business owners, aware that they probably don’t have cash reserves to outlast this Coronavirus. I couldn’t wrap my thoughts around the fact that people I know have already suffered great losses, one after another—death, fires, illnesses, car wrecks, and a friend with an inoperable brain tumor.
The pile up of losses felt like a vice squeezing me.
Then I reminded myself: I’ve had a house burn down and seen blocks of our city in rubble. And I wrote a book about it. I’ve been here…lived it…learned a few things. So, here are my encouragements:
- Put on your big girl pants. That means, when the dark cloud of gloom comes over me, I will call a friend and allow them to support me. I don’t need to go at this alone. Knowing a friend is with me is enough to pull me out of gloom faster than if I isolated myself. “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity. ”Proverbs 17:17 NIV
- Feeling sad is fuel for prayers. I’ve learned to turn my gloom into powerful prayers. But there’s no need to pray eloquently. God help me…is a good start. “You will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
- There is nothing new under the sun. This, too, will pass. And I will be better for it. “In all things God works for good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”Romans 8:28 NIV
- We were born to be courageous. God foresaw that we would feel afraid. He knows we are human. That’s why the Bible says to us over and over again, “Do not be afraid.”God wants us to trust him and take action, moving ourselves out of fear and into courage, with Him. “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.” Psalm 94:10 NIV
- Stability comes from God. Even when I can’t feel his hand in mine, He is with me. “Fear not, for I am with you…I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 ESV
- We are Americans. Together, we are stronger. We can help each other in times of need. Adversity brings out our best qualities when we trust the Lord. “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity.”Psalm 133:1 ESV