In the past 10 days we have found ourselves thrust into unprecedented times. From news of Coronavirus in foreign countries leading to cautions about international travel to states “hitting the pause button” and asking everyone to stay home as much as possible, our lives have changed significantly in the past few days.
How many times in the past week have you said or heard the question, WHY? The question comes so easily and quickly for us; after all, we’ve been asking it since we were 3 or 4 years old! Humans are a thinking and reasoning people and we want to understand what is going on around us so we can move on to fixing it, bringing our lives back to normal.
My friends, this time around there isn’t an adequate answer to our questions of WHY? and it might seem like we are climbing our way into more uncertainty. We can speculate and wring our hands over the times in which we find ourselves, but those actions won’t bring resolution to our uncertainty. In fact, dwelling on the WHY? only increases the anxiety we may be experiencing.
A couple days ago when I felt my anxiety increasing and the WHY? question ringing ever louder in my head I had the sense God was telling me to shift my focus from WHY? to WHAT? I felt the reminder that while there is much out of my control these days, there are still things I can do in the midst of this crisis. Here are some ideas that came to mind:
We CAN stay connected! In addition to social media, e-mail and texts, let’s try calling people more…maybe even video chatting. Think especially of those who are suddenly alone in their homes, who won’t hear the sound of someone’s voice unless we reach out.
We CAN control what we allow into our minds and hearts. If we spend too much time on social media or watching/listening to the news, the negativity will overwhelm us. We need to balance what we consume, listening to praise songs and encouraging messages, reading books and magazines that help us escape to another world for a short time, teach us a new skill or help us grow in our Spiritual lives. Many museums, zoos and parks are offering free virtual tours and artists are offering free virtual lessons.
We CAN stay active. Many of us find ourselves working from home, furloughed from our jobs, or not going to the gym and social events that naturally encourage activity. This can be difficult, but we can still go outside for walks, runs, or maybe even yard work. Some friends of mine even walked together, keeping their distance and maintaining community at the same time. There are many athletic clubs and online programs that are offering free workouts or 30-day trials to their programs. This might be a great time to try something new!
We CAN have faith. In times like this it is sometimes a choice of mind over emotions, but God’s promises remain true! He is waiting for us to call on Him, and ready to comfort, encourage and strengthen us regardless of our circumstances. Let’s not allow our fear, anxiety or confusion keep us from the One who can be near us in this time of separation. Instead let’s bring to mind Scripture we have memorized, or do an online search for Scripture verses regarding whatever we are feeling. Posting them throughout our homes will remind us of God’s promises throughout the day. When we find ourselves with time on our hands let’s use some of it to read Scripture or spend more time in prayer.
It’s a natural thing for us to ask WHY? in the midst of this crisis, but I encourage you to join me in turning the WHY? to WHAT?. We may find ourselves coming out on the other side with stronger relationships, minds and closer to the Lord than we are now.
Blessings and peace to all…