BY MARY SPENCE
Living in a pandemic has changed me. This is hard; so hard. We are tired. Tired of quarantines and stuff being out of stock, and paying twice the price for everything. Worried about loved ones and friends who are struggling to fight off the loneliness and depression. Learning to do everything in a new way. Like remote doctors visits. I can say for myself this is a time like none other I have ever lived through. It is hard, isn't it? Wondering if it's safe to go. Wondering if it's ok to stay away. We are stuck in this world but not of it. Surrounded by fear, division and hatred. Feeling frustrated and worried?
Take a deep breath...
I know that fear is a symptom of unbelief. I also know that His Word says, "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." (Isaiah 41:10)
So l push through. Tell myself it's going to be ok. Try to trust in God's timing and His perfect plan. Trust on His grace and pray for His will. Even though it might be different than mine. What is the cure for a pandemic? Grace, God's peace, and Prayer. “Then Jesus said, 'Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.'" (Matthew 11:28-30 NLT)
After all, we are not called to have all the answers. We are just called to be focused on Him, make Him our number one priority and He will do the rest. So what are we to do while we wait? How can we be used by Him through all of this?
"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:13-16)
Our job is to pray. To reach out to others in distress. To offer a helping hand when someone else is in need.. As hard as it is for us as believers, just imagine how this feels to those who do not know Jesus. So take hope brothers and sisters. Even in these darkest days there is light. Be the light that causes others to see Jesus and believe.
Living in this pandemic has changed me. I look AT people when I talk to them now instead of past them. I listen to their words more closely now (mostly to hear through the mask). I watch what their body is saying in addition to their words. I am a much better friend since this pandemic has made me realize how delicate our hold on life really is. I have learned to treasure my time with my friends because I have seen how fast it can be gone. I have even seen that we can live without the "essentials" like toilet paper. My perspective on what is essential has changed. Yes, living in a pandemic has changed me.
Prayer: Father God. Help us to be strong in you. Show us the way when we are lost. Give us rest when we are tired. Cover us in your peace and protection. We thank you for your everlasting love and for the grace that you extend to each of us. In your precious son's name. Amen.