Who would have EVEERRR thought we’d be here!! The pandemic has brought upon us a shift in our lives we could have never halfway even imagined. The list is endless of all the negative outcomes and circumstances we’ve seen, but I live by the rule there is always a lesson we can pull out of every circumstance. One lesson I encourage us all to embrace is to not let the time home be wasted.
The pandemic gave me time at home that I otherwise may not have been able to carve out to finish and publish my book. Life as a single-mom has to be strategic at best. I had no way of knowing that the words from my book would ring true for the current life we are all living in. We’re all in a storm. Some of our storms may be lighter than others, but we are living in one. But here’s the good news. We can find a way (if we choose) to reign in our storm.
Some of you may be wondering and asking a very valid question, “How on earth do I reign in the storm of a pandemic?” This is a monumental problem that has affected every single person in the United States as well as people around the world. Anxiety is higher, depression rates are more than likely skyrocketing, and fear is widespread. So, asking that question is completely understandable. In spite of the circumstances though, God does not want us to have a spirit of fear.
I get it. This is a MUCH easier said than done, and this is the last thing that people want to hear sometimes. Yet, it’s the first thing we need to hear. God’s word is very clear. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6 NIV).
Even though many places are starting to open back up, the pandemic has caused the ultimate “time-out” for us as a society. I use this analogy in reference to what is often used with kids to have them stop engaging in unpleasant behavior. A time-out is supposed to force you to sit down and “think” about the poor behavior you were engaged in and hopefully shift to what would be a “better” form of behavior. Please hear me when I say that I am in no way saying the coronavirus is a punishment. The point I’m making is that society has had moments of being placed on hold as a result of this virus. We’ve been given time to think about our lives and the direction they’re going. One of my prayers is that this time is not wasted for individuals to understand that no matter how hard we try to plan, God is still in control.
I don’t believe in wasting pain. As a matter of fact, pain always has a purpose. Think about it. Even pain in our bodies serves a purpose—it tells us something is wrong. So, what is the purpose of this pandemic? I may not be able to give you a definitive answer on God’s plan, but I can say that God gives each of us the ability to have perspective. In any storm in life, we can choose a perspective that is filled with defeat, or we can rise to the occasion and choose a perspective that enables us to keep moving forward.
Fear can do one of two things to us—it can bring out the best in us or it can bring out the worse in us. We’ve seen this with the coronavirus. We’ve heard and seen news reports of people hoarding goods from the stores and we’ve heard of people giving groceries to neighbors. We’ve heard of people getting into arguments about wearing a mask and we’ve heard of people sewing masks at no cost for our medical personnel. Let’s become people who allow fear to bring out the best in us in our storms.
Whether it’s life’s personal storms or a pandemic, the essentials we need can be hard to come by. During a pandemic, this may include food, household essentials, or even income. On a personal level, the essentials may include sleep, eating, happiness, good health, and peace. During these dry seasons, God will never leave us or forsake us. Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV) says, “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
We do not have to wait until our circumstances change in order to rejoice on the inside. Habakkuk 3:17 illustrates this very thing by stating, “the fig trees may not bud” or “the fields produce no food.” In today’s time we may equate these to “our bank accounts having no money” or “no food in our pantries to eat.” Verse eighteen brings hope by stating, “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.” Jesus will give you what you need in order that you may rejoice, no matter how much you have or how much you need. You, my dear friend, will ‘Rejoice Even In Great Need.” You will R.E.I.G.N!
(**Certain portions of this blog are excerpts from my book “Reigning in the Storm” available through Amazon.)