“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” –Philippians 4:6.
We’re living in an unprecedented historical era. Almost all at once, the Coronavirus pandemic has shut down schools, businesses, and social events all across the globe. We all have different emotional reactions to this crisis: anger, fear, and confusion, to name a few. We all have a million questions waiting to be answered. And perhaps one of the most important is this: Where is God in all of this? How do we have faith when hope seems so distant?
Maybe the first thing we need to come to terms with is that we are not in control. We have absolutely no say in how long this will last, or if a cure will ever be found. We don’t know the future, but we do know this: God does. And He is always good. He is sovereign over this entire situation. And that simple truth gives us all the peace we need to surrender control and trust our Heavenly Father.
Instead of soaking up negativity, we can try to find the good in all of this. See this not as wasted time, but as opportunity to prioritize your relationship with God. Chances are, this pandemic has given you more time than you know what to do with – time that can be well spent reading Scripture, praying, and growing closer to God. Believe it or not, there are people who will come to faith through this crisis (God’s plan!). Churches are making services and sermons more accessible online (God wins!). Many churches are also mobilizing efforts to help serve those affected (God’s will!). It is in times like these when the love of God’s people shines through.
There are a few practical things we can do to navigate these uncharted waters. First, we can force ourselves to turn off the TV and turn to something positive (and life-transformational) instead. The media tends to report only bad news. Meanwhile, there is so much to be thankful for, like more time spent with family, phone calls with friends, and the opportunity to get back into old hobbies we truly enjoy. We miss out on all these blessings when we spend our days miserably waiting to get back to “real life.”
Second, we can pray. The coronavirus pandemic has interrupted a lot of daily activities, but prayer should not be one of them. There is an abundance of needs to pray for, especially now. Pray for the doctors, nurses, and medical staff fighting on the frontlines. Pray for people who have lost their jobs and their livelihoods. Pray for the victims of Coronavirus and for those who are at high risk. When we shift our focus from “how can I fix this” to “how can I trust God more”, we become faith-driven rather than fear-driven – and that is exactly what God desires for us in these troubling times.