Everyone and everything is focused on the pandemic right now. And that makes sense, because it’s impacting our every part of our lives in drastic ways. It’s at a point now where you just can’t ignore what’s happening. At least, that’s the case here where I live in California.
Everyday restrictions are growing tighter and tighter. The latest mandate has restricted us from leaving our homes without a mask, or even visiting family beyond those who live in our same home. These regulations that government leaders are putting in place are necessary. But they aren’t easy adjustments to make.
And for some, these restrictions are more than difficult adjustments. They’re impacting their livelihood.
COVID-19 brings so many different implication with it, which is why I’m so thankful that I don’t have to put my trust solely in humanity to sort it all out. As believers in Jesus, we need to be wise in our responses and assured of the faith we stand on.
As I’m processing the many dynamics of COVID-19, I have seen my faith challenged and reaffirmed. I’ve seen my heart long for more of Jesus and my soul crave for more his truth to be the foundation I stand on.
Here are four faith lessons God is teaching us in the midst of this global pandemic.
Faith Lesson #1: It’s not about me.
When reports of Coronavirus began, I will be the first to admit, I wasn’t worried. When we’re hit with a barrage of news media from around the world every hour, it becomes difficult to process all of it and to exercise wisdom.
The reports from China were absolutely staggering and devastating. To see crisis and disaster in our world is never easy. And yet the frequency to which we see it with minute by minute news coverage, our hearts can grow callous.
The response to coverage on COVID-19 filled such a wide spectrum. Some immediately went into panic mode, while others were completely dismissive and assured me that “it would all blow over.” I would like to believe that I’m somewhere in the middle of these two responses.
But what has truly impacted me and continues to be the barometer by which I process all of this is the understanding that it’s not about me.
I’ve heard many people justify their lack of following government regulations based on their assumption that they won’t catch the virus or that they’re healthy enough to recover quickly. They assume the mandates were sent out simply as suggestions, because they’re not personally high-risk.
Here’s the big issue with what’s happening around us. It’s not actually about you. It’s about caring for others and loving them.
As inconvenient or extreme as we might think of the regulations are, it doesn’t matter. Because it’s not about you and me. It’s about our ability to literally save lives.
My frustrations and restlessness about being home doesn’t compare to the responsibility I have to care for the lives of others. This is what loving others looks like in this moment. And loving others has always been the top priority for Jesus. So we must be reminded that it’s not about us.
Faith Lesson #2: Isolation is not God’s plan.
I don’t know about your house, but things are getting a little weird around here. I most certainly tap danced around the house and told Dale my life was a musical. To which he responded, “You want your life to be a musical, and you choose a tap dance number?” Like I said, things are getting a little weird.
I’ve always heard how terrible isolation is for the total well-being of a person. I’m not completely isolated–I have my husband and son. But even this limited amount of human contact is making us a little zany.
There are countless memes and videos documenting the weird effects isolation has on people. This is a truth of humanity many of us have never experienced firsthand. Apart from the entertaining social posts a core truth of who God has made us to be is on full display.
God designed us to live in community rather than isolation. It’s not good for our physical, mental, or spiritual health. For the well-being of the whole person we are meant to engage in community.
Not only do we begin to act a little crazy in isolation, but our minds begin to go to dark places. Being lost in your own thoughts all day is dangerous. God created us to thrive in the company and community of others. We’re more susceptible to temptation and defeat when we are alone.
“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
“The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.'”
God created us to need community. We are better people, healthier people, happier people, when we’re in communication with other people. I’ve never seen a clearer reminder of the detriments of being apart from community. God did not design us for isolation. It’s why we don’t operate well apart from people.
Faith Lesson #3: I desperately need Jesus.
In a moment of true exhaustion, in the midst of loading the dishwasher I told Dale, “Quarantine has taught me marriage is hard.” We had a bit of a laugh about it and also an honest conversation about what was happening between us.
After taking a moment to pause, I very quickly realized how the struggles of my heart were oozing out and they were not pretty. It was like every day I was dropping a bomb on my husband. I was making sure he knew how wrong his way of doing something was or how frustrated he was making me. Our interactions were moving from playful sarcasm to swift jabs.
Once the anger and frustration subsided a bit, I was filled with sadness. This is not the kind of wife I want to be. This is not the kind of marriage I want to be in. All I could think about was how desperately I need Jesus.
I was no longer able to bury my frustrations, whether they were valid or completely ridiculous (a good portion were ridiculous). They came flooding to the surface as we have spent every single minute of our day with one another. It’s so easy to go through life on our own strength, blind to the rhythms of life that are slowly pushing Jesus away from the center.
It’s become so much harder for me to find even just a few minutes to pray, read my Bible, or to just sit in silence before Jesus.
But the pressures of our current life situation have forced me to realize I must make time for Jesus. I haven’t made him a priority and that could not be more evident than in the way the ugliness of my heart spills out onto my husband and even my son.
The best way to care for yourself right now is to make Jesus a priority. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been saved. You are in desperate need of Jesus.
Faith Lesson #4: Don’t neglect relationships.
As strange as it may seem, this is the time to invest in your relationships. Yes, we are investing from afar, but make the time to schedule the call or send the text. Many of us are forced to slow down right now.
Instead of filling that time with Netflix or social media, we should be filling that time with checking in on others. People are more likely to pick up the phone right now and they are more likely to genuinely be interested in a conversation.
Though we are physically isolated, we don’t have to be alone. Over the past two weeks I’ve been intentional about picking up the phone and it’s been a true blessing. To talk to friends and family has been nourishment to my soul.
We truly need one another. And even though we can’t go out and meet with friends, we can still invest in our relationships in different ways.
Don’t waste this opportunity to grow.
COVID-19 has truly been a taxing time for all of us in many different ways. God is aware of this and he knows the sufferings of each and every person. We are not left to carry the weight of all of this alone. He is with us in our pain and frustration.
May we seize this opportunity to be aware of what he’s doing in each of our hearts. These are not wasted moments. They are opportunities to see the depths of your heart and to let Jesus in to heal you and to walk with you.