Last week we spoke of the emotional toll being inflicted on our nation as we move through COVID-19. This pandemic has dominated social media, all the news channels, and all the talk shows. Whether the topic is sports, theatre, or fine arts, the question that people seek an answer for is the same. “Will life ever be the same?” “Will we ever return to normal?” “What will post-COVID-19 look like?”
Early days of COVID-19 global pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has sent shockwaves throughout the world. Some countries have been affected more severely than others. What started with a few deaths in Wuhan, China, in November 2019 has now become a full-fledged outbreak.
Life with COVID-19
It’s been 30+ days since we obeyed the initial mandate to shelter in place. We have donned the appropriate protective wear—our gloves and our masks. We now adhere to social distancing guidelines issued by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). In the grocery store and in the post office, we stand behind the yellow line and growl, appropriately, at those who get too close to us. “Will life ever be the same?”
Unfortunately we’re not able to influence the federal government’s plan to combat this disease nor are we able to provide the personal protective equipment (PPE) that nurses and doctors so desperately need. We haven’t the financial resources to employ those who now are without jobs nor can we comfort the 40,000 families who have lost loved ones due to the virus. “Will we ever return to normal?”
How are you?
With all that’s happening to and around us, I have one question for you. How are you doing? I mean really, what are you thinking and feeling in this moment as you read this WordBytes? While the news addresses the global view of COVID-19, it fails to fully understand the emotional and financial stain on our households. They cannot enter into the four-walls in which we live and listen to the dialogue we are having with our children and our friends. It is within these four walls that real change and creation of new norms must begin.
It is natural and appropriate that we attempt to focus our efforts on those things that can affect; those things that will add some sense of normalcy for our families in a world that appears to be spinning out of control. What can we do?
Begin building spiritual resiliency
We can begin to combat the effects of this pandemic by strengthening our spiritual resiliency.
Resiliency is the ability of an object to “rebound or spring back” to its original shape after being stretched or compressed. Spiritual resiliency, however, is more. It is about not only bouncing back but also gaining greater strength and capacity than originally possessed.
As believers, we understand that it is God in us (1 John 4:4) that provides us the ability to not only bounce back, but to come back even stronger than before (2 Cor. 4:16-18). God > COVID-19!
Life in God’s Presence
To build spiritual resiliency, we must put ourselves in the presence of God. The psalmist understood this when he confidently wrote:
Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there. (Ps. 139:7-8)
God’s presence offers extraordinary benefit and impact for believers during COVID-19 and beyond.
First, knowing God is everywhere offers us great comfort. If we have learn one thing from this pandemic it is that we must be ever vigilant—watching for potential risks and dangers that may threaten us physically, financially, and/or socially. To know that we are never out of the presence of God should settle the faint-hearted. God alone can make good on His promise that He will “never leave nor forsake us” (Gen. 28:15).
Secondarily, believers living in the presence of God possess great confidence knowing that He is ever-present. In these critical times, recognizing that the “only wise God” (Rom. 16:27) is there to guide and direct our steps, comforts our hearts and eases our stress (Phil. 4:6-7).
Finally, living in God’s presence provides us great clarity as to how we are to live during these tumultuous times (Titus 2:11-13). This acknowledgment requires that we live obediently according to His Word and under the direction of the Holy Spirit. Yes, even in the midst of this pandemic! (Rom. 12:2; 1 Pet. 1:13-16; 1 John 2: 16-17)
It is in the presence of God that we will find our way through COVID-19 and ultimately, to the other side—mentally resilient, emotionally strong and spiritually fit.
God’s Reality lived in Post-COVID-19
The believer’s life and reality is derived from living in the presence of God. As believers, we seek His will—the divine purpose of the all-knowing and ever-present God. Our reality recognizes that God is the center of our universe and it is God who sustains us and keeps us (Ps. 3:5; Heb. 1:3).
In the presence of God we will find not only what we need to survive today but also prepare us for tomorrow. Even in a post-COVID 19 world. Will our lives ever be the same? With God, I pray that our lives will be better!