In the past week, the amount of noise (yes, I said noise), overloading my email, television, and radio about the COVID-19 (coronavirus) has been heavier and louder than a freight train carrying 18,000 tons of cargo. I call it noise because the information can be confusing, abrasive, and noticeably unpleasant.
To survive this assault to our senses requires a paradigm shift from the message of fear (false evidence appearing real) to unwavering faith that someone with greater intellect than humankind is handling the situation.
The number of negatives is as numerous as ants finding that open bag of sugar in your cupboard. But in an everyday scenario, let’s take a stroll down the sidewalk of positives.
Let’s start with the weather. We are just ending the winter season where I live, which means we are getting rain. Some parts of the country are cool or cold, and in a lot of places, there’s still snow. But what if this were happening during the summer when the humidity can seem like a gazillion and people are continually sweating with limited options for staying cool. I can only imagine!
Next, look at the opportunities to be able to do some things you have pushed to the back burner. For example, spending time with your family and friends, (within “distancing’ guidelines) riding your bike, reading a book, getting more sleep, having more time to prepare unprocessed meals, taking some online classes to upgrade your future or learning a new language. Also, don’t forget to give a big shout out for having time to put a dent in the infamous pile of paper, including magazines, and other miscellaneous publications that have been accumulating on a table or counter for (fill in the blank).
And what about all the hygiene measures we skated over? I regularly washed my hands but never sang the happy birthday tune twice (20 seconds) as my stopwatch to make sure they were clean. I guess, many people are just learning about hand sanitizer and wipes since the shelves in the stores for these items are bare. Finally, we have begun to be more sensitive to and to take more seriously the messages about cleaning our eating areas and counters and staying home when we have a cold or cold-related cough.
This uncomfortable situation is temporary “for a season.” There may not be a micro-wave solution, but this too shall pass. We are a blessed country (“In God We Trust”), and we always bounce back. The Bible is filled with near misses of doom, in both Old and New Testaments.
There’s a long list of the perils of the apostle, Paul. He was stoned, beaten, bitten by a deadly snake, shipwrecked, hungry, thirsty, cold, naked, homeless, and persecuted. He survived all those things and much more. Having complete faith in God, he wrote, “The Lord rescued me from out of them all.” (2 Timothy 3:11) The fruits of his rescue resulted in his establishment of several churches and writing an estimated one-third of the New Testament.
In the Old Testament, through the story of Joseph, I am reminded of the world’s current situation. Jealousy inspired Joseph’s brothers to come up with a plot to kill him and throw him into a pit. Over time, Joseph was sold twice, accused of adultery by his employer’s wife, and placed in prison. However, after several stormy years, Joseph was restored by Pharaoh and placed second in command over Egypt. Like a CFO, Joseph’s shrewd financial actions over Egypt put him in a position where he was able to save the entire land from famine. (Genesis 39-45)
We don’t know why COVID-19 is knocking at our door, but here are my unscientific observations that look beyond the obvious:
Joseph believed the circumstances of his life occurred so that God could ensure the survival of his family. (Genesis 45:7-8) The evil deeds carried out by his brothers were designed to kill him. The results turned out to be good for a greater number of people.
When this season is over, I look forward to sharing with you my excitement over all the good that occurred. In the meantime, don’t watch monster movies and other scary, useless things. DO, pray, laugh, pour out love on your family, encourage others, take a walk, and wash your hands!