Our global community is facing one of its greatest challenges ever. The COVID-19 Pandemic is giving everyone opportunity to reach for our highest and best responses.
State of Pandemic
Some global citizens are enduring severe suffering having contracted COVID-19. Others have suffered sorrowful losses of loved ones who didn’t make it. For many, fear is pressing into hearts. Leaders face great unknowns as they seek to engage problem-solving skills for the good of all. Communities have basically shut down. Schools, businesses, and professional groups have closed except for emergent situations. Online teaching has taken over. Even many medical appointments have gone “video” or “phone.” A person can’t even hug a dear friend or neighbor anymore. Six-foot distancing is the rule for public places. Even churches have closed. A global sense of significant need and deep concern has invaded as COVID-19 has gone viral!
State of Panic
There doesn’t seem – yet – to be a desperation causing people to go crazy with panic. Perhaps there are some cases in desperate conditions around the globe. Yet, where you would have stood at the start of a store aisle and seen full shelves with lots of options a few weeks ago, the store shelves are now empty of every helpful resource. From dried rice, beans, pasta, bread, canned goods, and flour to milk, medicine, and healthcare products containing at least 60% alcohol. Bleach is hard to find. Rubbing alcohol is like gold!
People are wiping down groceries and mail before bringing them into their homes. There is a limited supply of medical protective gear and hospitals are rationing until supplies can be replenished. People are desperate to stay safe. Families who have first-responders and medical professionals, grocery or pharmacy personnel, various critical cafeterias and housekeeping employees are praying hard for those loved ones as they serve in higher risk jobs. Shut-downs affect jobs and incomes. COVID-19 has definitely brought things to a stop . . . like throwing an anchor out of a speeding boat. “Sober” seems to be the general climate.
State of Pause
If only it had been under different conditions, a pause is something our world has needed for a long time. Mandates of shutting things down because of the ravaging disease have filled many people’s days with time they are not used to. They can’t go anywhere. They are stuck in their house. Some feel awkward in these pauses that were once filled with frenzy, hustle, and bustle. Others are glad for a bit of a breather. Yet, most are aware – “it is not normal to have down time like this.” Perhaps that is our sad reality.
I’d like to suggest these mandated pauses, confinements, quarantines, and curfews can revive certain qualities often missing in our otherwise fast-paced world. A friend just wrote me about their hopes that families will somehow re-connect during this time. Individuals can re-discover things that were lost in their too busy life only weeks ago. People can sit down with a cup of tea, read a book, play games with kids home from school, write a friendly email or send a card. Of course, they are still very concerned. But in that moment – a pause – they have something to be cherished. Celebrated.
Perhaps this global pause, even amidst serious concern, suffering, and loss, can invite people to welcome elements missing in harried lives that had no down time before. Perhaps simple things can be treasured.
State of Presence and Prayer
What about those who are suffering in this pause? What about the family engulfed in overwhelming grief because of death from COVID-19? Mandated confinements eliminate physical presence to comfort (to “be” there) – outside of garbed medical professionals. But we still have options to provide “presence.” Devices and phones are instant connections. E-cards are lovely to receive. Snail mail is still running. Pleasant thoughts and memories of times with others are like a favorite re-run movie. Some neighborhoods step out their front door and wave to others on their street to connect at a set time. And we absolutely have prayer! How we should be praying for those who are suffering and those who have lost so deeply! These are practical strokes and easily done.
My prayer is that this forced global pause will prompt people to turn their hearts to God and remember His love. “Be still and know that He is God.” (Ps. 46:10) Pauses increase in value if people reflect on what matters forever – and embrace that. By turning to God, a person would find healing for a broken heart or peace in their normally loud loneliness. God wants to help.
God loves you and has a purpose for your life. Scripture says, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.” (Ps. 37:7) God also says, “If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chron. 7:14) God is all about healing, forgiving, and loving.
Pause to Ponder
Are you practicing being still? How are you connecting with God during this forced global pause? Where do you need healing? In your loneliness are you talking with God? Scripture says, “Come near to God and He will come near to you.” (Jas. 4:8) Humble yourself and pray. Seek God’s face! Does it not impress you that God welcomes you to look directly into His face by faith?
Perhaps people will be holistically healthier when things become more normal again – if they choose to increase the value of a pause. What practical things can you do today to increase the value of your pause?
Prayer Points for COVID-19
- I pray with all my heart that a cure and a vaccine will be found – quickly!
- Join me to pray for our very sick and our shattered grieving.
- Let’s pray for medical personnel and other first-responders who care for very sick people.
- Pray for families losing their income and companies trying to stay afloat.
- Pray for hospital buildings and housekeeping staffs. These are our new heroes.
If you have concerns about the coronavirus that is spreading around the world, here are some helpful websites with great information. And don’t forget to pray and draw close to God. Trust Him in this difficult time. Jesus loves you!
Intentional Living now has a Podcast Library we are continually adding new content to. And we’ve developed a Shareable Image Library you can use to encourage others in your life. I pray both these resources will give you additional tools to cope and live with great hope!
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