These are certainly unsettling times. I have never seen anything like the coronavirus or the mass panic buying.
We all have a number of concerns—the spread of the virus, health and safety of ourselves and our loved ones, availability of supplies, the economic impact of closed or reduced businesses, and so much more. I’ve cycled through feeling mildly ill-at-ease to full-blown panic to peace and back again. Perhaps you have, too.
As with any other crisis, we remind ourselves of what we know to be true. This situation has not taken God by surprise. He knows our needs. He cares even about a sparrow falling. All our worrying can’t add an hour to our lives and will only make us miserable. If God allows us to suffer in some way, He will provide the grace to deal with it.
As I calm and quiet my soul, I have found plenty to be thankful for.
- The speed of communication. The Spanish flu, the “Black Death,” and other epidemics spread quickly far and wide before anyone could get on top of them. Even though the current virus spread through our global traveling, global communication got the word out quickly. Every day we can get new information and recommendations almost immediately.
- Medical technology. We live in unprecedented days for medical research, testing, sharing knowledge and equipment.
- High levels of sanitation. We’ve come a long way since the plagues of yesteryear in our basic knowledge and practice.
- Easy ways to sanitize. Though supplies are short right now, most of us already had hand sanitizer, wipes, etc. on hand.
- Many ways to keep in touch. Social distancing is hard on several levels. But we have phones, texting, FaceTime, social media, and other ways to keep in touch with and check on each other. Churches and other groups have found a way to “virtually” meet. Even though all these are not quite the same as being together, they are far better than nothing.
- A number of ways to keep busy and entertain ourselves at home. Books, home projects, games, program streaming—we’ve never had more access to more means of entertainment than we do now.
- Time. I’ve seen friends on social media mention time to slow down, to just hang out with their kids.
- Humor. Even though the virus is serious, a bit of humor diffuses tension. I don’t know if I ever enjoyed America’s Funniest Home Videos more than I did this week. Clever memes and comments on Facebook and Twitter about the realities of a socially distanced life bring a smile.
- Courageous and generous people. We’ve been frustrated by those who hoard needed goods and then try to profit by selling them or by price gouging. But many other people are going the extra mile, like health care workers. I read of authors helping other authors whose book launch events were canceled. I’ve heard individual stories of ways someone showed a bit of kindness here or there in stores or other places.
- The ability to work and take classes at home. No, not everyone can work from home. But everyone who can helps “flatten the curve” that much more and helps all the rest of us. Online teaching ensures that the academic year isn’t lost.
- Better economy and stewardship. I’ve had a tendency to use some supplies as if they will always be available. Putting more thought and care into how I use things will hopefully carry over when life gets back to “normal.”
All of us face degrees of disappointment in our current situation. Long anticipated commencement services, trips, conferences, and outings have all been cancelled. But comparing what could have been, what has been in past epidemics, to what’s going on now will give us a better perspective.
And some of the systems I mentioned still have room for improvement. But better minds than mine are working on those issues, and we need to give grace that most are doing the best they can in unprecedented circumstances.
Much is out of our control. But we can trust God and take measures to help, to foster safety, and to love our brethren.
Have you found anything to be thankful for during the current crisis?
(I don’t mean to minimize the pain some are going through from illness, loss of someone they loved, or dire need. My heart goes out to those folks. Certainly we need to reach out and support them. But in one sense, that’s all the more reason to be thankful for the steps that are being taken so that as few people as possible will experience this virus.)
(Sharing with Grace and Truth, Inspire Me Monday, Global Blogging, Senior Salon,
Hearth and Home, Purposeful Faith, Happy Now, InstaEncouragement,
Worth Beyond Rubies, Let’s Have Coffee, Heart Encouragement.
Links do not imply 100% agreement.)