Billions of people across the globe have been affected in some way by the COVID-19 pandemic. Countless doctors, nurses, and grocery store workers are working extended hours, putting themselves at risk. Thousands of families have members with the virus. Some are mourning the loss of life. For some of us, the only effects we can see are messed up plans and empty grocery store shelves.
If you’re like me, your carefully planned year just got knocked off the tracks. This time is hard for everyone. I know you’ve probably heard plenty of advice on how to handle the pandemic these past few weeks, but I would like to offer you some encouragement.
It’s okay to be disappointed.
I know lot of you are struggling with disappointment. Some of you were going to graduate. Had I not been homeschooled and graduated last year, this would be my senior year. I can’t imagine the chaos this has caused for all of you.
Several of you were preparing for plays, dances, concerts, or recitals. Suddenly, all those hours of preparation are worthless.
Some of us had exciting vacation plans and tickets to conferences. Now, we’re canceling reservations and asking for refunds.
Our hopes for this year are like balloons on strings. The wind pulled them away and we can’t get them back.
Sometimes, I think we get the feeling that it’s a sin to be disappointed. I don’t think it is; as long as we don’t allow ourselves to wallow in self-pity, it’s okay to cry over the missed activities.
At the same time, remember not to complain.
While it’s okay to be disappointed, don’t allow yourself to complain. Yes, your siblings might be hogging the internet or driving you up the wall, but their lives have also been messed up.
Show your family grace and support. Step up and help your parents around the house. That might look like doing the laundry or cleaning the bathroom. Maybe the best thing you could do is watch Frozen II with your siblings for the fifth time in the past two weeks.
Your parents are also dealing with new struggles. They may be trying to figure out how to work from home or how to get enough money to go to the grocery store. They need your support more than ever.
Be an example of Christ’s love in this difficult time and remember what Paul says in Philippians: “Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.” (2:14-15)
Use this time to draw closer to God.
With all our plans canceled, we can use this time to grow in our faith without distractions. Even if your life remains as busy (or busier) than usual, take the time to focus on God and not on the worries of the pandemic.
Make prayer a priority. Every time you feel anxious, pray about it. No fear is too small to pray about. God cares for you (1 Peter 5:7)!
Bury yourself in Scripture. Pick a book to read through or even memorize. Refresh your soul in the Word. It does more good than any remedy the world can offer for our worries and stresses.
God’s got this!
God is in complete control over the COVID-19 pandemic. There’s no need to panic.
One of my favorite quotes is from Corrie ten Boom: “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
Isn’t that such an encouraging thought? We don’t know what will be happening tomorrow, much less a week from now, but we know Who God is. We know He is faithful, righteous, just, holy, perfect, everlasting, almighty, and our Redeemer.
Trust in God, my friends, and find your rest in Him, even when the world is upside down.