I have an inkling that this will be our answer to the question “Describe the year 2020 in one word” in years to come. Everyone is talking about it: every country, every news station, and every social media outlet and channel. With a virus demonstrating such a worldwide spread as never experienced previously, chaos, fear, disbelief, and panic are everywhere.
I’m not going to tell you what news sources to believe, which leaders are making the smartest decisions, or when all this is going to end and everyone can go back to life as we knew it. Honestly, I don’t think I’m qualified to talk about all those, and besides, I don’t know what the point of it would all be.
What I am going to tell you is my thoughts, observations, and reminders on how to live out our Christian lives during these times:
- Find Peace in God’s Sovereignty. If you only have one takeaway, let it be this: God is sovereign. This virus hasn’t caught God off-guard, just like nothing else throughout all of history and in your life. He knows what we are going through, and better yet, He has a purpose and plan for it. Take peace in that. Don’t let all the panic around you affect your resting in God’s plan. We can take heart and have peace in this time, despite any effects that may happen, because we know that God is bigger and greater and more powerful than everything that is going on in our world.
- Pray. If this virus has shown us anything, it’s how easily our world can be tossed upside-down. Nothing is constant but God. Though we must always be doing so, especially now we must be making our communion with God a priority so that we are better equipped to fight the lies, temptations, and loneliness so many of us are struggling against.
- Reach Out to Others. I’m horrible at this in the best of times, and with a sudden lack of most in-person interaction, it is so easy for me to go almost the entire day without community with anyone – and I’ve been okay with that. It’s made me realize how selfish I really am and how much I need other people in my life to help sanctify and encourage me. Likewise, when I am able to interact with others, I can bless, challenge, and encourage them. Make the point to reach out and call, text, email, or video call to your family and friends – we aren’t meant to live in isolation, and we don’t need to.
- Use Your Time Well. For many of us who are spending their weeks at home, we probably feel like we have more time than we know what to do with ourselves and so many of the things we usually keep busy with aren’t so necessary at the moment. It’s so easy right now to let these circumstances be our justification to binge watch multiple TV series, sleep half the day away, and spend days on end gaming, but don’t. Right now, so many of us have more available time than ever before to grow and learn and create new habits that can transform our lives for the better. We can read more books, write, memorize Scripture, learn to cook a dish, build our portfolios, learn a new language, get into an exercise routine, journal, call friends, focus on projects, and spend time with family. Consider this point in time an opportunity to learn and do all the things you always want to do but never have the time for.
At the end of it all, let’s choose not to let the pandemic control us, but to live out our lives trusting God, building our relationship with Him, encouraging others, and redeeming our time for good purposes. You and I can’t control these circumstances, but we can control how we respond and choose live out our lives during this time. Don’t let all this hardship be wasted – let it refine and purify you to be more like Christ.