Maybe you felt it today as if you moved on a planet tilted abnormally on its axis. As if the sun was eclipsed and light seemed less hopeful. As if you were living a day on the set of The Twilight Zone and listening hard enough could reveal a strange, instrumental melody in support of such.
Many people did feel that way.
Maybe today when you looked at the empty grocery store shelves and long lines, when you heard the the announcement of the cancellation of college classes and sporting events and church services across the world, you couldn't help but be alarmed. Maybe your heart felt tight as you thought of the people you love and how you can't protect them all and maybe you fought feelings of apprehension about where all of this is headed.
Many people did feel that way.
And maybe you didn't know what to think, yet as you sorted out how to process it all, the overwhelming feeling of powerlessness prevailed. And the newness of a tragedy affecting the entire human race at once seemed eerie, prophetic even but was it all really as big a deal as the media was making out to be?
Or maybe you don't care. Maybe you think all of this is ridiculous, that everyone is overreacting, and you just wish we would all get over ourselves.
Maybe you are one of those who are rolling your eyes and shaking your head and wondering what all of the exaggerated fuss is about. Maybe you are even laughing about it, especially with all the hilarious memes out depicting walls of toilet paper on dispensers or people with maxi pads as masks. Some of them are pretty funny!
But maybe, just maybe, you are are fearful. Overwhelmingly so.
And it's okay. The majority of us are. Panic seems to be ruling the day.
Fear changes everything. It causes us to operate from a place of panicked reaction. It chokes trust and stifles hope. It embraces the worst.
It may be to varying degrees, but it's there, looming out there on the horizon, up close and big in our collective face. It moves back and forth in seasons; it consumes and spreads on approach.
It demands attention.
The latest Coronavirus has demanded fear rise to a new level--one we've never experienced before. Because never before has a pandemic occurred with such awareness, on such a global scale. Every continent except Antartica is now effected.
The virus has been found to live 3 to 4 hours in the air, 3 to 4 days on surfaces.
We should talk about this.
Oh, I know, there are some that are done talking about it. It's way too upsetting. It's no big deal.
But maybe we should.
Navigating the wealth of information regarding the Coronavirus, or presupposing what may develop in the next few days, weeks, or months, is not what I am referring to here. There are plenty of knowledgable people getting the word straight on other sites.
Here, I want to suggest we talk about it, how best to respond to it. We should talk about trust in God. He can handle our fears and burdens. He can replace our panic with peace.
But maybe you are one that doesn't want to hear that. I hope not.
Because God is really the only One we can turn to right now. He is the only one who has the power to change all this and to work good into the equation.
If we choose to follow him and to believe what he says, we know we can count on goodness to follow bad. The apostle Paul says in Romans 8:28: "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."
So the first question we should be asking ourselves is this: Are we called according to God's purpose? Are we following his plan, no matter how it looks? God doesn't want viruses, or anything, to harm us. He desire isn't to hurt us. But do we trust him to make good out of the bad? Do we believe he can bring joy out of sadness and peace from panic? Are we committed to his purpose in all circumstances?
It's hard to be sometimes. Actually, it's hard to be in all such times.
We can do our part. We can pray, trust, help and be wise. We can't ignore the facts or shrug them off. We can't act as if we aren't affected by what is happening around the world. We can't not have compassion for those who are suffering and for those who are scared, which is to say, we can't not act, bury our heads in the sand, pretend this isn't happening and plan our trips to Disneyland.
Wait a minute, we can't even do that anymore. Disneyland is closed.
Starbucks isn't though. Yet.
We must keep our heads about us in cooperation, following the recommendations of our President, the CDC, and health care professionals. We must stay at home when we are asked to do so. We must support those agencies who are taking drastic measures to stop the spread of the virus. We must not scoff.
And must not panic.
And we must help others when we can. Call someone with a kind word. Smile if you have to be out. Take someone a meal. On second thought, take them toilet paper.
WASH YOUR HANDS.
While trusting God all the while to make this right.
And talk about it. It would appear most of us now have the time to read, write, and speak a little good while we are waiting for more of it. Let's make the most good out of our wait.
"You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you." Isaiah 26:3