Looking for a Lifeline Amid this Pandemic-Induced Uncertainty
We are all struggling with so.many.unknowns. Are you in need of a lifeline too? Here's some solid ground to stand on as you make decisions about how to move forward with confidence.
This year. Man, it is NOT what we expected, is it?
We had hoped that once we self-quarantined, once we let go of expectations of high school graduations, regular school schedules, and even our normal work days, we could open back up and get back to "normal" and this year could move forward as planned.
Only there is no more normal, is there?
Not only that, we are daily, even hourly, bombarded with death, chaos, struggle, anger, division and hatred. For months now we have had to search long and hard for any benefit from this experience and the toll it is taking on is us ever growing heavier. We are now faced with more worries and unknowns than we ever imagined:
Will colleges open this fall?
Will the cost be worth the experience?
Will football get to have a season?
Is it worth the potential costs of life to have any sports at all?
What on earth will primary, elementary, and secondary education look like?
Will there be enough teachers?
Will our students actually learn?
Will there be true equality in our nation or an ever-broadening division?
Will families survive a continued shut down?
Will small businesses be able to continue serving their communities?
Will our healthcare system survive or will it crumble beneath the weight of the failing health of a nation?
Will we have total anarchy or will Democracy somehow survive?
Every aspect of our culture is under fire due to a microscopic virus and nothing it seems will ever be the same.
It's enough to send even the most optimistic among us diving for the covers with a whispered "wake me when this is all over."
I don't know about you, but I could use a little encouragement right about now. I could use a reset for my soul to free it of the muck of fear, worry and anxiety that has built up in my heart over the past months.
How about you?
Are you facing like I am, so many decisions that need to be made based on unknowns that it's overwhelming? Are your fears compounding on each other, the anxieties mounting and the worries multiplying so that you too cannot seem to catch your breath?
Let's redirect that tidal wave, shall we?
First, we get up each day don't we?
We choose to take that first step out of bed to face whatever comes our way.
We decide to engage, to fight for what we believe in, to pursue greatness in whatever way it's needed:
We choose to be the best parents we can be
We choose to show up to work or continue the search
We choose to try and make the decisions we face in the best way we know how
We choose to try to love those around us with whatever strength we have left
We choose to live. And that makes all the difference.
Second, we may not know a lot right now that we used to take for granted, but we are resilient. We have faced tough times before and overcome those.
The truth is that this is no different. It feels different, but it isn't.
The challenges may seem bigger,
The unknowns greater,
The decisions more overwhelming,
The truth is we will make it through this. How do I know this? How can I be so sure?
Fact: Throughout the history of the world humankind has faced untold tragedy and survived.
Fact: Humankind has faced plagues and survived.
Fact: Humankind has faced wars and survived.
Fact: Humankind has faced riots, government breakdowns, corruption, and propaganda and survived.
Fact: Humankind has faced inequalities and injustices and survived.
We will survive this. How we do so is up to us.
We have a choice to make each and every morning we get to open our eyes.
Where will we place our trust?
Will we trust what used to be and so get ourselves stuck in longing for a past that is no longer available to us? Will we trust our anger and resentment and so get ourselves stuck in bitterness and unforgiveness?
Will we trust only our own experiences and so get ourselves stuck in isolation from the rest of the human race we belong to?
Or will we trust something bigger, something richer, something more powerful than all of that?
If you, like me, are looking for some solid ground to stand on, some firm foundation from which to base your actions and decisions each day, consider this:
The God who created our entire universe is still creating daily blessings for us.
The God who formed us in our mother's wombs knows exactly where we are and the circumstances of our lives and will not leave us to fend for ourselves.
The God who raised Jesus from the dead, where He went in order to cleanse us of every sin we ever did or would commit so we could have a relationship with God, uses that same power to raise us from our own graves of fear, bitterness, anguish, addiction, hatred and any other thing that keeps us from living in freedom.
The God who allowed the chaos of this year has a plan for its ultimate end that does not call for the end of the human race.
I have no idea what each of us will do now with this information. But I do have the ability to hope.
To hope that you and I will let these words seep into our souls to soothe us as we go about making the decisions we face.
To hope that you and I will receive the peace of these words so that our actions are clothed in it instead of the anxiousness we feel.
To hope that you and I will choose to believe the love in these words and allow them to guide us in our treatment of those around us instead of being ruled by anger and hatred.
To hope that you and I will be transformed by these words so that we in turn affect transformation in others.
To hope that you and I will choose to believe that today will be better than yesterday, but not as good as tomorrow.
To hope that you and I will choose to trust in something bigger than ourselves to rescue us from our fears, our worries, our hopelessness and our anxieties.
May these words serve to solidify the foundation we each are standing on until it is so firm we cannot help but be encouraged to take our next step forward.
Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are. In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. 1 Peter 5:8-10