Written by Jolene DeHeer
Keeping a good healthy balance in life is difficult at the best of times. At this point in history, we are not living in the best of times. The coronavirus pandemic has created havoc around the world. It has given rise to fear and anxiety.
To keep safe, we are asked to social distance ourselves or self-isolate which exacerbates the anxiety of some and increases loneliness in others. Parents are without adequate childcare for children who no longer can go to school. Children are without the food they need. Many workers are laid off because of store and restaurant closings. Students won’t have graduations or be able to finish their school year sports, music, or special projects. If we just focus on these developments, we will become off balance and open the door for fear to take control.
But God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-discipline. He filled us with His love and gave us the power to share that love with others.
We do hear stories of sacrifice prompted by God’s love and grace.
Churches and individuals are stepping up to help provide food for those children who can’t get it. In my state, unemployment benefits are being extended. Churches and businesses are finding ways to communicate electronically that can help alleviate the feeling of isolation.
People are stepping up with compassion.
During these times of navigating uncharted waters, we need to work harder than ever to keep a good balance. A balance of wise self-care and compassionate care for the other. A balance of facing the reality and living in the assurance that God is still on the throne and ruling over this planet. A balance of wise concern and assuring faith and trust. This is an opportunity for those of us who call ourselves Christians to let the light of Christ shine brightly through us. We can be purveyors of grace and mercy to off-set the fear and anxiety.
Consider some of the ways we can help each other keep a good balance that will enable us all to weather this medical emergency together:
- Practice social distancing and self-isolation for your own protection, but also for those more vulnerable.
- Follow the guidelines of the CDC.
- Use your phone to call, text, and message those who are confined because of age or illness.
- Check up on neighbors and vulnerable church members.
- Offer to go to the grocery store or pharmacy for older members who cannot get out.
- Offer childcare to mothers who have no one to watch their children.
- Pray for those living in poverty to be protected and cared for.
- Instead of hugging others offer a word of encouragement.
- Use this time to draw closer to God…memorize Bible verses, spend extra time in prayer and meditation.
- Pray for medical professionals who put themselves in harms way to care for others.
- Pray for researchers who are working to find a cure.
- Pray for families for whom this is a real hardship.
- Use your church directory to pray for the families and members of your church family.
- Pray that this would be a time when people turn to God for salvation.
- Pray that God’s glory will be manifested in a mighty powerful way through this complicated situation.
- Ask God to give you other creative ideas in ways you can help balance the negatives situations with the positive love, mercy, and grace of God.
“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.” Psalm 91:4-6