This is certainly an extraordinary time in our history, with the world’s focus on a virus that was virtually unheard of only a few months ago. By now you have most likely heard the recommendations from the Center for Disease Control such as social distancing, going out only for necessities, and washing your hands for at least twenty seconds. These recommendations have been proven to slow the spread of the disease and with personal responsibility, we will see the numbers of cases decrease.
Until we see the number of cases dramatically decrease, this is our time to support each other as a community with selfless consideration for others. We can trust that these guidelines are being provided by healthcare professionals aand government leadership who are working around the clock for our protection. And every generation has a role in this effort, as we now know that carriers of the virus may not experience symptoms and younger people are testing positive. While it’s difficult to put our daily activities on hold, we can do so knowing our altruism could ultimately save someone’s life.
I ask that you enact these precautions but please remain calm as anxiety can only make a trying situation even more difficult. We can be grateful for warm weather and take daily walks, confident that sunshine and exercise will be good for our bodies as well as our emotional well- being. And most importantly, we can be patient – with our leadership as they make hard decisions in an evolving situation, with each other as we spend more time indoors and in unusual circumstances, and with ourselves as we transition too many unknowns for an unknown period of time.
As a person of faith, I know that one of the most prevalent phrases in the Bible is “fear not”, most often used when the Divine communicates with humans. When the uncertainties and perils of this moment weigh heavily on my mind, I am encouraged and inspired to know God instructs me to “fear not” but rather to pray. An oft quoted and sometimes almost frivolously used scripture, 2 Chronicles 7:14, speaks volumes to my spirit at this moment as God instructs: “If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven and I will forgive their sins and heal their land”. As I pray and as millions of my faith brothers and sisters pray, we find that God is faithful to his word and his promises. I see blessing and His hand moving in many ways: the unbelievable energy and ingenuity of free people solving problems and finding ways to serve others, the vast scientific and medical knowledge accumulated throughout history now being drawn on to unlock the mysteries of this coronavirus, elected leaders providing facts and inspiration to unite us, and the sacrifices of millions as we deny ourselves to protect others. When we identify with God, we are humbled because we see that we are not self-sufficient, and especially in times like these, we call on his name and pray. We are confronted with our shortcomings-even to the acknowledgment that we fail to call on him until we are desperate and find we have no other place to turn. For the first time in my life, I think I truly grasp the reality of needing God to “heal our land”.
Please join me in praying for “our land” and seeking God’s face. Numbers 6:24-26 explains how important it is to seek and find God’s face: “The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord cause his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you, The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace”. United in spirit, love, and determination, we will prevail and conquer this invisible enemy.