The challenge in the midst of uncertainty
Facemasks. Hand washing. At risk. Social distancing. Travel bans. Toilet paper. Church canceled.
Strange times. I eye the baby carrots and hummus sitting on my desk. Tempting. But I should probably go and wash my hands before I even touch the bag. Last I heard, there were only 18 cases reported in the state, and none yet here in my town, but one can’t be too careful. I glance up with concern as my coworker sneezes into his elbow, gives a sniffle, and keeps typing. One definitely can’t be too careful.
That seems to be the mentality these days. Hands are washed extra long and extra times. Toilet paper and hand sanitizer are stocked in homes to be available for months, maybe even years to come. Friends and neighbors joke about greetings that maintain the 6’ distance requirement. Caution is lathered into every personal interaction. The air is filled with uncertainty. What social restrictions will the government place on us next? How will this affect our economy? When will our church be able to meet again? Will one of my friends or loved ones get the virus? Will I get it? Will I survive...?
In the middle of all the outside chaos and subtle underlying inner feeling of unsettledness, I’ve noticed two things about myself. The sense of uncertainty has cast a light on where my hope has been placed. “If I get the virus, I’ll be fine! I’m young and healthy, no need to overreact!” But, again, one can’t be too careful. So as I drove over to my local grocery store and found myself in the medicine aisle, I was horrified to find myself reaching for JUST ONE MORE bottle of cough medicine. Why?! It’s not like I was going to be having it with my cereal in the mornings. But it was because it, (along with my health and youth) could save me. Maybe one more bottle of it could make a difference! ...but what about the Lord? What credit was I giving Him...really?
My second observation had to do with the surplus of time that rather quickly dropped into my lap. Church and all church activities have been canceled until further notice. That combined with people’s varying levels of social distancing suddenly had my weekly schedule become wide open...and I had plans! All kinds of plans for all kinds of things! Reading books, watching shows and movies, cleaning, cooking that recipe I’ve wanted to try, catching up with friends… but what about the Lord? Sure, I had planned for some extra time to read my Bible, but how much extra time was I giving Him...really?
Turns out a worldwide pandemic can really tell you a lot about yourself.
Turns out a worldwide pandemic can really tell you a lot about yourself. Your priorities, your concerns, and where you’re really putting your hope. Do I really trust Him with my health, my life, and the health and lives of my family and friends? More than my youth, my low risk level, how much I’ve stockpiled, or how many doorknobs I’ve disinfected? Do I know Him well enough to trust Him with all of these concerns and worries that flash across my mind so often during the day? Do I look forward with such anticipation to the increased opportunities I’ll have for sweet, quiet fellowship with Him? Will I still use the same excuses about not having enough time or being too busy, that always seem to be so handy when I think about how little I’ve prayed or read God’s Word?
My dear Church family, what opportunities we have during these times! To love that neighbor and ask if they need any toilet paper or food. To analyze and diagnose our reactions to each new ban and news report. To see what activities we’ll really put our extra, unearned hours into throughout the day. Evaluate yourselves. Your thoughts, your motives, your actions. Let that rubber meet that road when you say “trusting Him whate'er befall, trusting Jesus that is all.” Get into the Word. Study. Pray. Meditate. Commune with that Man of Calvary who has won your heart. A worldwide pandemic can really teach us a lot, if we decide to make the most of it.
Anna Bryan previously was a speech therapist in the Baltimore area, but felt called to be a part of Emmaus Worldwide. She has a passion for discipleship and helping people know how to use our resources in their own ministry. She currently serves at Emmaus Worldwide as a Customer Care Representative and loves to connect with customers and ministry partners.