“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.” Psalm 46:1-3
It is written that people often define their lives by some major event or experience. This is especially true for a life-shaping disaster. I know that you’ll agree that this is happening to us—and the rest of the world, with the onslaught of the coronavirus.
It seems almost impossible that this is happening, and certainly in my lifetime I’ve never seen anything like it. It reminds us of 9/11, and some of us have experienced other disasters. Yet, COVID-19 seems different in so many ways.
I was in a conference call today via an online application called Zoom with other COPA (Communities Organized for Relational Power in Action,) leaders led by our very own Mayra Bernabe, to talk about what is happening in our local institutions. We shared how people are panicking, hoarding food and supplies, and basically freaking out as they shelter in place. Now that all the schools are closed, parents are trying their best to maintain order in the home, and lack of childcare is an issue. Some who are financially secure feel like they will get by okay, but others, especially families in poverty with little financial reserves, face inescapable suffering ahead. Plus, we know the virus causes many deaths. We’re not at the end of this crisis.
Sheltering in place is absolutely the right thing for us to be doing now as we attempt to “flatten the curve,” and lessen the impact of the disease on the population. But I’ll be honest; it feels totally weird. Sure, some industries are exempt, and for good reason, including food production, emergency responders, hospitals, etc., but the rest of us must now physically and socially distant ourselves from everyone—six feet minimum!—unless it’s a close family member. And that’s hard.
Besides fear, we can feel lonely, isolated, and overwhelmed. When we listen to the news, we feel bombarded by conflicting reports and panic.
What’s a believer to do? We must turn to God. We must turn to God. As the Scripture says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” There aren’t many guarantees in life, but “what is guaranteed is that when we trust in God, God will be with us. God never meant for us to be alone, ever. God is with us in the worst and in the best of times. Even in death, God promises to meet us on the other side.”
I pray we reorder our priorities, take stock, and prepare to live as Christ taught us in this new world. Won’t you join me?