It seems there are three different kinds of thinking regarding all the reality and uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. One group is annoyed and angry, thinking the whole thing is a joke or maybe even a hyped-up issue for political jockeying. A second group seems to be in outright panic mode; emptying stores of toilet paper and Lysol, stocking up in fear of an apocalypse. Then somewhere in the middle are those who are trying to be logical, respectful, and sensible. They realize the need for proactive measures but have no real fear. They are able to respect protocols with understanding while continuing on with as much normalcy as possible.
My prayer is you are closer to the third group than either of the other extremes. I believe faith, in uncertain times like these, can be helpful. But what is faith, anyway? And what does it have to do with our current COVID-19 world?
The Bible tells us faith is having confidence in things that give us hope and a conviction of assurance in what we can’t see.
In other words, to exhibit faith in something (and that “something” is the object of what we are placing our faith in), means to have a firm, resolute confidence with a complete belief and conviction of a reality, even though we can’t objectively see it.
I hope, as your chaplain, you can experience faith in God at this time. He is the one who knows all and loves all. May he truly be the object of your faith. But how do we put this faith into action? Or, back to my earlier question: “What does it have to do with COVID-19 and me?” Maybe we can answer this question by responding, in faith, to a few possible questions.
- How do I deal with all the unknowns? The truth is, we already deal with a myriad of unknowns in our world, but we trust the world will still turn. For example, change will always happen, weather is unpredictable, even with our brilliant meteorologists. The future is, of course, out of our control as well. But in all these things, we continue on.
You can trust even in the uncertainty and frustrations of what this coronavirus means for the coming days God does know, and things will indeed continue on.
- How do I handle being anxious or afraid due to all the news? We can trust ourselves AND our circumstances to a God who truly cares for us. The Bible reminds us how much nature itself is taken care of: even the sparrows are not without his loving compassion, and how much more valuable you are than many sparrows? We can rest in the “shadow of his wings.”
- But everything is chaotic. What am I supposed to think? I have a favorite saying my wife hung as décor in our home. It says, “When you can’t see God’s hands, trust his heart.” If you believe God is loving, caring, and will ultimately make all things right, then even in the midst of chaos and difficulty, when it seems like God is not acting, we trust he is because of what we know.
So, may I share this simple encouragement to pray, hope, and not worry. Someone once said, “Sometimes you have to stop worrying, wondering, and doubting. Have faith that things will work out, maybe not how you planned but just how it’s meant to be.”