Unexpected change in the form of a pandemic has the world reeling. Constant news updates, newspapers filled with information, and social media posts leading to panic buying and hoarding are the new normal.
Most of us don’t deal with change easily. We’re used to staying in our comfort zones and believing we’re in control. We’re not. God is.
“I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed”—Malachi 3:6 (NIV).
Those who haven’t trusted God for His protection and provision may find themselves even more uncertain during this rapid change. Trusting God’s Holy Word brings peace to those who take the time to read and meditate on scripture. Matthew 6:31-32 tells us, “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs” (NLT).
Knowing All of Our Needs
I confess to purchasing more than I usually would since the panic began. Although I limited myself when purchasing toilet paper, my pantry, refrigerator, and freezer are overflowing. Avoiding crowds is necessary because I have asthma. Others have similar health issues keeping them out of public places.
Yes, I trust my Heavenly Father to provide for my needs. He has. I’m blessed to have the money to stock up. Others are not so fortunate.
Have we let our belief that we are living in one of the richest nations in the world blind us to the fact we are not invincible? Empty supermarket shelves and fights over, of all things, toilet paper, should be a wake-up call.
Forever Changed by a Wake-up Call
An author friend, Ace Andrew Collins posted this on his Facebook page. “We mighty Americans, filled with so much ego and pride, have found ourselves held hostage by something we can’t see. And it’s more than just frightening, it is also deeply humbling.
“In an instant we have moved from trying to figure out what SUV to buy or where we’ll go on our next grand vacation to fighting each other for toilet paper. Today that pretty much defines the fragility of life and security in the richest nation on the planet. Yes, most of us will survive and move forward, but I believe that we will be forever changed. I hope that means we will more readily recognize and embrace the blessings we have and look for ways to share them with others, but I fear we will drift into isolation and fear.”
While we’ve been asked to self-isolate during this crisis, I pray my friend is wrong—at least about the last part of his statement. I’ve seen people helping others during this uncertain time. Medical and emergency personnel come to mind. They’ve stepped forward, endangering their own health to do what is right for the greater good.
For the Greater Good
Scripture is a wonderful reminder right now. Matthew 7:12 tells us “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”
Friends have asked if there is anything I need. In turn, I’ve checked on my elderly neighbors almost daily to see how they are doing. In Matthew 22:37-40, Jesus is challenged by one of the Pharisees, who asks, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replies: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Loving Others: One of the Best Lessons
In an opinion piece posted on foreignpolicy.com, the author writes: “For Christians, it is better that we should die serving our neighbor than surrounded in a pile of masks we never got a chance to use. And if we care for each other, if we share masks and hand soap and canned foods, if we ‘are our brother’s keeper,’ we might actually reduce the death toll, too.”
English Christian minister Isaac Watts once said, “In matters of equity between man and man, our Savior has taught us to put my neighbor in place of myself, and myself in place of my neighbor.”
Will we learn valuable lessons from this crisis? Will it change our hearts? My hope is that we will look at our fellow human beings, regardless of ethnicity, religion, race, gender and appearance, and see them through God’s eyes. Maybe it will lead us to question who we really are and what we value. In the end, maybe it will help us recapture the best part of ourselves, the person we were created to be in God’s image.
After a 30-year teaching career, Carol Round found redirection as a Christian columnist, author and inspirational speaker. She is the author of nine books, all available at Amazon.com. (See her website at www.carolaround.com for more information.) When she isn’t writing, she can be found spending time with her seven grandchildren, working in her yard, volunteering, shooting photos, hiking, going on mission trips and playing with her spoiled rotten dog, Harley.