Washing Away Fear
There is a lot of fear floating around these days, seeping into the bones of Americans, creating unrest and panic in some, leaving most of us confused and wondering what to believe and who to trust.
The Coronavirus pandemic and the surrounding media-driven frenzy is something that most of us likely never thought would happen in our lifetimes. We are living in strange times - times that will likely be written of in history books. The craziness of our lives will be recounted to our grandchildren when we are old. We are trying to wrap our brains around ominous, frightening things like death rates, invisible viruses that are "out to get us", and governments calling the shots (likely outside of their Constitutional authority, but that's a conversation for another day).
We are hearing of nursing homes, with their dear old people, being infected and their residents dying. We are watching as police powers board up private businesses. Some retailers (not the ones who sell toilet paper!) are waiting for customers to come in as painfully as it would be to watch paint dry. Many of those have taken a long, hard look at their numbers and have determined that it's better to close their doors for the time being because every day they're open with no sales is another couple hundred or thousand dollars in the hole.
Women who are nearing time to deliver their babies are making decisions they never thought they would. They're calling their care providers and asking what the risk would be to have their babies at home, even without an attendant. Or their birth plans involve calling an ambulance when labor pains are close together so there is at least some medical professional by their side. As someone who is nearing the final weeks of my own pregnancy (and who has had an unassisted home birth - by accident!), these stories are the ones that get to me the most.
These are strange and difficult times indeed.
Every one of us has a choice to make. We can choose to fixate on every new media report of a new case in our state or community. We can wear our fingernails to the bone with worry over how we will make the next mortgage payment or keep our business open or hold onto our dear employees or any other number of things. Or we can decide that we won't let this spirit of fear creep into our hearts and into our homes. We can choose to make lemonade from the lemons we've been given. We can use inconvenient stay at home policies to allow us time to love on our spouse and kids more. We can pull out the board games that have been abandoned for too long. We can dream for a future that will be here before we know it. We can organize closets and paint laundry rooms and build snow forts with the kids.
And yes, we can binge watch our favorite shows and give ourselves grace when our kids have had too much screen time for one day.
Because, like I said earlier, these are strange times indeed.
The most important thing we can do though is focus our minds on the positive things in life and choose to not be overwhelmed with fear. I don't say this lightly or easily - I admit that there have been moments in the last few days when I have felt like I didn't know how life would go on or how we'd ever get back to normal. There have been those times of number crunching that turned into tears and difficult conversations with employees as we cut back on hours.
When we really get to the bottom of all this, there's nothing really new or groundbreaking in terms of handling the outbreak. Wash your hands, don't go out if you're sick, buy only what you need, be a good citizen. Those are all things that should be part of our society anyway. From my point of view, if we all did these things on a regular basis, we wouldn't have such panic and fear spreading through our communities and nation as we try to follow the guidelines being handed down from the experts.
So yes, wash your hands (use a great soap - you know, like one of ours!) and say your prayers because Jesus and germs are everywhere! As you wash your hands, remember that we really have never been in control anyway. There is nothing new under the sun, and this virus doesn't surprise the One who does have control. Let's trust in Him and let the knowledge of His goodness wash away our fear.
"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." 1 Timothy 1:7
From my Gladheart to Yours,