The Pandemic of 2020, where we were all told to stay home, or people would die. Where we all rushed to the grocery stores to stock up on rice, beans, and toilet paper. Where many of us lost our jobs overnight, and we all sat back in shock as we watched stock markets plummet. Where schools were canceled for the rest of the year and millions of families started homeschooling overnight. Where daily White House briefings became a normal thing.
The Pandemic of 2020, where it took Americans about a month to realize that the experts didn’t really know what they were talking about. Where we realized that we were no longer free to choose what was best for ourselves or our families. Where churches were taken to court for opening their doors, and neighbors were asked to snitch on each other.
Today is May 4, 2020, two-and-a-half months after the pandemic began, and I can’t find cleaning supplies or toilet paper in the grocery store. Meat is being rationed, and many of the shelves in the grocery store still look bare. I feel like I have to sneak out of my house if I want to go somewhere, and everywhere I look, people are wearing face masks and gloves. Oh, and we are all still being told to stay in our houses.
In this world gone crazy, one has to take a step back and ask what could possibly be the good in all of this? Is there a silver lining amid the uncertainty we now call our new normal? What lessons have we learned from the Pandemic of 2020?
What the Pandemic of 2020 Taught Me:
- WORRY IS POINTLESS – In the weeks leading up to the Pandemic, I had been agonizing and worrying over things that just seemed impossible to me. What would my summer hours be at my new job? What would I do with my younger boys while I was at work? Would I still be able to work in the ministries I volunteered for every summer? How would we afford the new car payment AND our daughters graduation party? What about our family vacation and the kids summer camps? I was losing sleep over these bothersome worries. What I didn’t know at the time was those worries that I was sweating over and pouring out to God in my prayers would soon become invalid worries. But God knew that all along. He knew that I would get laid off from my job, and that the entire world would close down, postponing indefinitely any plans I had made. He also knew that in light of this virus we were facing, I would just be grateful to have my family around me! The Pandemic of 2020 taught me that worry is pointless – just trust God!
- IT’S OK TO SLOW DOWN – Getting up early and rushing to work, then rushing back home to clean the house and get dinner prepped before rushing out the door again to pick up groceries and stop at the post office before getting the kids from school. Then there was the rush to get the kids to their doctor and orthodontist appointments, before rushing back home to finish homework and scarf down dinner, only so we could rush out the door again! There was always a basketball, soccer, violin, and drama practice. Then there were the special programs, recitals, and church activities to rush to after the practices! All of that rushing made the days pass too quickly. Our schedules were filled to overflowing and we longed for a day, just ONE day, to slow down! Then, suddenly, overnight, we all had time. We slept in, we sipped our coffee, and we were secretly relieved that life was canceled. Husbands and wives talked and loved more, kids played and laughed more, and there was peace and quiet, and no rushing. What did I learn from the Pandemic of 2020? I learned that it’s OK to slow down!
- CONTENTMENT IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER – Before the Pandemic of 2020 I found a lot to be discontent about. I wanted new flooring in my living room and the bathroom to be remodeled, and while I was at it, why not a new house? I was bummed that this summer we would be camping in our tent and NOT a rented camper. I was discontent with the scramble of our schedules, my kid’s attitudes, and could someone PLEASE get me a new wardrobe?!? Want to know something funny about world-wide pandemics? When you learn that the whole world has hit the pause button, you suddenly become grateful for what you already have. Your heart sighs with contentment as you gaze over your chipped coffee mug at the sight of your entire family sitting safe and sound in your less-than house. The Pandemic of 2020 made me see the value of what I had in front of me, instead of what I couldn’t have!
- ONLY GOD KNOWS – In the early days of the pandemic, Dr. Fauci and Dr. Brix quickly became household names as the nation tuned in for the daily Covid-19 briefings. We hung on every word as we learned more about the coronavirus and what it’s effects would be to our livelihoods. Over time, we began to notice discrepancies in what we were being told. One day we were told to get enough food to last a couple weeks so we could stay at home, and the next week we were reprimanded for “hoarding” toilet paper and cleaners. We were told not to wear masks unless we were on the “front lines”, and weeks later our governors passed laws requiring us to wear masks. We were told millions would die from the virus, only to recently learn that the “modules were off”. It’s slowly become clear that even the experts don’t really know what’s going on. But I know One who knows all, sees all, and is all! Even the most talented experts on earth are going to make mistakes, because they are human. We shouldn’t be putting our trust in anything that man has to say, but putting all our trust in God’s Word!
I’ve learned a few other things during the Pandemic of 2020. I’ve learned how to make whipped coffee and my own cleaning sprays. I learned that I feel better about myself when I wake up at the same time every day, and that includes showering and getting dressed, too. I’ve learned the importance of keeping in touch with friends and family, and that I am more of a “people” person than I realized. Most importantly, I’ve learned that if you put all your trust in God’s Word, everything else will fall in place.