Depending on how you count the months, we have been in pandemic mode between six to eight months. At first, we were focused on doing whatever was necessary to protect ourselves and family from the virus. So, we hunkered down, cut ourselves off from everyday interactions. We took protective measures, wore our masks, social distanced, searched for Lysol and spent time with those in our household. LOTS of TIME! Early on we treated the pandemic as a sprint – do these things and things will get back to normal soon. Intellectually we knew this thought was not true, but emotionally we hoped it was.
Well, there is no mistaking it now – living through a pandemic is not a sprint, nor is it a quick dash – but rather a really ULTRA - LONG haul marathon. A sports reporter once asked Usan Bolt (the Jamaican sprinter and fastest man in world) why he didn’t run the 400-meter race. His answer, “It hurts too much.” After these months, running through a pandemic – just hurts too much. During these months, we have experienced a myriad of emotions - the uncertainness, continual changes, worry, and constant decision making have left us weary, frustrated and fatigued. The pandemic has affected our entire life – physical, emotional and spiritual. We are tired, worn, disillusioned, and frazzled –ready to give up. Quit! It hurts too much to continue slogging through the emotional and spiritual struggles. Our minds tell us we should be through this by now! Things should be going back to more normal! But they are not. Oh my, they most certainly are not!
How do we deal with our disillusionment – where can we turn for help. The Psalmist says, “I lift my eyes unto to hills…my help comes from the Lord!” (Psalms 121:1-2) Indeed help comes from the word – turning to scripture can comfort and fortify. So, what does the Lord say, And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. (Romans 5:3 5)
Jesus says, hang in there. When your hope is fading, cling to the fact that your endurance is bearing fruit – you are growing character which is producing hope – and when you have hope - you can and will get through the situation. Continue doing the right things – physically take care of yourself (eat well, exercise, rest, wear your mask, social distance and of course wash those hands) emotionally (reach out, connect to others, ask for help from someone you trust) and spiritually (read scripture, pray, attend worship, share with fellow believers).
I know it is not the same – but some of our abnormal is becoming more normal and comfortable. This past Sunday, when speaking about drive-in church, one person told me, “That felt like church!” And so, it goes – perseverance is producing hope and hope never disappoints!
Debbie & Roger