COVID-19 Finding Hope in the Midst of the Coronavirus Chaos
As I write this post the world is in turmoil. The COVID-19 virus has reached almost the entire earth. By the time this menacing virus is finished making it’s rounds, very few lives will remain untouched.
With all the people falling ill, facing a lack of medical treatment and/or income, along with seclusion and social distancing, people are afraid, alone, and hurting. Hope certainly seems hard to find.
Today, as I sit here on the front driveway with my daughters and husband (something we have NEVER done), I see this moment as a gift, a gift I almost didn’t live to see.
I find it interesting that this month marks the ten year anniversary from when cancer almost took my life. That year of 2010 was filled with sitting and waiting. Seclusion and sidelining. Praying for the war waging in my body to end. Everything seemed outside my control. How similar the world’s situation feels today.
Two years ago, we experienced another time of sidelining and seclusion when my oldest had a complete auto-immune meltdown. She went from an active sophomore in high school to being unable to get off the floor and having to stay home all the time. Her health issues are her story, so I have chosen not to post about many of our experiences, but in these troubled times and what seems for many to be a hopeless situation, I wanted to share something I learned in both these crises with the hope of encouraging you.
I learned that tomorrow, today will be yesterday.
So simple, but so powerful. Today is just that: today. It is one day. It will end. Tomorrow will bring something different. When I woke up from one of the surgeries I endured during my cancer battle, I was in pretty bad shape. I couldn’t raise my own arms to give myself a drink of water. As I contemplated the long, frightening road of recovery ahead of me, my fears tried to drown me.
My surgeon had left me with some huge wounds (which would also bring HUGE bills). I didn’t know how I would get through it physically or how we would get through the crisis financially. Not to mention my youngest with special needs in need of constant supervision and that the experience of me nearly dying on our bathroom floor had left my oldest with some serious anxiety.
In that moment of contemplating the difficult future I broke down. But then I had that realization (I give God credit for bringing me to it): I said to myself: “In ten minutes, this pain you are experiencing will be in the past.”
“In one day, the pain you are experiencing will be in the past.”
I went on. “In six months, this will be a story of triumph that you tell. In one year, this will be part of the story you tell of all the things God has done in your life. This will be a story of hope. Each minute you live, the painful past slips further into where it belongs: in the past.”
I had to go through the same exercise when my oldest got so sick two years ago. We had some pretty scary theories of what was happening. The fears and bills were stacking up. As I fell on my face weeping in my closet to the Lord, I had to go through the same exercise: Tomorrow, today will be yesterday. And I had to, had to, had to bring myself to this understanding: all my yesterdays, todays, and tomorrows are in God’s hands. ALL of it.
Was either experience easy or over in an instant? Not. Even. Close. But today, those painful periods are definitely part of my past, the past that made me stronger. The past the helps me hope in tomorrow and in eternity.
Turn to Lamentations, underline what is put so beautifully:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed; for his compassions never fail; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Friends, as you face this difficult time, please hear me. We will face troubles, of that I have no doubt.
Whoever said God never gives you more than YOU can handle was sorely mistaken. The truth is God never gives us more than HE can handle.
And as my study in Psalm 104 reminded me today, He is the God who “wraps himself in light as if it were a robe, spreading out the sky like a canopy.” (Psalm 104 2 HSCB). He is the God who “established the earth on its foundations.” (vs. 5) He. Is. God. And he has today in the palm of his hand. That doesn’t mean today will be easy, but it does mean that we have hope. What seems overwhelming today will one day be a part of our past, a footnote in history.
The pain of today will be our story of tomorrow’s triumph.
Please, take hope. Read Psalm 104 for more encouragement.