By: Gary L. Hutchens
This is probably the strangest time any of us have experienced in our lives. Everyday, throughout the day we hear reports on how many more people have tested positive for the corona virus, how many more people have been hospitalized and how many more people have died, in this country and around the world.
Countless businesses have closed down, many employees have been instructed to work from home, many others have been laid off. Social distancing (a term I had never heard prior to a few weeks ago) is being repeatedly emphasized.
Governors and mayors across much of the nation have issued shelter in place orders, restricting citizens from leaving their homes except for a few specific needs. Schools are closed for the foreseeable future, leaving many students to do their studies online.
Hearing the nonstop negative news reports has generated fear in the hearts of a great many people. Much of it has become irrational fear exhibited in panic. Many are fearful there won’t be enough food and household supplies to go around, so they’ve resorted to panic buying which has itself produced shortages that would not have existed otherwise.
Since this is a new strain of virus there is not yet a vaccine to guard against it. Some pre-existing medications have shown encouraging results, but there is no absolutely proven treatment to combat the virus. So, uncertainty prevails, and uncertainty produces more fear.
What should we do? We should exercise the utmost in common sense. The situation is what it is. We cannot fix it in a day. We can, and should, relax and be calm and be an example of calm behavior to those around us. Many of us have a lot of extra down-time. Take advantage of it. Spend good, quality time with your family. Communicate with each other, play games together, have a good time with each other. Encourage and reassure one another. We will get through this, just as humanity has gotten through every other pandemic/epidemic, and there have been a great many through history.
Take this time to take care of some project around the house that you’ve been putting off. Paint a room, clean out the garage. Sort through those boxes in the basement that you’ve been wanting to get to. Do some spring cleaning. Clean out your closets and drawers. Read a good book.
Do you want this experience to have the most positive effect possible for yourself and your family? Take your spiritual temperature! How’s your relationship with God? Don’t answer in a surface-level, knee jerk way. Think carefully. Have you really been walking with God? Has your life truly been centered in Christ? Has your lifestyle demonstrated consistent commitment and dedication to your Father in Heaven? Are you spiritually minded? Do you make excuses for not worshipping God, not studying His word, not being involved in the work and activities of the church? Do you have hard feelings against someone?
Take this time to pray, by yourself and with your family. Spend time reading the Bible. Make phone calls to members of the church; check on how they’re doing, encourage them, pray with them over the phone, and pray for them on your own. Drop off some food at the front door of someone who can’t get out.
With the right focus this could prove to be a very positive and spiritually productive time. Take your spiritual temperature, and make that happen…
Gary L. Hutchens