We need to trust in God more than ever during these uncertain times.
The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world as we know it upside down. People are scared about how they’re going to pay their bills. If they, or a loved one will get the virus. What are they going to do to get by financially?
I’m not a doctor or a scientist, but the one thing that I do know is that fear, worry and anxiety accomplishes nothing good in our lives. As a matter of fact, it actually lowers our immune systems quite a bit, which would make us more susceptible to the virus. At the end of the day, worrying or not, it doesn’t change the outcome of the situation.
My mother’s mantra was the Serenity Prayer. It’s quite simple, but very powerful.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
I’ve found this prayer to be very helpful many times in my own life, and even more so in our current times. If you break it down, it is very relatable.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.
- We cannot change the fact that we are in the midst of a global health pandemic.
- We cannot change that some of our jobs were affected by the pandemic.
- We cannot change how the government is responding to the crisis.
- We cannot change if our state has issued a stay at home order.
- We cannot change hundreds of other things that we can each add to our individual lists.
Courage to change the things I can.
- We can have faith that God will see us through this.
- We can use the extra time to slow down and reset.
- We can read more scripture during this time.
- We can reconnect with our family, whether those who we are in the house with us or by using technology to reconnect with those who we are currently separated from.
- We can control our attitude and stay positive about the situation, not worry and not get caught up in all of the news.
- We can change hundreds of other things that we can each add to our individual lists.
Wisdom to know the difference.
- Know the difference between the controllable and uncontrollable moments of our lives.
- Know the difference between what we must accept and what we can change.
- Sometimes in life, this part can be difficult, so we really need to lean on God and seek wisdom and understanding from Him in those times when we’re struggling to know the difference.
I used to suffer quite a bit from anxiety and struggled with the last line of that prayer, “wisdom to know the difference.” Over the past few years, I have gone through some very difficult times, which allowed me to grow quite a bit spiritually.
The Lord has given me that peace that passes all understanding and when I say passes all understanding, I really mean it. A couple years ago, had we gone through this COVID-19 pandemic, I would have been freaking out. I would not have been able to sleep and I would have been worried about how we were going to pay our bills.
Today, I truly have no fear. I have no anxiety. I sleep well every night. Even though this evening I woke up at 3:00 AM and started writing, it wasn’t because I was freaking out over what tomorrow may bring, it was because I woke up in the middle of the night inspired to write, which is completely different from waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat worrying about everything and anything under the sun.
My wife and I are about to embark on a new journey. We’re selling our house and purchased an RV to travel around the country. I’ll be doing some consulting work for youth sports organizations and complexes, speaking, writing full-time – this blog and a few more books, podcasting and conducting coaching workshops for Positive Coaching Alliance.
It truly is a new journey for us and the COVID-19 pandemic will surely delay our plans. Among other economic downfalls, the real estate market is suddenly on a downward swing, which will delay the sale of our house, but that’s ok. In His timing, we will be on our way.
Being newly self-employed, there is no guarantee. I am reliant on how the virus may affect those I’m doing work for, but that’s ok too. He will provide. I just need to keep moving forward and have faith in Him.
My wife has also grown spiritually over the past few years and has gained this amazing peace that passes all understanding. It is a huge help to be able to have her as a support system, there is truly no one else that I’d rather have by my side during this time. Our dog has always had that peace that passes all understanding, he’s never worried about a thing in his life. My wife and I feed off of each other and we’re both trusting that He will take care if us and in His time we will sell the house and start our new journey.
God never promised us that life would be easy, but there are several verses of scripture that urge us to trust in Him during those times when things get difficult. There are so many references in the bible that tell us to let go of your fear and anxiety and have faith – to have faith over fear. We need to have faith in Him and we need to trust in Him the most in difficult times.
The Bible tells us in Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Again in Isaiah 43:1 “Don’t fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine.” God actually commands us not to fear, or worry. The phrase “fear not” is used at least 80 times in the Bible, most likely because He knows the enemy uses fear to decrease our hope and limit our victories.
In these times, we have to watch the news to be informed, but we also cannot allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by it. We need to know when to turn it off. Like anything else in life, we need balance. The same goes for social media, we need to be able to sift through all of the negative political partisan posts and seek out the positive and uplifting posts.
Social media is a great way to stay connected with friends, but it’s also a terrible way to get caught up in the noise. When I’m on social media and find too many posts in my newsfeed following a negative tone, I have a few friends pages that are “go to” feeds for me to find some positive energy. I can always depend on Leah Amico, Tina Whitlock, Jennie Finch and Homa Shafii when I need a boost of faith.
Believe me, I’m not downplaying the difficulty that some of us may be facing in the weeks and months ahead because of this pandemic, but what I am saying is that being fearful and worrying about it today isn’t going to help the outcome tomorrow. We just have to trust and have faith in Him.
In the meantime, we need to take advantage of the newfound time that we have.
Perhaps this virus was God’s way of telling us that we needed to slow down and reset a bit. Maybe He is telling us that we needed to reconnect with family. Maybe He is telling us that we needed to give the earth a break too. The satellite photos of how pollution has cleared over the earth and how the water in the canals of Venice have cleared in just a few short weeks is a tell-tale sign that we needed to give Mother Earth a breather.
Perhaps He is telling us to use this extra time on our hands to reconnect with Him through prayer and to read more scripture.
I have complete faith that when we all come out on the other side of this pandemic, we will all be better for it. We need to continue to stay positive and understand that staying in our homes with our loved ones and pets is certainly not the worst thing that could happen to us.
We need to use this time to unite as a country and start focusing more on what we have in common as opposed to our differences. We’re all human, we all want the same things for the most part. To be loved, to have others to love us, and to provide for our families.
Most of all what we all need to understand is that in order to move forward and get through this, we need to have faith over fear together.