While standing in the candy aisle at Safeway, my gaze fell upon the Easter toys and baskets. Deep sadness overcame my countenance. Tears freely streamed down my cheeks.
This Easter, we will not be with a number of family members, including our 22 month old grandson. Grief over the unexpected took up resistance in my heart and mind.
The Corona Virus has invaded the way we do life. Our time, space, jobs, church, schools, finances, health, relationships, even weddings and memorial services have been have all been affected and infected by the unwelcome invasion of Covid19 .
This has caused many of us to examine our belief system, our thought life, our activity level, our emotions, our character, and our actions. We bounce between the heaviness of sadness to seething anger at the unfairness of it all. We feel blah even though big emotions overtake us at a moment’s notice. We sleep more but we are not rested. We are restless yet unmotivated. We are easily annoyed and more irritable. We worry about loved ones. We explode or withdraw. The virus has caught us and its symptom is grief.
The Bible describes many circumstances where people have faced hard times. Times where fearlessness, perseverance, self-control, love, and faith were needed in order to be hopeful in the darkest and hardest of times. Paul encouraged a discouraged Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:17 with these words: For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
These words can be applied to the uncertain and unknown circumstances we face today.
- For God has not given us a spirit of fear. God, the Creator, our Heavenly Father has prepared and gifted us for this time whether we realize it or not. Be confident in who He created you to be. He created and gifted you to lead your family through this time in their lives. God is faithful. We can trust Him and His will. So rather than ask,” What if ?” We declare, “Even if …” like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendego before being tossed into the fiery furnace.” If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up” Daniel 3:17-18 (NASB). Note: check out Daniel 3 for the story in its entirety.
- A spirit of power. The Lord equips us to be capable, to persevere, to be resilient. So capitalize on the power God has given you by attending to those basic needs: ingest healthy food, get rest, and exercise. Help your kids do the same.Tap into the power of prayer, create a predicable schedule for your family, include fun and laughter into the day. By doing these things your kids will feel more secure and less anxious. This will also help you as you navigate this time.Remember God has given us His Holy Spirit. He has prepared us for the trials and threats we face. We have the knowledge and God’s promise that we are not alone. He is with us as our guide and protector.
- A spirit of love. This gift keeps our eyes fixed on where they need to be: pleasing God and unselfishly serving others. Be like the good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37) and help someone else. Encourage your kids to be a helper. Helping gives purpose to the day. A spirit of love also sets appropriate boundaries and says no when necessary (John 13:5-11). A spirit of love demonstrates patience, kindness, contentment, humility, respect, unselfishness, peace, forgiveness, goodness, truth, protection, trust, perseverance, faith, hope,and love ( 1 Corinthians 13). Show love in your actions, your words, your tone.The spirit of love is contagious. Let’s spread that!
- A spirit of a sound mind. Rather than following the heart, lead the heart with a spirit filled mind. Our feelings can bring us down a path that is not led by the spirit but fleshly influenced. We can determine to put our mind over temporary feelings. Take captive ( 2 Corinthians 10:5) thoughts that don’t please God, serve others, or cause discord in your spirit. Tune into your kids feelings. Make wise decisions, discern which situations need to be avoided. Recognize the things that trigger anxiety. Perhaps watching a lot of news or ( in my case) going to the grocery store first thing in the morning. (The grocery store has been policed -literally- first thing in the morning. I have discovered this increases my stress level and fuels my grief. I realize morning is not a good time for me to tackle my grocery list.)
Choose to be hopeful, even as we shelter in place. We can do this because our great God has given us a spirit of power, of love, and of a sound mind. He has not given us a spirit of fear. We can decide to walk through this time with God confidence. When we do, our children will be blessed. They will learn to seek God and serve others. It is up to us, mom and dad, to lead our children well. We are able to do it because God is with us! Choose hope, and choose to remember God’s got this.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)
Click here to discover more ways to bust Covid19 Anxiety you may want to hear some very practical and doable suggestions from Dr. Eve Rosno on the Moms Together Podcast.
Post Script: This post written prior to Easter. The day before Easter, plans shifted. We had the blessing of being able to spend the morning with 3 of our family members we didn’t expect to see (our son, daughter-in-love, and grandson) . We were able to celebrate Easter with 2 family members (daughter plus son-in-love) with whom have not celebrated Easter with in a long time. Our oldest had work off and was also able to share in our Easter family time. We were unable to be with our youngest daughter and her husband. She is an ER nurse and is keeping away from us due to Covid19 but… we made the best of it and were able to see her from a distance when we dropped off a care package for them prior to Easter. We are thankful for these moments. Christ has risen!