Tag Archive | Pandemic

Trusting God During a Pandemic

Trust in God written on desert road

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal”—Isaiah 26:3–4, NIV

Trust . . .

Such a simple word packed with a lot of power.

One definition of trust on Merriam-Webster.com is “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.”

I’ve been meditating on that word a lot lately. Recent situations have caused me to reflect on whether my actions indicate that I trust God as much as I say I do.

I sometimes have a lot of anxiety when it comes to finances. It’s not because there’s a lack. We’re not rich by any means, but we are certainly not in want of anything. We have healthy accounts, great credit, and more than we need to meet our needs. Yet, there’s a little knot in my stomach that I must continuously confront called fear. See, things haven’t always been so comfortable. In fact, 2006 and several years thereafter would bring some of the worst financial crises in our lives that we have ever faced. Although God brought us through that season, the memory of our troubles is still seared into my brain. What makes it really crazy is that the financial aftermath occurred after trusting God.

In 2004, I left a full-time state government job with the support of my hubby to focus on writing because that’s what the Lord said to do. I don’t have time to detail how I knew it was God, but it was, and the fact that my husband was on board was the ultimate confirmation. I made more than him at that time, so my not working meant that we were losing the higher income and all the benefits that came with it. Little did we know that life would punch us in the mouth, and as we were healing, he would lose his job.

While all this was taking place, I was still writing and signing publishing and other freelance contracts. However, being a writer can literally be a feast or famine world. The one consistent aspect of what I do is that the pay fluctuates from day-to-day. Nearly 15 years after my first book was published, that hasn’t changed. When aspiring authors seek my advice, one of the first things I tell them is that they have to love writing enough to do it for free because sometimes they will have to. For example, no one is paying me to write this post. 😊

Fast forward, I haven’t had a full-time job since 2004, but we have way more now than we had when I was working at my cushy state job. God brought us through that period and has blessed us beyond what I could even imagine, and our financial portfolio is better than it has ever been. Yet, there’s been a consistent knot in my stomach that has grown within the last few months.

This COVID pandemic has stirred up bad memories of economic downturns and anxiety, and I’ve found my financial decisions peppered with fear. Life didn’t stop because of COVID. College tuition still needed to be paid, cars still needed repairs, and home improvements still had their place on our priority list. We have two businesses, and while they have taken a hit during the pandemic, they haven’t gone under. Additionally, we’ve haven’t skipped a beat on contributing to our retirement and savings accounts, and we’ve made more than our fair share of discretionary purchases during the pandemic. (My husband said that I’m helping to keep Amazon in business. #retail therapy) Given the stability of things, I have to ask myself, what is the basis of my fear? Is it because there is that part of me that remembers the financial fire and how I wondered where God was during that time? Is it that I am scared to fully trust Him with that area of my life because subconsciously, I feel like He let us down previously?

I don’t know what’s behind my anxiety, but I know that I don’t like it. Even when we went through our financial crises, we never went hungry or homeless. Our children never lacked anything. James 5:16 says to “confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” So, here you have it, my big confession that financial anxiety is a sin of mine. I have not yet once worried about catching the virus, but I have had the “what ifs” swirling about other ramifications of it. I unashamedly ask for prayer. While you pray for me, know that I will be praying for you as well. I might not know you, but I am praying, in general, for all of us who know God to wholeheartedly trust Him throughout this pandemic. May the world see a difference in how we respond and know undoubtedly, that we are His.

In what areas of your life have you been holding back trust? Let’s take this faith walk together, believing that our God will supply everything that we need!

Defeating Hopelessness

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“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”—1 Corinthians 13:13, NIV

Sometimes I struggle with what to say to others during this COVID-19 crisis. People don’t want to hear “don’t worry” when they’ve lost loved ones due to the virus, may be sick themselves, are unemployed, or quite frankly, scared about all the possibilities. News reports that the worst is yet to come and the ever-increasing number of cases, legitimize people’s cause for concern. And, if you’ve watched the Netflix series Pandemic that eerily foreshadowed the destructive impact of a novel virus outbreak, then you know that the projected loss of lives could be in the millions. Despite all of this, my naturally optimistic nature won’t allow me to panic.

It’s not because I’m trying to be extra deep or that I’ve donned a “Super Christian” cape. Those who know me know that’s not how I roll. It’s not because my loved ones are in a bubble, far removed from the crisis. Nope. Quite the opposite. My husband must still go to work Monday through Friday and interact with others. My son continually reports to the Naval base. My father and uncles are part of the vulnerable population. I have loved ones in nursing homes, with weak immune systems, or other health issues. The business my husband and I own has seen a dramatic shift in revenues because of everything that’s happening. So, nope, I’m not calm because my life is unaffected. I’m calm because I cannot afford to let fear and worry overtake me. My mental and emotional stability rely on me digging my heels into the only thing that has gotten me through tough times—my faith.

In the Hunger Games movie, President Snow is quoted as saying, “Hope. It is the only thing stronger than fear. A little hope is effective. A lot of hope is dangerous. A spark is fine, as long as it’s contained.”

While I don’t have the “right words” to share during this time, I pray that I can encourage each of you not to give up hope. Hope is dangerous, but not in the negative way that President Snow mentioned in the movie. He wanted to contain the people’s hope to keep them in line with the oppressive order that he’d established. Likewise, if we lose hope amid this pandemic, the enemy will keep our minds in bondage and consumed with fear. We’ll lose sleep, the quality of our relationships will diminish, and we’re more likely to become depressed.

Even more powerful than hope is love.

Paul wrote,  “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” 1 Corinthians 13:13

COVID-19 is the perfect opportunity for those of us who know Christ to share His love with others. We can show love in many ways. For example, by sharing our goods with others in need instead of hoarding them, we not only behave differently than those who are fighting in the store over toilet paper, but we would also emulate the behaviors of the very first church members in the book of Acts.

“Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need” (Acts 2:44–45).

I doubt any of us are to the point of being willing to sell everything we have to give to others. Okay, maybe you are, but I’m not. (Stretch your hands my way!) The point is that they gave unselfishly, and their generosity was motivated by their love for Christ and one another. In whatever way you can look out for others during this time, please do it. It can be a phone call, an email, an encouraging word, or helping out with food or supplies. Do it genuinely and with love. Your actions may be the thing that helps someone else believe.

So, while I don’t have the answers to what’s happening, I choose to share with you what I have—faith in a sovereign God, hope that He will produce something good from this outbreak, and a love for Him and others that I hope will be contagious.