advise, communication, faith, fear, God's power, guidance, judging, miracles, opinions, peace, prayer, respect, understanding, wellness, wisdom
There sure are lots of opinions on what not to do and where not to go with the coronavirus pandemic. It seems we have a war of words and wisdom. I’ve been thinking a lot about our world situation and want to add some thoughts of my own.
I have some friends who say they intend to do just as they’ve been doing; they don’t intend to start living their lives afraid. They are Christians and will trust God to protect them. I am also a Christian and I trust God to protect me every day in many situations. One of the last things I do at night is thank God for the protection He has provided during that day; I begin mornings with a prayer for protection for the new day and whatever may come.
But along with my prayers of petition and thanksgiving, I trust that God has also given me common sense and the ability to hear His guiding me in where I should go and what I should do. I don’t go into any day “just trusting.” I ask for guidance and then I listen to hear what I believe He is saying is right for me. I know I don’t always get it right and sometimes it is deliberate rebellion, I ashamedly admit. Maybe not consciously, but I think I’ve already got it figured out, so onward I go. But, why pray, if I don’t believe I will receive an answer with intention to follow? I also know that how He advises me may not be the same way He advises another.
Let me say right off I don’t think there is a wrong or right in many things, but rather a sense of how you are being personally led to act. For example, I rarely go out at night and not because I’m afraid, but because there is an inner guidance that it is better for me to be inside my home once the sun has gone to bed and the stars come out. That’s not the same sense everyone has and I certainly respect that. I have a dear friend who thinks nothing of traveling from one end of this large city to the other after dark and alone. She says she isn’t alone, God is always with her. I believe and I trust that for her she is doing the right thing. God is also very much with me; I never feel without God for a single minute. The difference is she’s following what the Holy Spirit is telling her and I’m following what I believe He is telling me. Why is it different? I can’t say. It’s certainly not a matter of faith for me (and some have suggested that – that I should have more faith). Why my friend and I sense we are to do things differently would be a question only the Lord could answer. I assume there might be dangers around me that aren’t around Katherine. Dangers I don’t know about, but the Lord does. I do not live in my house afraid, but I do live cautiously.
So it is with the matter of the coronavirus. I will be more attentive to whether I need to be in a particular place and more watchful with how things are being handled. (Have you ever noticed that people in the grocery deli wear gloves but they touch absolutely everything in those gloves? The meat they slice for you, the scales they weight it on, and even the cash register in some stores?) I will wash my hands more as I’m opening doors that may have just been opened by others who haven’t seen soap and water for a while. I’m a big hugger, but I’ll probably do a little less of that for a while.
I realize, like most things, there will be little agreement on how this is to be handled. None of us knows all the things that lead another in making decisions and it’s sometimes more than just what medical opinion they have been given.
When I was growing up, there was little I feared. In fact, my mother would get quite frustrated and occasionally angry with me for being afraid of nothing – she said. Now I find myself in that “over 70” age group. My immune system isn’t what it used to be, neither is my pain threshold (goodness, did I ever have a very high one of those!) I’ve had some unexpected health issues in this past few year and will live with one for the rest of my life. It has to be treated with careful attention and treatment so I won’t take unnecessary chances.
However we decide to address our reaction and behavior to this pandemic, I do hope we all make educated and prayerful decisions. I also hope we don’t forget that God gave great wisdom to medical professionals to help us, not confuse or scare us. I keep remembering a young woman who was diagnosed with colon cancer. Surgery was advised. She refused it, saying she had full faith that God would heal her. Her family pleaded with her to have the surgery, but Lori wouldn’t budge. That young wife and mother died, leaving behind a 16 year old daughter. I know she loved the Lord with all her heart and trusted to the end that He would heal her, but perhaps the healing He had in mind was by the hands of a surgeon He had blessed with knowledge and skill. There is, after all, more than one kind of healing testimony. Do I believe we can be healed by the direct intervention of God? Yes, I do. I’ve experienced it personally more than once.
Whatever we decide, let’s not make others feel ours is the only right decision. Let’s not push them to question their faith nor cause them to be unjustly afraid. Let’s not argue our position, whatever that is, and here I speak to myself more than anyone else. I know I’m a strong personality with strong opinions, so I’m resolving right now to monitor more what I say to another and not be so free with advice. I’ll continue to ask God to help us all get through this very tough time, and above all, to love and be kind to one another as we make the journey.