It is official. It has been declared a pandemic. Those words kept ringing in my ears over and over as I watched news reports from various stations. The World Health Organization had declared Covid-19 an official pandemic on March 11, 2020. I remember googling the definition of pandemic; as I had heard of it in passing but not truly understanding what it meant. But nothing seemed more daunting than the remarks made by the WHO Director, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus. He said, “This is not just a public health crisis. It is a crisis that will touch every sector”, at the media briefing. He continued, “So every sector and every individual must be involved in the fight.”
Be involved in the fight? Yes, this would require a fight. I was no stranger to fighting an “invisible enemy”. As a Christian, I am accustomed to turning to the Bible for guidance during times of uncertainty and duress. My thoughts began racing as I pondered what this meant for my family. Should I continue to go to work? Should I allow my children to continue to go to school? What about church? I could feel myself becoming more and more frantic. So, I did the only thing that made sense to me at the moment to do. I prayed. I took all of my fears and anxieties to the throne of grace as instructed in Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” If ever was a time I needed to remind myself of the truths of this scripture, it was then. In God’s word, He has reminded me of the power in taking my cares to Him and leaving them there. Then, my next request was, “Lord grant me the wisdom of how to speak to my children about what is going on”.
In James 1:5 we are told, “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” In a world filled with false information and the spread of what has now been tagged “fake news”; reports and contradicting information are everywhere. We have to be able to decipher what is true and what is untrue. However, as children of God, we know that the Word of God is the inerrant and indisputable truth, the foundation of our faith. The Lord had to redirect my time and attention away from the worldly influences all around me. I looked towards the infinite truth found in His Word. This truth not only strengthened me but also helped answer questions from my children and grew their faith as well.
According to Deuteronomy 6:5-9, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. Take to heart these words that I give you today. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home or away; when you lie down or get up. Write them down, and tie them around your wrist, and wear them as headbands as a reminder. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and your gates”. The word of God has instructed us to teach our children His ways. My children are thirteen and fifteen; they have been in church all their lives. They are in the youth choir and are both musicians. They are on the usher board and are involved in several capacities. They are very familiar with the church but what this pandemic allowed me to do, was to help them build a personal relationship with Christ. When we realized that we were not going to be returning to our church for face-to-face services, our home became our church. We kept our church schedule and had Friday night bible studies. We had Sunday school and Sunday morning services. We looked to God, His Word, and our ability to pray to help us get through some of the most challenging circumstances we have had to face. We dealt with the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and the protests as well as unrest that followed. The racial tensions and political divide amongst our nation. Natural disasters like the fires on the West Coast and the horrific hurricane season. The overwhelming toll of death and sickness caused by the Covid-19 virus and all sorts of other calamities. There were days that we felt overwhelming sadness and helplessness as a family. However, John 16:33 says, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world, you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” We are still currently dealing with living amid a pandemic. We continue to turn to God and His word as our source of strength and encouragement. Because we know that through it all, James 5:16, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”