What I’ve Learned: The COVID-19 Edition
- March 31, 2022
- Posted by: Carolyn Mahal
- Category: Devotions
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” – Hebrews 13:8
“For I, the Lord, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.” – Malachi 3:6
Now that our “two-week break” for COVID-19 has passed the 100-week mark, I thought this might be a good time to reflect upon some of the things I’ve learned over the past two years. As a demonstration, allow me to share my thoughts on two very popular phrases that we have heard repeatedly since March of 2020.
1. “We are all in this together.” – This gem could be considered the official catch phrase of the pandemic. It could also go down as the biggest lie this side of reality TV. We have heard so many people in so many places offer these words of encouragement. I think they are designed to help us all feel better by knowing that the lousy situation we’re in isn’t as lousy as we think it is because it is equally lousy for everybody else. This is the same logic that would also lead me to believe that the pains of childbirth aren’t so bad because every woman who gives birth experiences them. Go ahead and share that nugget with your wife, mother, or anyone else who has ever given birth. I dare you. Just know that if you do, we will definitely NOT be in that together either.
You could probably strike the word “together” and be a lot more accurate. We’re all in this. That is most certainly true. I just don’t think we can say that we’re anywhere close to together. Way too many people with way too many divisive views to even begin to think we’ve achieved unity. Some blame this on posturing of politicians. Others blame CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the other news outlets for their incendiary reports. Many blame corporations who have used the crisis to line their pockets. Still others blame the millions on social media who spout off with anything that pops into their heads designed to get clicks, likes and followers. I can simplify the cause to one word: sin. Our sinful nature makes it impossible for people to unify behind anything. We are selfish, stubborn, conceited, and unwilling to concede anything to which we think we’re entitled. It’s been that way since Satan initiated the first worldwide pandemic by convincing Adam and Eve that they didn’t need to listen to God (and let me tell you, when He discovered what had happened, God did not try and sell a mere two-week shutdown).
2 “It’s the new norm.” – This is a recycled phrase, having been used several times over the years when tragedies resulted in extensive changes to the way society does things. For example, I flew on a commercial airplane earlier today and let me tell you, the entire process is very different than it was when I flew for the first time back in 1988. Some of the changes were based on improvements in technology and communication. I didn’t use a travel agent to buy tickets, rather, I bought them on a mobile app. My boarding pass was on my phone, no paper to juggle and possibly lose. My phone also told me what gate the flight left from, where I would claim my bags, and I even ordered a ride to the hotel. These things would have never been possible in the good old days. Of course, back then we didn’t need to go through multiple layers of somewhat invasive security just to get to the gate. Our family and friends could come to the gate to see us off, and I wasn’t required to wear a mask over my nose and mouth throughout the entire process. Those new steps were added thanks to terrorist attacks and a worldwide pandemic, and except for the mask wearing, those things are likely to continue as the accepted procedure for flying. Some of the changes are for the better. Others are protective measures designed to thwart the potential actions of evil people. Again, we find ourselves in a position where the sins of mankind have irreversibly changed airline travel for people all around the globe. Perhaps what we have discovered is the new norm is more deeply connected to the old norm of sin.
These thoughts make me more thankful than ever that I am loved by a God who is greater than all these things. Yes, it is true that we’re all together when it comes to dealing with our sinful natures. But we can offer our Father our deepest thanks when we consider that His love for us and His desire to save us from our sin equally unites us. We need a Savior. God sent His Son, Jesus to be our Savior. His death and resurrection atone for our shortcomings and created for us our new norm as redeemed children of God, saved by grace, through faith in Christ who is the same today, tomorrow and forever. We can rely upon Him to keep this promise because we know that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. We don’t need a hashtag, a flash mob, or a Tik Tok to unite us. The sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit of the Lord accomplishes that.
So, what have I learned? In all things, both good and bad, I will give thanks to God for his great love and for the peace that can only come from on high. I will continue to serve Him on earth until He chooses to give me my undeserved, eternal heavenly gift. May you also know this truth and live your lives in His peace, mercy and grace.
Devotion by Richard Schumacher
LSEM Director of Programs & Services