“Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I’ve listened enough to reports about the coronavirus!”
“Okay. I’ll turn the TV off,” my husband said.
He did, and we spent some time praying and singing. Energized and encouraged, I began to work on my projects for the day.
In my protective mask and stay-at-home secure position, it would be possible for me to forget about the world beyond my doorstep. My heart will not let me do that. So I listen to news reports but not too many of them. I don’t want to be overwhelmed with grief.
My heart wants to connect with others. It cries when I see their pain and struggles. I want to share comfort and hope. (Sometimes, I’m the one who needs comfort and hope.) How do I balance staying informed with retaining sanity and peace-of-mind, so that I can make a positive difference in the midst of this social isolation?
The only way I can do it is to listen more attentively to Jesus. The burden that he asks us to accept is easy; the load he gives us to carry is light. (Matthew 11:30 NCV) He also told us that on earth we would have many trials and sorrows. (John 16:33 NLT) Wait a minute! Doesn’t that sound like a contradiction? How can our burden be easy and our load light when we’re experiencing many trials and sorrows?
For me, the answer is that Jesus carries most of the load. He sees our pain and suffering but is not overwhelmed by it. He empathizes with us because when he lived on earth he experienced deep pain. (Isaiah 53:3 NLT)
- He gives us no promises of success, no guarantees of ease, no freedom from pain and loss in this world.
- He does promise he will not leave us and that by staying connected to him we will not only survive but also rise above the difficulties, pain, and losses.
How do we know we can count on his presence? How do we know he will give us the strength to rise above our suffering? How do we know his promises are true? He rose from the grave. In doing so, he overcame the power of evil and the power of death. We celebrated his resurrection less than two weeks ago.
His Spirit is with us now and someday Jesus will return, lift us from the distress of this world, lift us from the grave, and give us bodies like his, free of pain and dysfunction.
This gives me strength for today and great hope for tomorrow.
Oh what comfort! Oh what hope! No longer will I have to cope With a virus that can kill; Nothing, there, will make me ill. Oh what peace! Oh what rest! No more conflicts with the flesh; No more failure; no defeat. God’s work in me will be complete. Oh what mercy! Oh what grace! No more injury will take place; No more guilt; no more shame; Face to face, I will remain. Oh what joy! Oh what bliss! I can’t comprehend all this. Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, For you, I’ll work; for you I’ll labor A few more hours, a few more days, A few more weeks to bring you praise. A few more years upon this earth, Let me show your matchless worth. Jane Ault 4/22/20