In February of 2020, the girls and I had traveled over the President’s Day weekend for our annual vacation. We had traveled each winter for the last twelve years, and it was a welcome interruption to our busy schedule and gave us an opportunity to connect and make memories with our extended family.
But last year was…different. I remember watching the news as our vacation was approaching; all the initial reports about COVID-19 had me extremely concerned about taking the trip, but I decided that we would go and just be very cautious while traveling, since there hadn’t been many cases in the United States at that point. In the airport, the girls and I donned masks and gloves and got strange looks from everyone, including our own family. Little did we know that a month later it would become the norm.
Ove the next few weeks, I remember being glued to the TV, obsessed with the reports about the virus sweeping through different countries, and starting to impact the Northeast United States where I lived. Once professional and college sports started getting cancelled, I knew it was pretty serious. By Friday, March 13th, rumors were floating around about schools being closed and a possible national lockdown coming our way.
While my household was waking up for school and work that morning, I notified everyone that I was heading to the grocery store, which was unusual since I normally assisted everyone with getting out of the door on time and having a family prayer. But that morning I grabbed the box of masks and gloves that we had taken on vacation, and by 6:30am I was walking through the doors of my local supermarket.
There was a fair amount of people shopping for it to be so early the morning, so I guess others had been thinking along the same lines as me. I did something I had never done in my life before. I walked up and down each aisle of the store and purchased everything I thought I would need. It’s a funny visual now, but I remember struggling to push my cart to the cashier with one arm over the groceries to keep items from falling out.
As I reflect on all that has transpired since then, and look at where we are now, I can’t help but think, why did this happen and what am I supposed to be doing in the aftermath? Over the course of this past year, I’ve often thought back to stories in the Bible that we can learn a lesson from now, and I wonder what it was like for the people experiencing the event.
I think about the Egyptians going through the ten plagues – the frogs, the bugs and locusts, the darkness, the loss of property, and the loss of life. All because Pharoah’s heart was hardened towards God. I question if the people knew it was Pharoah’s fault they were experiencing such a hardship, and if any of them cried out to God for assistance, or just decided to wait it out.
I wonder how the people outside the ark felt when the rain kept falling and falling, flooding their possessions, their homes, their fields, and ultimately taking their lives. I also wonder how Noah and his family felt knowing they were safe on the ark, but hearing the desperate cries of the people outside, pleading for them to open the door. At what point during their regular routines did they realize their lives were in danger?
In both of these situations, wickedness and evil brought these tragedies into the world. Sometimes I wonder if there is a similar reason for this pandemic. Is God trying to get our attention about something inside of us that needs to change? Is He displeased with the nations around the world? Is He trying to get our attention?
What are we supposed to do? All around me, I hear conversations and arguments that we need to go on with life and get back to normal. Some churches are meeting in person while others are still worshipping virtually. There are colleges, schools, and youth sports teams that are in full swing, and others that are still closed down. With all the different options, what IS the right choice to make?
Virtual or in-person school? Playing and coaching sports or continue to sit out? Summer vacation or hang out at home? As I work with my husband to contemplate what’s best for our family, I continually try to shut out the chatter and opinion of others. Only God knows what we are supposed to be doing, and I honestly only want to follow His lead. How do I get the daily instruction and direction that I seek? By communicating with the Holy Spirit who has been living inside of me ever since I asked Jesus into my heart.
Did I always know He was there? No, I didn’t. And it would have probably made my younger years much easier if I had. I once was blind but now I see, and every day I have to redirect my attention and focus inward for guidance.
Everyone has opinions on socializing, traveling, vaccines, and getting “back to normal”. I just want to be in a position that God is pleased with my heart, my responses, and my choices as I do my best to honor Him, no matter what everyone else is doing.
History is being written, both in the natural and in the spiritual. What will it say about you?
There are times when it is tough to make a decision and to know what the right choice is to make. We know God wants us to come to Him about the big things, but what about the small things? The everyday things? Are you seeking guidance from God in every area of your life, only in some areas, or not at all?
PRAY WITH ME
Help us to seek your direction in every area of our life, and especially during this pandemic. Help us to trust in what your Spirit leads us to say and do, and not what the news, social media, our friends and family, or society thinks. Only you know the plans you have for me and my family, even in a pandemic. Help me to trust only you.
In Jesus Name, Amen.
Feel free to respond in the comments section… and share this story with someone in your life that could use the encouragement.
Follow Destined 4 the Dub for Encouragement, Inspiration, and Motivation as you walk through the tough times in life. You ARE Destined to win and get the Dub!