Rising Hope: A COVID-19 Journal Entry

I watched the sun rise this morning over West Point.  The quiet campus and Hudson river provided a quaint backdrop.  Heading into Holy Week, I was reminded of the confidence that I have in Christ.  God provided a timely reminder of hope in the midst of this pandemic through the rising of the sun.  The birds sing, life continues to move on, and the dawn of a new day remind me that there is someone much grander than I steering the universe.  

Fitting, God provided hope in the rising of His Son, Jesus.  The brutality of the cross and death was no match for the King.  That is what ultimately gives me a peace and confidence during the storm.

It has been difficult assessing how I really feel about this COVID-19 crisis.  I hurt for people that are dying.  I'm burdened by the strain this puts on families, the healthcare industry, the economy, and our world.  At the same time, I find myself questioning everything.  I question our media.  I honestly don't trust media outlets.  Selling more than the other guy is the goal.  Reporting honest and simple facts is not primary.  Thus, I honestly work to carefully find sources of reliable information and take a long time to process my own conclusions.

Please understand....I have tried not to downplay this crisis.  Anytime there are people dying, it is a big deal!  I want to do whatever is in my power to help combat the problem.  I believe the sick should be quarantined, simple social distancing measures should be in place for severely impacted areas, and proper hygiene should be practiced!  I find it sad that it has taken a pandemic to remind us all that washing our hands is important.  I feel more justified in the times that I have literally scolded another grown man for not washing his hands after using a public restroom. (It's happened way too many times!!)

With all that said, I am burdened.  I want the sick to be healed.  I want families to not live in fear.  I want our world to be healthy.  

However, it's strange.  

At the same time I feel burden, I also feel like life has been brought back into our nation.  As a runner and hiker, I am often enjoying the outdoors and bringing my family along for the adventures.  Before all of this, I hardly ever saw other human beings.  I might have seen a few, here and there, but for the most part...I had the outdoors all to myself.  Now, I see people everywhere.  I see people practicing proper social distancing, but they are taking time to walk as a family, hike trails, work out in the yard, fish together as a family, and enjoy the outdoors at a slow and leisurely pace.

Its like the whole world has stopped.  We have quit rushing to the next big event.  We have taken our eyes off of our devices.  We have started to see the beauty of what God has created for us again.

As much as I want COVID-19 to go away and for people to be cured, I hope we don't go back to our busy and distracted ways.

I am not going to try and pretend that I know the reasons behind God allowing this pandemic to occur.  However, I can't help but think about as I pray, the opportunities He has personally given me to spend time with my family (something that I always desire more of).  I can't help but think about how much more creative and fascinated I have been with life over the past few weeks, now that I have minimal distractions.

There is no doubt that God wants us to have abundant life, found only in Him through relationship with Jesus Christ.  He wants to use the talents that He gave us to further His Kingdom and let the world know that He is Lord!  

In the past three weeks, my creativity and brainstorming capacity has increased dramatically.  My time in prayer and the Word has been richer.  I am broadcasting church services, devotions, and worship online to thousands and thousands almost every day.  It has me thinking, maybe my strategy needs to change.  Could I be more equipped and doing more effective ministry while I am mostly stuck at home?

Time will tell, I guess.  But, I wonder if others are feeling the same?

I have continually felt at peace and confident in the midst of all of this.  However, I'll admit that God has pulled me out of my comfort zone.  Its just amazing that my comfort zone was going 100 MPH, being overly stressed and always busy, and not having time for the beautiful things in life that bring so much joy.  Maybe I didn't really know my true comfort zone.  Could it be that God knows my comfort zone better than me?  I think He does.

Not only that, my hope is rising as I reflect on His Son Jesus during this Holy Week.  My hope is rising knowing that God is up to something good. 

In the meantime, I will enjoy what He has put in front of me.  I will pray our world.  I will do what I can to serve, love, and help.  I will work to encourage others in Christ.

I don't know what tomorrow will bring, but I do know the One who will bring it.