How do you quieten fear? What is making you fearful at the moment? These are questions that I have been asking quietly in my mind as I walk through grocery stores without toilet paper. What makes one buy more than two large packages of toilet paper in a crisis that is going to affect us all?
I do not have to tell you we are facing a deadly virus right now. Not one family is immune. The mentality of a few has created issues for the rest of us. Buying the essentials has become a quest for many. And it has created a panic for those in need. So, what do we do?
Like him or not, Trump called for a day of prayer on March 15. That would be a great place to start, prayer. We need to pray for those already infected and for those exposed. Then we need to pray for our leaders as they make some serious decisions for our safety. Then we need to pray for our community, for the people who are facing uncertainty because of various closures that will affect their finances, for the elderly who cannot get out in the masses and buy that toilet paper that is being hoarded.
Open your Bible to Psalms and start reading. The same God that brought the plagues in Exodus all those centuries ago and delivered His people to safety is the same God today that will bring us through this crisis. Find comfort in Psalms 91, especially verses 9-11 “Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—the Most High, who is my refuge—no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.”
The Lord is our dwelling place, He calms our fears and He cares for us. That gives me peace. Relying on God before this crisis seemed easy, suddenly the crisis changed our views. Instead of trusting on God to provide, we have panicked and felt the need to rely on ourselves. Simpler times is where we are returning to at the moment. Yes, with our electronics, but having to keep to ourselves.
The call for action seems to instill an all for me type of mentality. But instead of thinking of me, let’s put others first. How can I help my neighbor? What can I do to ease the loneliness in myself and in others? Social Distancing does not mean isolation for most. It does mean taking precautions. Reaching out to others for conversation means possibly going back to the good old days of writing a letter or making a phone call.
Mommies with children will need our help before all this is over. Pray for them. Bake something and drop it by with a note of encouragement. Order something to have delivered to them. Outdoors means entertainment, but most children want friends to play with. Create a game that they can play together but separate. For example, make a list of things to find. Share it with others, then set a time to do the hunt. Take pictures of things you do not want in your house (frogs, worms, etc.) and then use video chatting to talk about the hunt. Great way to spend some energy and stay in touch. Go online to the zoo, museums and aquarium. Share your experiences with others.
Lastly, stop reading all the articles that pop up on your newsfeed. It is feeding the fear in you. Limit what you watch on TV about the virus. We have gotten to where we watch one newscast mainly for the weather. I am less fearful and calmer. Reading or listening to books has been my activity during the day, especially since the daily updates seem to fall when my soap opera is on (like annoyingly so every day). Getting outside to watch the birds has been a blessing. Spending time with God and hearing what He has to teach me has been restoring to my soul.
Please pray, stop worrying. God is bigger than any of this, we just need to engage Him in our lives.