Right now, our world is consumed with the Coronavirus pandemic. Travel is being discouraged, flights are being halted, businesses are closing, conferences are being canceled, schools have moved to remote instruction, and churches are meeting online.
Our world looks different than what it did even just a week ago. And maybe today, you find yourself worried and anxious.
- Worried about how to do it all. Everyone is home and it feels chaotic.
- Worried about a family member that is immune-compromised.
- Worried about where your next paycheck may come from.
- Worried about having enough food and supplies.
- Worried about being laid off from your job.
- Worried about your financial future.
- Worried about the unknown.
In times like this, it can be so easy to allow the fears, worries, and anxious thoughts get the best of us. We start imagining the worst-case scenarios and the “what if” questions start roaming around in our minds. We are glued to the TV and our social media feeds are filled with story after story of the fears that are so easily entangling us.
By the end of the day, we are mentally and emotionally spent.
In unsettling times like this, what can we do? How do we stay “alert” while also trusting in the goodness of God?
Connect with God in the morning. I know this seems so cliché, but I don’t think I can emphasize enough the peace and calm that comes when you give yourself the opportunity to meet with Jesus. If you are accustomed to spending time with the Lord in the middle of the day or in the evening, let me encourage you, in this season of life, to set your alarm and get up early. This alone time (before anyone else is awake) with the Lord will set the tone and atmosphere for the day. Here are a couple of passages of Scripture to get you started:
- Psalm 46
- Psalm 91
Disconnect from social media. When our schedule is in disarray, if we’re not careful, we can soon find ourselves scrolling through our social media feeds all day. And right now, social media is consumed with news articles, videos, and people’s opinions about the Coronavirus. Limit your time and if need be, unfollow people who are causing you anxiety, fear, and worry. There is no shame in that.
Engage with worship music. Fill your home with music that will help you engage with God. Music that will remind you of the goodness of God. Music that will shower you with the peace of God. Music that will allow you to truly worship. Here are some of my favorites:
Create a gratitude journal. In times like this, it’s easy to lose sight of all the good that has and is taking place in our lives. Research has continually shown the benefits of keeping a gratitude journal which includes increased happiness and resilience, better sleep, and better relationships. Start your day with God and end your day with gratitude. Here are some prompts to get you started:
- Write about a time that God came through when you least expected it.
- What is one thing you’ve learned this week that you are grateful for?
- What book has impacted your life, that you are grateful for?
- What do you like most about where you live?
- What do you like most about your job?
- What was the best thing about today?
- What do you love about your family?
- What made you smile today?
- What made you laugh today?
- What brings you joy?
Serve your local community. We are surrounded by people who are feeling the worries, fears, and anxieties of what this virus is doing in our personal lives, in our communities, and in the world. One of the best ways to get our minds off of our personal fears and worries is by serving others. Who in your community can you help? Is there a widow or an older neighbor that needs help? Is there a specific food bank you can donate to? Can you pack lunches for kids who rely on school lunches and now, have no access to those school lunches? There are needs all around us. Don’t let the fear of what might be, keep you from making a difference in your local community.
Are you feeling anxious?
Are you feeling fearful?
Are you worried?
Are you stressed?
If so, let me encourage you to allow your heart, mind, and soul to meditate on Philippians 4:6-7:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
May the peace of God, guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. Know today that He has not forgotten you. Nothing takes Him by surprise. He’s got you.