COVID-19 is Killing Me, and That’s a Good Thing
I don’t know about you, but COVID-19 is killing me.
COVID-19 is killing the part of me that needs security. Watching the news and following predictions, doesn’t help. I don’t know one definite thing about the future. Indeed, none of us know what tomorrow will bring, how many will get sick, or what the economy will look like even next month.
I can’t find security in the business we’ve spent nine years building because it’s closed and we have no income coming in. No one knows for sure when that will change. So the security I’ve found in that is dying.
And it’s oh, so painful.
COVID-19 is killing the part of me that takes comfort in health and relationships.
As the COVID-19 cases in our county multiply, I think of the people I love with lung disease, and heart problems, or just those over the age of 50. I don’t know if I will see them again.
My family is taking steps to avoid the virus, like hand washing, cleaning and social distancing. But we don’t know if we’ve been exposed, or how the virus will effect my asthmatic son. I can’t find comfort in knowing my loved ones will be okay, because they may not be. And I am being forced to accept that.
I can’t experience a warm hug or handshake from a friend, enjoy the live music from the worship band at church, schedule playdates for my littles or bring them to a playground. That part of me that relies on these interactions for encouragement, inspiration and growth is aching and longing to reconnect.
COVID-19 is killing the part of me that controls things
As a Type A person who thrives when things are all mapped out, COVID-19 is killing the part of me that trusts in my own plans. It’s wiping clean my calendar and deleting all the lists that I hold tightly. During this time, we truly can’t plan much past this very day.
So this virus is killing off the fallacy of control I’ve been clinging to for most of my life. And it leaves me scrambling.
COVID-19 is killing my ability to take comfort in my ‘things’.
When the crisis started, my family decided to go somewhere where we’d feel less alone. So we found a friend who could housesit, left most of our belongings and headed to our in-laws.
My house back home has four bedrooms, four bathrooms, and lots of room to stretch and breathe. Now we are sleeping four to a room, wearing winter clothes in a summer like season and eating food from cans.
All of this, along with sharing hot water and meshing everyday routines with extended family is a challenge. And it’s killing the part of me that is independent and selfish…the part that rests in tidiness and order.
Death Leads to Life
This death of my security in finances, health, relationships, and comfort…it’s excruciating at times. But there is something bigger happening here.
Here in the Kentucky farmlands where we wait out this pandemic, I see death all around us. It is spring and the farmers are spreading compost and manure over their newly sewn fields. As they sprinkle this dead, decaying matter on the winter-touched ground, the soil breaks down, and essential nutrients are released. These nutrients incite the growth of young seedlings and life erupts from the rich and fertile soil that death has provided.
In the same way the Master Gardener of our lives is too kind to leave the landscape of our hearts untended.
He sees the hardened soil that dwells there and the ways we’ve sought nourishment from that which does not nourish. As our securities and comforts die, He can use this death just as the farmers do; He can create from it a fertile field, bursting with new life.
A New Hope
In the decay of financial security, a better hope can break through. We have a Savior who beckons us to see how He moves mountains to care for His people. His tender voice presses against our ears, inviting us to witness the scope of the very universe, resting in the palm of His hand. He promises to “supply all (our) needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” but so often, in the ease and comfort of financial security, we forget how much we need Him. Well, at least, I know I do.
Through this process of losing hope in the material world, a real, tangible, fibrous hope has begun growing within my heart.
It’s a hope that cannot fade away, for it’s founded in an immovable God. I am forced to look to Him with the helpless eyes of a child, knowing that in Him is all goodness and provision. He invites us all to taste this steadfast hope in this time.
A Better Companion
My comfort found in relationships is dissolving but, as it dissipates, a deeper companionship is born. In the silence of social distancing, we have the chance to hear God’s voice arise, declaring “I am near.” He draws so close now that we can cherish His presence anew. He is the “friend who sticks closer than a brother“. and there is no pandemic that can keep Him from reaching us. He gives us more than a fanciful dream of far off peace. He gives us Himself.
His presence is a right-now, real and powerful, hunger quenching, soul satisfying experience that reaches the very core of our need.
In this isolation, we can find Him even more.
A New Contentment
Almost every one of us is going without certain things we have previously looked to for comfort. Here at my in-laws, when the water isn’t hot enough for a shower, the house isn’t quiet enough for a Zoom chat, and we can’t find access to the foods we are used to feeding our children, I have to find contentment elsewhere or I will cave completely to the stress.
In our lack of regular comforts and conveniences, a new and truer contentment has the opportunity to form within us. Hebrews 13:5 says “be content with what you have, because God has said,“Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.” That means genuine contentment can be found in His nearness alone.
A New Dependence
We are all in a state of uncertainty about what will happen tomorrow. But in the death of our routines, a new dependence can take root.
Instead of waking each morning and barreling through our regular plans for the day, we must now completely reorganize our lives and priorities.
I see myself learning to surrender each hour back to Him and ask “what should I do with my time, Lord?”
Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
and he will establish your plans. Proverbs 16:3
Certainly, this is not easy work for our souls to do, but it is good work. It is beautiful work and it yields beautiful fruit of eternal worth.
So yes, COVID-19 is killing me…
but it’s also
bringing me back to Life.
***What about you? What has this pandemic cost you? What parts of your life do you see disappearing? And how is God using this to transform you?