So my smooth quarantine sailing isn’t so smooth anymore. But instead of letting it disrupt my peace and confidence in Christ, I am coming back to this article, which has been a helpful resource for what the coronavirus can teach us. The article titled “8 Things the Coronavirus Should Teach Us,” from The Gospel Coalition was written by Mark Oden.
I read this article once all of this craziness started, and I need it now as a reminder that God will bring good out of this situation. As I am in need, my faith is getting stronger. If there’s disruption and hardship and trials, then God must want me to learn something.
So, what are we supposed to be learning from the coronavirus? I still don’t know exactly, and it’s probably different for every person, but I thought that this article would be a good start for me to figure it out.
Written by Mark Oden, a pastor in Naples, Italy, this article has changed my perspective. I am reminded of God’s peace and prompted to cling to his promises.
Here’s my response to some of the points Oden made, and make sure to let me know what your thoughts are in the comments below! I hope you use this article as a helpful resource during quarantine and let your faith grow.
“This global crisis is teaching us how weak we are as human beings…It’s easy to forget, but humans are weak and frail.” (Oden, 2020)
This particular “lesson” that Oden draws out from this pandemic actually reminds me of the Avengers movie. I know it seems random, but stay with me.
It reminds me of the Avengers movie because humans are faced with a new enemy–aliens. These aliens decimate in seconds the cities that have taken humans decades to build. The aliens posses a power and strength that humans have never seen before. So what do the humans do? We point guns at the aliens, and then we gear up our tanks and our missiles. And what do our weapons ultimately do? Not a thing. Nothing.
We humans are frail. We are weak. We may have modern technology, gadgets, and science, but we are crazy fragile.
And I’m reminded of the verse James 4:14 that says, “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” (NIV)
Yet there is hope because the Lord God created us, and He knows how fragile we are. This coronavirus has taught me that I must rest and trust in God because on my own, I’m no match for the coronavirus, or aliens, or any of the troubles in this world. I am but a mist!
“This virus doesn’t respect ethnic boundaries or national borders. It’s not a Chinese virus; it’s our virus. It’s in Afghanistan, Belgium, Cambodia, Denmark, France, America…and counting [and all] have been contaminated by the coronavirus.” (Oden, 2020)
I feel that nowadays humans are quick to draw lines in the sand. As soon as we spot a difference or someone does something we don’t like, bam! We draw a line in the sand. It’s crazy how many different demographics we use to separate ourselves from each other.
And yet, the coronavirus doesn’t care about any demographic. It’s above national borders, races, and ethnicities, political parties, and religious denominations.
We are all mankind. God sees us equally as well, and He loves all of us. 1 Timothy 2:3b-4 says, “God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
I’m reminded of this quote I found on Pinterest and that for a long time I used as my phone background because it really hits this point home. Just as the virus doesn’t discriminate, God doesn’t discriminate. He wants to see all people come to Him, so…
“Remember you don’t ever look into the eyes of someone whom God doesn’t love.” We are all equal in the eyes of God and loved by God.
“We all love to be in control. We fancy ourselves captains of our destiny, masters of our fate…But perhaps this sense of control is an illusion, a bubble that the coronavirus has popped, revealing the reality that we’re not really in control.” (Oden, 2020).
This one is huge for me. I talk about my struggle with wanting to be in control frequently in my posts about travel, study abroad, and living abroad (like “Perks of Living Abroad (Honest and True) — Part 2“).
I also talk about how when things don’t go my way, I’m reminded that God is in control. In those moments, I know I need to rely on Him, not my ability to plan or my assumption of job security or the train schedule saying the train shouldn’t have left yet.
A loss of control can be frightening, but I know the heart of the one who is in control. This is my comfort.
“‘It’s so easy to lose perspective in the midst of the madness of our lives. Our days are so filled with people and projects, works and wish lists, homes and holidays, that…we lose ourselves in the midst our lives.” (Oden, 2020)
I used to pride myself so much in just being “busy,” and now I’m working 10 hour days and busy is the last thing that I want to be!
While I’m dying for a vacation (can I get an Amen?), I’m also so cognizant of how I’ve been spending mine time, particularly because it’s not on the things that I thought were so essential to my life. But don’t I need to be running around doing this, this, and this? How can this organization or that organization survive without me there?
Before I was always striving, striving to the point that if I wasn’t busy every moment of every day, I felt that valuable time was being wasted. Now, I’ve taken a step back and see that I was just exhausting myself. Before everything was urgent, and now, I’m laughing at myself.
Because even though I’m not doing XXX, the world is still spinning. And I am alright.
The Most Helpful Resource is God
So that’s my response to “8 Things the Coronavirus Should Teach Us” but what about you?
The coronavirus has affected everyone differently, but it’s definitely affected everyone. Whether the disruption started small and grew (like for me) or started big and shrank (or just stayed big), I know that God is trying to teach us something in the midst of it.
And He already has. He has taught me to
I know there are videos on videos on videos of sermons and commentary and pages on pages on pages of articles about what this all means, and I’m not discounting those things. Like this article 8 Things the Coronavirus Should Teach Us, those things are great ways to give me a new perspective and get me started.
But at the end of the day, I’m looking to God for the answer.
Lord, what do you want me to learn from this time? How do you want to use me to further your kingdom?
I don’t know what the answer to those two questions are yet, but it looks like I’ll have lots of time in quarantine to figure it out. ?
What resource has been helpful to you?
And how about you? What has the coronavirus taught you?
What do you think about the 4 items I pulled from the article as things to learn from the coronavirus? Were the other four items in the article more relevant to your life now?
Drop me a line in the comments below! What resource has helped you see what the coronavirus is teaching you?
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Note: No copyright is claimed in The Gospel Coalition or Mark Oden’s article “8 things the coronavirus should teach us” as only small portions of text were used to further comment and critique the ideas. To the extent that material may appear to be infringed, I assert that such alleged infringement is permissible under fair use principles in U.S. copyright laws. If you believe material has been used in an unauthorized manner, please contact me.