by Kristin Gumminger on March 30, 2020
The reported number of COVID-19 cases rises significantly each day, and I have reluctantly joined those millions of people who are drastically reducing in-person contact to slow the virus’s spread and possibly keep the medical infrastructure from becoming overwhelmed.
As an extravert, I suspect that this in-home confinement will begin to take its toll. As a teacher who is changing all of her classes from face-to-face delivery to online, however, I have been working far too many hours in front of my computer screen to notice much…yet.
I have only been at home for a little over a week, and I am well aware that more weeks of restricted activity stretch ahead of me. So many questions arise, and I find myself thinking about:
My cheerful mother reminded me yesterday that we all have choices about how we respond, and she’s right. I am unlikely to be able to change much from that list above (with the exception of prioritizing exercise and limiting eye strain). So what can I do?
I started today by praying and asking the Lord if there was a particular part of the Bible I should be reading. Romans 5:4 came immediately to mind, so I looked up that verse.
It’s a short one with only five words in the translation I was using: “perseverance, character, and character, hope.”
If you back up to Romans 5:2b, the whole concept makes more sense:
And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character, and character, hope.
As usual, reading Scripture results in a paradigm shift for me. I stop focusing so much on the daily issues and concerns of life. Instead, I get a glimpse of the big picture—eternity.
My ultimate hope has never been in grocery stores, hospitals, businesses or schools. My ultimate hope is in the God who saves, the God who resurrects.
With that big picture in mind, I can rejoice in the sufferings of this present moment whether they are as minor as giving up planned activities or as major as losing a job or facing a life-threatening illness.
The sufferings of today and the days to come will give me an opportunity to persevere faithfully and exercise my character in hundreds of small ways, such as:
This won’t be easy, and we will need each other even if our connections are made at a distance.
I am praying today for anyone who reads this: May you persevere in whatever challenges today brings you. May you exercise your character in each small choice that comes your way. May you hope in God.