Have you heard enough about COVID-19?
We still lots to learn about COVID-19. We also must ask the question, what did COVID-19 teach me. On some level, the virus negatively affected most families.
COVID-19 turned our lives inside out. Yes, COVID-19 launched us into unprecedented times. And yes, the virus was an accelerator of the decade. But more significant, the virus revealed our inner struggles and our outward weaknesses.
The virus intensified and magnified the behaviors of our pre-virus lives. It is true that people are like a pimple-squeeze them and see what comes out. The virus revealed so much. The virus uncovered our idols and highlighted our imperfections. The squeeze of COVID-19 is more like a python. Every exhale from stress, worry, and fear, and the python secured a firmer grip.
Of course, the squeeze is from the devil and the wickedness in the earth realm.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (I Peter 5:8, NKJV)
Fear not only takes prisoners but fear keeps you in prison.
Fear continues to ravage the hearts of Americans and across our cities. Fear is rampant in our senior citizens. Thousands of senior citizens are showing up at vaccination centers without a reservation.
COVID-19 exposed our fear and maximized our worry.
- Stress (33% overall; 42% of 18-to-34-year-olds)
- Anxiety (30% overall; 40% of 18-to-34-year-olds)
- Depression (24% overall; 31% of 18-to-34-year-olds)
- Loneliness or isolation (24% overall; 31% of 18-to-34-year-olds)
Americans fear death.
Americans fear sickness.
Americans worry too much. Worry is a sin.
“Therefore, I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one [j]cubit to his stature? (Matthew 16:25-27, NKJV)
Worry is a terrible servant and a cruel master. We must remember the virus only magnified our struggles that were already resident before the virus showed up.
The closing of schools uncovered the weakness of our families. Some parents prefer schools to raise their kids. When the virus forced parents to spend time with their kids, the lid came off the family. Dads learned they were better at the office than at home.
Many marriages went south as adults were forced to shelter at home. Husbands stopped traveling and spouses acknowledged they live better apart than together. The family unit suffered terribly in 2020.
2021 offers us the opportunity to address these issues and get better.
I love this from Andi Saitowitz.
Andi said, When we learn, we open our minds and discover new possibilities. We can learn to pioneer anything! The sky is the limit. Let’s give ourselves permission to try new things, take risks, and be humble enough to learn from new leaders and teachers. Lessons are all around us. Failure can become our greatest teacher. Mistakes can become our greatest mentors.
Andi is right. We can learn, grow, and change.
Many families did just that.
Some people thrived in 2020. The great marriages just kept soaring higher and getting better. The committed parents rocked it through school shutdowns and developed stronger relationships with their kids. Neighbors jumped on the opportunity to care for the children of single moms. The preachers and pastors met people at the point of their pain and poverty.
The churches with vision reached into their communities by providing meals to first responders. Non-profits jumped to the aid of senior citizens by running errands and delivering food to homes.
These random acts of kindness are happening all across our cities and the nations of the world. So, 2020 does not have to be a year of failure. It can turn around to become the greatest year of our life.
John Maxwell said, “Things turn out best for those who make the best of the way things turn out.” I agree with John. Let’s make the best of it.
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This article first appeared here.