7 Words During the COVID-19 New Normal
As we all adjust to our new normal brought about by COVID-19, I am struck by the fact that none of us could have predicted where the world is today. In a time of daily uncertainty, we hold fast to the faithfulness of our Father. We trust him. We know God is still on the throne and has promised to unleash his unlimited resources for the fulfillment of his kingdom purposes. We are trusting the one who has been faithful in the past to be faithful today and faithful in the future through his sovereign love.
During this time of our new normal, the following seven words have stood out to me. These words not only encourage me, but I find they are key words in relating Christ to those around me.
Trust: My word for this year is trust. Amid this coronavirus pandemic, it has been very applicable. Proverbs 3:5-6 says: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths” (NKJV). Don’t lean on your own strategies, insights, plans — your own understanding — trying to figure it out with your finite mind. Place everything under God’s lordship and he will lead you.
Control: A friend recently said to his staff, “We are no less in control than we were four months ago. We are just far more aware of it than we were back then.” The sovereign one is the only one who has certainty about anything. We can be sure about his love for us, his sovereignty, his engagement in the world — our God is not limited during this time.
Grieve: Many people are grieving some very difficult things right now — impending death or the death of loved ones, loss of jobs and incomes, the loss of physical contact with families, friends, coworkers, church families, the loss of events that bring people together. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4 NIV). Many do not receive comfort because they do not lean into their grief. Lean into grief and let God bring his comfort.
Lonely: Many are lonely. Some may feel they are isolated in a bubble with a few family members or by themselves. Psalm 139:7-10 tells us that even in our home isolation and social distancing, God is with us: “Where can I go to get away from your Spirit? Where can I run from you? If I go up to the heavens, you are there. If I lie down in the grave, you are there. If I rise with the sun in the east and settle in the west beyond the sea, even there you would guide me. With your right hand you would hold me” (NCV). Even in our isolated bubble his Spirit makes his home with us!
Hope: Paul wrote that God’s hope does not disappoint. “And this hope will never disappoint us, because God has poured out his love to fill our hearts. He gave us his love through the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to us” (Romans 5:5 NCV). During this crisis, some are in desperation and not feeling or sensing any hope. But God is the God of all hope because of his deep love for us.
Fear: We wonder what is next. How hard will it hit us? How difficult will this be? We’re afraid of what could happen. Joshua said to the Israelites, “Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9 NLT). That is how we are delivered from fear because we have peace knowing God is in control and is with us wherever we go.
Disciple: We are always about the Great Commission. We are to go make disciples, who make disciples, who make disciples. This is happening — right now. People are responding in ways they never have before. There are families having family devotions for the very first time. People are watching entire church services online because there is nowhere to go. They are taking in the Word of God and passing it on to others.
During this COVID-19 outbreak, there is an openness to the gospel. God is moving in powerful and amazing ways. God is revealing himself. Realizing God is in control, we can trust him and not be afraid. Look for God in times like this.