James 1: 2-4
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
When I first signed up to write this blog post, I had a great idea for what I was going to write. I planned to share my personal story of disappointment and how I am not particularly good at dealing with it. Then . . . everything changed. Three months ago, the majority of us had never even heard of a coronavirus. And, because Covid-19 is a novel strain that was first reported by the Chinese government to the World Health Organization on December 31, 2019, NONE of us could have foreseen what was coming our way.
But, it’s here, and it feels like so much has shifted. So, I am changing direction, and I want to explore this new phenomenon of “coronavirus disappointment.” I am coining that term right here, right now. There is an extremely long list of disappointment that has been born out of our current situation. Here are a few that come to mind immediately:
- A college or High School senior who will miss out on the remainder of his/her senior year, sport and a graduation ceremony.
- A grieving family member who can’t attend a loved ones’ funeral because attendance was limited to ten.
- An entrepreneur watching his dream go down the drain because his business was deemed non-essential.
- A parent who has worked hard to make a living and put food on the table for their family, but can’t now because income has been put on hold.
- A young woman anticipating surgery that could help alleviate her constant pain, but now has to wait because the procedure has been deemed non-emergent.
Clearly, this list could go on almost indefinitely. Many of you are living these very real disappointments right now.
On the other hand, we are also experiencing daily inconveniences due to coronavirus.
- Working from home without the convenient logistics of the office and no childcare options.
- Regular exercise and socialization routines disrupted
- Difficulty buying groceries and toilet paper
- No restaurants to frequent, no sports on T.V
- Day to day conveniences removed in so many ways
It’s safe to say we are all experiencing numerous inconveniences and a few true disappointments. And here is where we have a choice.
When we are tempted to complain, whine, and worry about how to handle all of this extra time at home, the disappointments, and the inconveniences, I wonder if we can instead consider it all pure joy. We are certainly facing trials of many kinds (and magnitudes) each day and the good news is that God will use all of this to build our faith and our families. When we choose to see God’s goodness in the midst of disappointments and inconveniences, we can choose joy.
Here’s something that has helped me when I feel the temptation to wish this ‘stay at home’ time away. I imagine my normal life of driving multiple kids to and from numerous sports and activities. We are all in a rat race, of sorts! I often hear myself and the other moms around me complaining about being too busy and needing time to rest and be still. But, now that we have that time, am I going to complain again?! NO!
Honestly, in the midst of this uncertainty and fear, I am happy. I am happy to be home with my family, with no where to go. Soon enough our country will re-open, so to speak, and we will quickly fall right back into our full lives. I’m praying we come out on the other side of this covid-19 pandemic stronger, wiser, more faithful, and rested.
God, please help us count these unique days as pure joy. When we are tempted to complain, remind us of our longing for rest. When we find ourselves frustrated, remind us to turn to you. Be with those experiencing true disappointment and show us how to show compassion. May we be more mature, more complete, and understand what it is to lack nothing in You. Amen
Audrey Behrendt works as the Administrative Assistant for Commonway Church. She grew up on a farm in Southeastern Delaware County. She left Indiana for Texas where she received her BA in Speech Communications from Texas A&M University. After working as an event coordinator for a time post-graduation, she returned to her roots in agriculture and rejoined the family business. She and her husband, Mike, were married in 2006 and now enjoy a full, never boring, ever-changing, blessed life with their four children.
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