“When the virus ends...” I hear these words on a daily basis from my four year old. It’s amazing what a four year old can understand. He understands that he can get sick, and that he must stay away from his friends. He understands that he must wash his hands and that we have to protect his baby sister. He yearns to hug his friends and return to school. Everyday his little mind is working, and he dreams up big plans for “when the virus ends”. He has conjured up big parties in his imagination and has talked about how he will celebrate.
What he hasn’t realized is that while he is waiting, he has experienced so much. He has learned to ride a bike without training wheels, spent uninterrupted quality time at home with dad, made arts and crafts, and even received new toys.
We as believers can relate. The current circumstances with COVID-19 leave a lot of us deep in the trenches of fear, grief and anxiety. We are counting down the days to “when the virus ends” so that our lives can return to normal.
But is that really what we want? James 1:2-4 says, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
“When the virus ends,” we will find ourselves with a new outlook on life, new gratitude for family and friends and a matured relationship with the Lord. Do we really want to return to our old normal?
So how do we endure the “now”? Paul says it best in Philippians 4:11-13 “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
The Lord alone is our strength. Cling to him during this time of wait. Worship him, dive into scripture, and practice gratitude for the things you have now. Don’t miss out on the blessings to be found in the wait.
Take comfort in his promise found in 1 Peter 5:9-10 “Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are. In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.”
And of course, “when the virus ends”, have the party. Celebrate God’s goodness and tell the world what he has done for you!