Choosing to be thankful in the midst of corona craziness

This whole coronavirus pandemic has really made for a rollercoaster of a week. At first, I was like, “What’s the big deal? Everyone is crazy.” Now I’m more like, “Wow, we need to be careful. Everyone is still crazy.” In all seriousness, it’s hard to keep your head on straight with everything coming at us at the same time. Thank God I’m routinely obsessive about toilet paper. Yikes!

When the full weight of all the consequences became apparent earlier last week, my first thought was that this is going to stink for all seniors in high school. Since I happen to have a senior, I fully see and understand all the implications. No senior trip. Spring breaks and/or mission trips all canceled (our daughter had been planning on going on a missions trip and had been working so hard to raise the money! Argh!). All of those “last time” events that are supposed to be so full of meaning and a moment to shine… well, they’re all scrapped too. Musicals, plays, sports games. Done. In Korea, they’ve already made the decision to cancel graduation and just hand out diplomas. My word, I truly hope it doesn’t come to that here in the States.

Then after all these initial thoughts, of course, I’m thinking how in the world are we all going to function in the house together doing school all at the same time? With loud twins in the background, no less? LORD have mercy, this is going to be interesting.

Everyone is understandably upset about having to stay home and deal with doing school and/or working at home for an extended period of time. This is obviously unprecedented. However, the more I thought about it, the more I was reminded of how challenging “inconveniences” like this have permeated people’s lives since the beginning of time. Difficult, complicated, inconvenient, frustrating things just happen (and that’s just for those of us who will not be affected by the virus; imagine those who actually get the virus!). So if we know they’re going to happen and there is absolutely nothing we can do to change it, what are we going to do about it? How do we react?

I absolutely love Corrie Ten Boom’s book, “The Hiding Place.” I’ve spoken about it frequently, but I think one particular story in the book applies well to our current situation. Corey was in a concentration camp with her sister Betsy and was trying her best to keep up her spirits as well as the other female prisoners around her. They would hold secret meetings in one area of their sleeping area to study the Bible but it was infested with nasty bugs and fleas. And one day, she’d had enough. She hated that she had to sit in such a filthy place to study God’s Word, especially with bugs, but Betsy gently reminded her, “We are to be thankful in ALL circumstances, Corey (1 Thess 5:16-18).” Begrudgingly, she prayed to God and thanked Him for the fleas. Years later, she found out the reason they were able to have those secret meetings was that the guards didn’t want to go into that room because, you guessed it, the fleas. Those meetings were a tremendous blessing. And so were those bugs. Wow.

So despite the situation we find ourselves thrust in, there are a couple of things that I’m personally intentionally choosing to be thankful for right now. I’m thankful that we don’t have fleas to deal with. I’m thankful that the situation could be much worse. I’m thankful that the coronavirus is going to allow us more time together as a family (whether or not we want it). I’m thankful that it’s not terribly cold outside so throwing children out the door to play outside will be a very easy and frequent thing we can do. I am thankful whether or not I agree with God’s timing, whether or not I understand what in the world He’s doing. He knows better than I do, and He is good. I may not know much, but I do know that.

I’m certain each one of us can find a few things to be thankful for in this situation. I would never be one to say, “BRING IT, GOD!” I’m not a masochist, people. I don’t like this just as much as everyone else doesn’t like it. But that’s not the point. We don’t have to like it. As I tell my children on almost a daily basis, we can very rarely control what goes on around us, but the one thing we can control is ourselves. Can we use this to teach our children how to deal with stressful and unexpected circumstances? What are they learning from us? Because I’m sure I don’t have to point out the obvious, but, they’re watching. Will we freak out? Will we respond in anger and frustration? This may be God’s way of allowing us to teach our children how to trust God when we don’t know what’s going to happen. How to find true peace when everyone else is flipping. Or how about how we are hunkering down because we are thinking of others as more important than ourselves (Phil. 2:3)? If for nothing else, maybe we can be thankful for that, right?

Now to pray that we can all march steadfastly into these next few weeks with a thankful, gracious, wise and patient heart. One day at a time. One hour at a time. One moment at a time. And deep breaths. Oh yeah, and lots of handwashing.

God is good, all the time. Amen?

©2024 Mud Hen Mama


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