None of us could have imagined just a month ago what life is like now. As of this post, my wife and I have not left the house for 10 days, with very few and abbreviated exceptions (keeping our social distance). Fortunately, we both can work from home, unlike millions who are losing their jobs. Businesses are struggling, with many at risk of not making it. All events are canceled, including Church services. With schools closing, kids are at home, putting additional stress on working parents. It’s crazy. The ripple effect is tremendous.
Our elderly and the frail are most vulnerable. While cases of Coronavirus continue to rise, the death rate is still very low. Nonetheless people are very scared. Many are in a panic, with hoarding continuing to take place. With the economy going off the cliff, our government is preparing to spend trillions of dollars, with no guarantee that it’s going to work.
Where are we? What’s happening?
No, this isn’t a political blog. Instead I wanted to comment on the human dynamics at play.
I think there are three primary things that have people so shaken:
- Lack of knowledge as to what we’re truly facing
- The fear that most people have most of their lives (even without a pandemic)
- General decline of faith in America.
Let’s look at each individually.
Lack of Knowledge
In my book, I identify the things that we most fear in life. Among the top six is the “unknown”. People fear what they don’t know and what they don’t understand. We’ve all heard that knowledge is power. While that is very true in the affirmative, it can be paralyzing in the negative.
Although the news channels are full of Coronavirus 24/7, no one has definitive answers. There are so many unknowns, including how long we’re going to have to endure this.
In addition to the unknown, people most fear ridicule and rejection, conflict or confrontation, being alone (loneliness), and failure. It would be my guess that among these in relation to Coronavirus, the fears include the unknown, potential conflict, and loneliness. I would assume you could add to that “pain” and “death”.
It says 365 times in the Bible some derivative of “be not afraid”. God clearly doesn’t want us to live in fear. Fear, doubt, and division are of Satan, not God who loves each of us more than we’ll ever know, no matter what we’ve ever done.
I’m well aware that knowing the above (or just hearing it for the first time), in of itself, doesn’t eliminate the fear. But know…God doesn’t want us to live in fear.
Lack of Faith
The numbers are staggering. Over the last several decades, while the US population has increased dramatically, the percentage of Catholics has gone from 24% to 20%. If the current trends continue, that number will be 17-18% soon. The same decline applies to the non-Catholic Christian community.
Those who have made the decision or had their conversion, which is a function of knowing the love of Christ, would never go back to their past lives. Not only are those who have come to this place engaged in their faith, including being active in their Churches, but they’re passionate about sharing the love of Christ with others.
If more people knew the love of Christ, our Church wouldn’t be decreasing in size.
Use Your God Given Gifts
God gave you a specific purpose for your life. He provided you with unique gifts and talents. We are called to use those gifts, doing our very best in all circumstances, not only for ourselves, but in helping others as well.
In circumstances like these, we need to make sure we understand the facts and make good decisions. If we need clarity, we should seek it as opposed to speculating or relying on bad sources of information. Taking all to prayer will do nothing but help immensely.
Lastly, we need not live in fear. We have a God who not only loves us, but who we can rely on for all. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t make our best efforts, doing all that we can to protect ourselves from danger. That said, God will provide!!!
So…do your best, fear not, and trust in the Lord. Know of my prayers for you, your families, and our country.
As always, please get to me with any questions, comments, or challenges at Mark@MarkJosephMinistries.com.
God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!