Life Lessons we Learnt from the Pandemic
There’s no doubt that during isolation, many of us found it difficult to stay home. Some complained about boredom and perhaps even felt their individual rights were violated. However, when it comes to the greater good, Christians in particular, should always be eager to sacrifice a little bit for the common good of all. Putting our individual needs to one side is the hallmark of a true Christian. So, did we learn anything during the pandemic? Hopefully, we learnt the following:
Not everything is in our control
Most of us are under the illusion that life is under our control. The ‘quick fix’ mentality seems to work much of the time. Unfortunately, when life spiralled out of control, like during the pandemic, our first reaction was to try and take back control any way we could. And that’s when we saw panic buying. This was our instant reaction. We tried to get back some control over our life that seemed so out of control. We believed that if we could control our provisions, then we would have more control over our lives.
Truthfully, having endless months’ worth of toilet paper did not change the fact that we were a fractured world where eventual control over our lives was merely an illusion. If, however, we positioned ourselves so that we thought of others first, rather than making our own lives comfortable, nobody would have missed out on essentials. When we were able to lift our eyes from our own fears and concerns and looked around to the needs of others, everyone benefitted.
Care for others
Did we fail to realise that God our loving Father had our lives securely in his caring hands? When we came to this realisation, something wonderful happened. It was then that we found the motivation to ask our neighbours how they were doing, and how we might help. Many of us knocked on doors or over social media, offered free groceries to those who could not get out or who found the store shelves bare. We set up Zoom groups for our street, allowing people to stay connected, raise concerns or ask for help. We built connections with our neighbours that would otherwise have been harder to do.
Lean into suffering
In the modern secular world, it seems that suffering is to be avoided at all costs. We see suffering as unwarranted, an annoyance that takes away from our life’s purpose, which is to be happy and comfortable. So, we do whatever we can to avoid suffering, even if it means hoarding essential items at another person’s expense. By Christian standards, suffering serves a higher purpose. Sure, suffering is painful but it’s an important way God achieves His purpose, namely, to make us more like Christ. When we understand the why of suffering, it gives meaning and purpose to our pain.
Subsequently, Christians learnt to lean into suffering, not to fear or avoid it. Instead, many used their suffering as an opportunity to grow closer to God, but mostly as a time to serve others. And that was a much better way to respond.
God is trustworthy and sustains us
It is in God, that we have our security, not in safety or comfort. God did not promise that we would not suffer, rather the opposite. Nonetheless, He assures us that He is stronger than our suffering and mightier than the things we fear. Granted, it was difficult to see where God was during the pandemic. Why didn’t He stop the virus from spreading? Why didn’t He intervene to save lives? These were hard questions we wanted answered. But God was there, and He listened. He opened our eyes to see His work in our lives and gave us the perfect opportunity to have the courage to follow Him, love our neighbours and live for Him, no matter what happened. But above all, we learnt that we are blessed, and much loved by a God who never abandons us.