Exodus 9:15 – For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the earth.
Recently the governor of California declared that because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) everyone was ordered to stay home.
At first, it didn’t seem like such a bad thing to do, but once we were under the order and home, it quickly became another form of fear and isolation. I understand the reason for the order, but it doesn’t make my emotions stable when I feel trapped.
I think of all the people who are losing their income because they can’t go to work, and my heart goes out to all the employers who are losing the ability to create revenue.
Where will this all lead us? Even after the order to be housebound is lifted, life will still not be the same.
Those businesses that were closed, will they open again? Can they bring about a quick enough turn around that brings customers back? And will their employees be rehired? Will the losses be so great that they must close for good?
A lot of questions that will need to be answered when life attempts to return to “normal”. I do know that this will be remembered in the history books. And the fear we felt will also be noted.
How long will it take for the shelves to be full again? Will people still hoard food and toilet paper? Will they be able to let go of the anxiety and begin to take a deep breath and move on?
According to politico.com in their article, “Coronavirus will Change the World Permanently. Here’s how.” One way is it could become second nature to avoid shaking hands or touching our faces, and we may still wash our hands frequently. Where we used to enjoy each other’s company, may turn to avoiding people for fear of getting sick by another means. Doctors and the medical profession doing their jobs has caused them to be on the front line putting their own health at risk. The virus may help us bind together as one nation instead of being fragmented into political parties. As we face one common enemy that lives within our nation, we may be united.
In the meantime, look at the Bible verse above. It was the time when Moses was to lead the people of Israel out of the land of the Egyptians and to freedom. For the pharaoh to agree to this, he had to be shown what God could do and Pharaoh couldn’t stop. In this present time, I believe that the virus is like a plague from days of old. But know that God is still in control. We are to turn to him and give him our fears and our lives.
Psalm 41:3 – The LORD sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness.
Our world has always had threats to human life.
And then there’s chaos.
Recently our world has known the meaning of chaos where the Coronavirus has taken over every part of the United States and most of other countries.
It is tragic to see human life that has been lost. But there has also been loss of our way of life.
They have placed everything on hold for two weeks hoping that’s enough time for the virus to burn itself out.
How do we live in this time without it dragging us down into fear, depression and chaos?
One of the ways that you can help yourself is to be informed. Many of the fears that abound are because of the Coronavirus. There is information on the internet on sites like cdc.gov and health.harvard.edu. These sites provide us with information on what you need to know, what the virus is, the symptoms, if you think you are sick, preparations and community resources.
It’s important that if you are experiencing symptoms to contact your health provider and ask what you should do to find out if you have the virus and whether treatment or isolation should be followed.
Remember that just as the Bible verse above says God will sustain you on your sickbed and restore you. Yes, there have been many people who have died, but there is always hope to cling to that we will be made well again and our world find it’s way out of chaos.
Philippians 2:4 – Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
It is difficult to be pushed aside; when people, those you even care about, ignore you and your needs. It’s not that we’re trying to be pushy. We just want what everyone else wants – to be loved and to love. But love can’t be a one-way street. You give others your love, yet they don’t give it back.
If you find yourself in a situation where you need help you can be pushed aside and ignored because they’re too busy dealing with their own life. However, we are busy it’s important to take the time. Make a phone call. Leave a Facebook message. Text them. You can see where I’m heading.
This world is full of people who say they are too busy to care about anyone else. But that’s never true really. It’s all about priorities. Where are yours? If you miss a day of scanning through Facebook, you feel like you’re out of touch with those you have as friends.
We live in a fast time. We all understand that our plates are getting full or are already there. We can understand what the circumstances of our friends and family are, yet there is no excuse for pushing someone away.
Wikihow.com posts an article titled, “How to Deal with People who Ignore You.” Some of their suggestions are avoid jumping to conclusions, invite them to talk privately, be nice to them and explain your feelings. This list is just a few of the article’s suggestions.
Remember, it’s never okay to be pushed aside and ignored. However, there may be a good reason why they are ignoring you and the only way to find out why is to have that quiet conversation.
The Bible verse above says to not just look out for your interests but also those of other. In this way, you may help your friend to be vulnerable and realize you truly do care about their current circumstances.
Colossians 4:6 – Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
You’re walking along minding your own business when someone steps out of the shadows and blocks your way. They begin to assault you with their words, and you’re frantically trying to think of what you said or did to make your friend so angry.
Misunderstandings can happen when you may say something and have no hidden agenda and not wanting to hurt a friend, yet they seem to turn on you and want nothing to do with you.
Quickly you think through your memories and come up with one that may explain your friend’s behavior. It’s something you said. But you have no idea that your friend had been hurt by your comment.
Misunderstandings. They happen all the time whether it’s a coworker, family member or friend things can be turned from something you spoke lightly to a misunderstanding that turns a friend into an enemy.
You’d asked how things were going at work for them. Innocent to ask about you’d thought. Yet what you didn’t know at the time, your friend had received another pink slip and was on the verge of being fired. Now your friend feels like you’re attacking them as well. They think that you don’t care about them because you brought up the subject.
But you didn’t know. You really had no clue.
Here’s another, you ask a friend how their husband is doing, not knowing that he’d just confessed to be having an affair. Your friend had been hurt and was contemplating getting a divorce. But you had no clue. Maybe you should’ve if you really were a close friend.
So, you apologize to your friend saying that you were sorry for saying anything that hurt them more. They don’t let you off the hook. They yell at you and ask how you were so insensitive.
Sometimes an apology is all that’s needed and sitting down with your friend and listening to what they’ve been going though.
Let’s turn this around. You’re the one who is hurt, and your friend is not helping you. You feel like they’re accusing you and are putting the blame of the lost job and potential lost marriage on you. So, when your friend starts to ask you questions about your life, you want to have nothing to do with them. You don’t want them around at all. Listening to you is not enough. Your friend tries to offer some advice. Oh no! Wrong thing to say.
Most people who are hurting don’t want your advice. They don’t want you to say that everything will be okay. That you’re just undergoing a test. A trial. Which is supposed to make them stronger and that things will work for the good in their life.
Then it’s back to you. Even though your friend is trying to be helpful, it’s only hurtful.
What’s a friend to do? Littlethingsmatter.com has some suggestions on how to avoid misunderstandings in their article, “Six Ways to Avoid Misunderstandings.” Here are a couple. Make sure your written communications are clear. Emails are great and fast, but if you want to be sure that your meaning is clear, writing about a subject and then handing it to your co-worker or friend is a good idea. Your co-worker will have an opportunity to read and re-read your letter. And handwriting is a lost art. Taking the time to write on paper can show your co-worker that you value their opinion. Also, there’s just something about holding a letter in your hand.
Another of the article’s idea is ask others to repeat what they heard. When you ask people to repeat what they said, not only forces them to make sure they know what you said. Saying it back can reduce misunderstandings.
No one wants to be misunderstood, so take the time to be sure at the onset of a conversation that your friend or co-worker knows your meaning, not theirs. Also, just as the Bible verse above says, your conversations should always be full of grace. That means that don’t jump down someone’s throat during a conversation. Let them finish their train of thought and then you will know how to answer them.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.