Amid this COVID-19 pandemic, a remarkable thing has happened. The reset button of the world was pressed, and the hand of God is revealed. There are lessons to be learned from this crisis and how we emerge from it depends on our actions in the future. First, it is has become apparent how little control we have over what happens in life. Who would have guessed that the world could come to a virtual standstill in 2020 because of a virus? For a long time, we were convinced that we hold all things in the palm of our hands. God has a strange sense of humour. When we think we have all together, He gently reminds us we are children playing a game of chess. Now and then, He presses the pause button to show us how clueless we are without His intervention.
Who would have guessed that in 2020, all major airports of the world would appear like ghost towns in the middle of the week? New York City, the city that never sleeps, with empty streets and business coming to a halt. All around the globe, places that are chaotic with life become playgrounds for insects and animals. It took me 15 minutes to drive from Spanish Town to Kingston on a Monday morning; now that is indeed a miracle! The people that our offices could not do without are suddenly confined to their homes, and the business is still afloat. This goes to show that as important as we think we are, the world can function without our participation.
But in this crisis, the benevolent hand of God is still at work. Contrary to the belief of some unlearned God-followers, God does not just disrupt our lives for His good pleasure. He does not send plagues and pestilence to get our attention (sometimes He should). If this were true, He should have gotten our attention a long ago. On the other hand, God can use every circumstance, even those created by carelessness, to bring about His purpose (Romans 8: 28). The COVID-19 pandemic has allowed humanity to reset itself. It appears we were in self-destruct mode and something had to happen to bring us back to reality. Things may be bad now, but what seems a lost cause can turn out to be a great blessing(Genesis 50: 19-20).
Several things are happening because of COVID19. Instead of running around like headless chickens in a frenzy, let’s pause for a moment and examine the possible blessings. COVID-19 has enabled people to get much-needed rest. Most of us are always on the go, often working ourselves to the point of sickness. We are one doctor’s visit away from a heart attack, stroke, or life-threatening illness that will take us out. Though we conduct ourselves like the energizer bunny, we are far from being superhuman. We work over 8 hours daily, and our bodies become nervous wrecks. We don’t eat or sleep properly because we are too busy. If we continue, one day we will have to pay the piper, so better to have COVID-19 slow us down now than wait for the inevitable. As bad as it is, let us thank God that we can get a bit of rest for the road ahead.
COVID-19 has provided an opportunity for people to reconnect with family and friends. We get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life. We forget to invest time in our relationships. So much is demanded of our time, conversation and interaction are just phases that we go through. The gadgets and gimmicks available do nothing to help the situation. Spouses are limited to 15-minute talks daily hoping to sustain a healthy union. Before long, families and friends are like strangers passing in the wind. COVID-19 is a stunning reminder of how much we are connected to and need each other to exist.
In this season, broken homes can be rebuilt, fences can be mended, and conversations of healing can get on the way. Friendships can be rediscovered, feelings expressed, and needs long forgotten finally met. Parents can talk to children rather than talk at them, and children learn to express themselves with beautiful words. Spouses can wake up to the sweet sound of each other’s voices because there is nowhere to go in a hurry. Sometimes pressing the reset button is necessary so that we can recapture the stuff that is essential to life. I am no COVID-19 expert, but I am convinced that we have been presented with an opportunity to rediscover our love and appreciation for one another. In this COVID-19 crisis, humanity can again be human.
Though crises can bring out the worst in human beings, they can also help to reveal the best of us. Along the way, we forgot that regardless of our geographical location; we are all a part of one sizeable community. With all that divides us, it takes something like COVID-19 to bring the world together. It is not the time to be selfish; we have a golden opportunity to love our neighbours again as we love ourselves. It would be a tragedy if after this storm has passed, we learn nothing about loving people with the love of God. In the wake of a pandemic, God is calling us to do good to all people, especially His household of faith (Galatians 6: 10).
Another undeniable blessing from COVID-19 is that mother earth has a chance to heal herself. Human beings are agents of mass destruction. Wherever we go, devastation follows. We build where we ought not to build; we eat what should not be eaten; we hunt animals to the point of extinction for sport, and the list goes on. We keep meddling with the planet, and now our world is fighting back. If COVID-19 continues at its current rate in a few months, we will breathe cleaner air. Carbon emissions would have been significantly reduced, and the ozone layer would be smiling. When we continue to destroy what God intended for us to enjoy, there will be a time of reckoning. Mother earth needs cleansing and healing, and it appears she will have by any means necessary.
When human being disregards the natural order of creation, things are bound to fall apart. We have been on a collision course for some time, and it is not over yet. COVID-19 may be the first in a series of catastrophes to hit the world. We have not been good to the earth, and we have not been good to ourselves. My prayer is that this period of lockdown will be a wake-up call for us. We have the freedom of choice to live how we want to live, but we should also be prepared to live with the consequences. We are stewards of God’s garden, and He depends on us to take care of it. We cannot continue mistreating the place where we live and not expect that one day it will not come crashing down around us.
The only way things will change is if we change them. The world can be a better place for all of us, but we have to put away selfishness. COVID-19 could be God’s way of calling us back to being the people He created us to be. We ought to behave like His people and love humanity the way He does. The greatest lesson we can learn from this pandemic is how much we still need the one who holds the world in His hands. In this crisis, let us remember God is not out to destroy us. In the middle of this turmoil, we can still bask in His never-ending love for lost humanity.