I think most of us would agree that the past two years have been very challenging. No matter who you are and where you live, we have all been impacted by the events surrounding the pandemic of Covid 19. It is the event of this generation that has united us all in a common experience so that, in this way, each one of us can relate to every single person on the planet.
The major media outlets bombarded us daily, sometimes hourly, on the spread of the illness and the numbers of those sick and dying. Our schools and workplaces closed and we attempted to carry out our daily lives from the four walls of our homes.
My experience is that of a Canadian in the north and I don’t pretend to understand the unique experiences of others but I think we had some commonalities. One of those common experiences relates to hope.
Many were caught up in the fear of catching and passing on this illness, so much so that we isolated ourselves from family and friends. But our cocoons, our homes, became traps for hopelessness to creep in. This manifested, sadly, in an increase in domestic violence, depression and the suicide of even the youngest members of our families.
Children denied entry into school faced long days at home where parents attempted to teach them as well as carry on their work lives. No one was prepared for this and tempers ran high, nerves were stretched and frustration reigned. Online classes, virtual meetings and video chat were sad attempts to introduce a new normal.
Without play time with friends, access to sports, and the ability to move and speak freely, we began the inevitable slide into despair. If there was ever any doubt, we learned that we need each other. We need to see faces, we need to leave our homes and interact in community. Sadly, this pandemic took many lives, not from illness, but from loneliness.
And yet we are resilient people and we serve a great God. A God of hope. A God who did not leave us alone in the dark but showed up in the hands and feet and voices of His people. His Word strengthened us for it does not change as He does not change. In the darkness, His word was a lamp to show us the way to go, to teach us where we might have strayed and to lift us up again.
“But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.” Micah 7:7
Hope is so important. As dark as our times are, we still have hope. We are not alone. God is with us. His Spirit comforts us and He uses His people to show His love and care for each of us. As His people, we are tasked with meeting the needs of those around us, speaking truth into their lives and living a life worthy of our calling. That isn’t an easy assignment when it feels like our world is falling apart but we aren’t doing this alone. He is with us.