While We Wait: Thoughts on Coronavirus from a Christian Therapist
As a Christian therapist, there are two things I know: One, people like to have control; and two, when they do not have control, change is a hard adjustment.
Change can be a hard adjustment even when it is planned, but when change occurs when we are blindsided, an internal and mental war has begun and we fight it daily. Choice is no longer an option, and control has vanished from our fingertips. Our hearts are burdened and we begin to lose sight of the new path and journey that is ahead.
As Americans, we often define our success by how busy we are, how many plans are on our agenda, or how many hobbies we are involved in. We define our worth by our status or occupation. We feel as if our agendas and duties give each day meaning.
Upon meeting someone new, we are immediately asked, “What do you do?” Have you ever thought why this is such a common question within seconds of meeting someone? Why does being busy translate to success in our culture? Does it really mean we are important and successful if we do not have time to slow down?
God tells us in Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” I have heard this verse many times, but never has it held so much weight or meaning. In a time of global pandemic, COVID-19 has given us no choice but to “Be still.” But it does not stop there; in Scripture, the verse that follows says, “and know that I am God.”
In my work as a Christian therapist, I have noticed a trend among my clients during this time. Those who are believers are all learning the same lesson. In some form or fashion, it has been communicated to me that time slowing down has allowed them to focus on the things that they weren’t able to before. They are learning that God is sovereign and each day is a blessing.
I am not saying that with this realization they have not experienced hard days, frustration in feeling like it’s Groundhog Day every day, or that depression and anxiety have not occurred. What I am communicating is the amazing realization that if all my clients who are believers are echoing the same message, it must be from God, and with God’s voice we find hope.
Contrary to the hope some have found, others have been sucked into fear, and fear is contagious. We are surrounded by the news and social media continually displaying worries and irrational behavior.
We cannot ignore the obvious: deaths are climbing in numbers daily, people are shielding themselves with masks, gloves, continual sanitation, and the awkward awareness of six feet of distance and isolation. With these alone it can be easy to become uneasy and fall into fear. But as God states, “Know that I am God.” We are to find hope in His power and plan.
No, He did not create this pandemic, but He is certainly using it for His good. So many Christians and non-believers are being forced to slow down. Would anything else have worked to get us to be still? Sure, maybe for a little while. But to this degree? Is this what has to occur for us to slow down?
It was not our choice, but an order to stay inside. During this order we have had nothing but time to evaluate the priorities that truly matter. Many people have adjusted their lives and reestablished the things that deserve their time: prayer and time with God, family, the absence of technology and the addition of being in the present moment, the beauty of the outdoors and connection with those around us through the screens we once used to escape the present.
Some are still living in fear, letting their worries control their day-to-day. The internal war has been won. They are drowning in their misery of the monotony of each day. They are asking themselves, “When will this be over?” The negative dialogue in their minds is controlling their behavior and they are unable to see the good. The positives are blurred, and only road blocks are in their line of vision.
As a Christian therapist, I am not naive to the fact that everyone is carrying different burdens and some people’s circumstances are drastically different than others. I still believe this time can be used for good and there is something to be learned. You are stronger than you think, and the mind is a very powerful thing. “Look for something positive in each day, even if some days you have to look a little harder.” It is my belief that with His strength we can do all things.
Matthew 7:24-25 states, “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.”
We are in one of most fearful times, uncertain of the day we can walk side by side with those we love, when our jobs will start back or if we will even be able to return to the jobs we once had, and if a cure for COVID-19 will come anytime soon.
In spite of all of this, we should not fear, for our God gives us hope. He guides us: “The floods came and the winds blew . . . but it did not fall because it had been founded on the rock.” As believers, we are the house that stands in the storm and does not fall because our God guides us through trials, hurts, and fears, and allows us to still stand, holding on to His hope and onto a firm foundation.
My Prayer for You as a Christian Therapist
So during this time, I pray that you will seek His will. I pray that time allows you to reevaluate your priorities and go back to the basics of what is truly important. I pray that you do not allow fear to stay, but that it will flee because you know your God is bigger.
I also pray that even when the pandemic passes and we feel our freedom has returned, time speeds up and we have the choice of choosing our agenda again, we will remember our priorities.
I pray this time will forever shape us, that we do not take advantage of each day, that we still seek out the positives and we will continue to invest in people and have connection and hope in Him.
My hope is that we do not let technology set our agendas, we don’t have screens that hide our faces and a disconnect with those who are able to sit beside us. I challenge you to evaluate those things you say you hold dear. When the pandemic has passed, will your actions and words show you really hold them dear? I hope you continue to choose them when time feels like it is on fast forward.
So as for now, in this time, “Be still and know that He is God.” Ask Him to reveal to you what the meaning of this time should hold for you. Seek out each day not as if it was the same as yesterday, but as an opportunity to grow in faith and in appreciation of the beauty in the time God has allowed.
Yes, we are human and we will worry and we will have fears. This is only natural, but let us give them to the one who has overcome the world. This is your time. It has slowed down; your agenda is mostly clear. You are able to soak up the priorities that once were robbed by the business of day-to-day life. Use it for good.
If you’d like to speak with a Christian therapist about any of the issues mentioned here or other concerns you may have, feel free to contact me or one of the other counselors in the online counselor directory. Talking with a professional Christian therapist can help you gain perspective, overcome your fears, and strengthen your trust in the Lord during times of waiting and uncertainty.