Dr. Jackie Minor
APPROACHING SPRING LIKE A BOSS: Three Pandemic Remembrances to Embrace.
I saw this past week that it has been three years since our world went on lockdown due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Three years! Can you believe it? I can still hear all the advice we were given. “Stay at home!” “Avoid contact!” “Shelter in place!” “Wear a mask and gloves!” “Sanitize, sanitize, sanitize!” Life as we knew it was forever altered. Emotions ran high as we scrambled to figure out what it all meant.
To be honest, I would rather not think about it much. The pandemic conjures up feelings I would just as soon forget. However, as spring approaches and educators enter the “crazy” season, it might be helpful to remind ourselves of how God showed up amid the chaos. God’s past faithfulness is an anchor for us as we face new and unexpected chaos in our lives. So, bring on spring!
If you are an educator, you know you are always going to be busy, and life is going to feel somewhat chaotic, especially in the spring. There will never be a time when you feel “all caught up.” You may not agree with this, but there were seasons in my life when I resigned myself to the fact that I was always going to be a little bit behind. I had to let go of trying to control everything. This is probably one of the greatest lessons I learned during the pandemic and continue to learn today.
The Bible says, Many are the plans in a man’s mind, but it’s the Lord’s purpose for Him that will stand (Proverbs 19:21). While this is a bit hard to swallow for a planner like me, it is also freeing. God allowed the chaos and uncertainty of the pandemic to draw me back into relationship with and dependence on Him. I was reminded once again of His faithfulness. I don’t have to have everything figured out; I just have to trust Him (Proverbs 3:5-6).
As the years pass, memories fade. Details of the pandemic will lose their power over us. However, it would be a shame to forget all we learned and experienced of God’s faithfulness. Spring is coming. Chaos is just around the corner, but stress, exhaustion, and frustration don’t have to be. We can use what we learned during the pandemic to approach spring like a boss! Can we trust that the God who was faithful then will be faithful now? We certainly can…by remembering. I want to thrive this spring not just survive. How about you? Here are some things from the pandemic I want to remember.
1. We can do hard things.
By God’s grace, we can do hard things. No matter how dire the circumstances, God never leaves us alone. There were times during the pandemic I felt confused, but I wasn’t fearful. All I knew to do was pray, remember God’s promises in Scripture, and hold onto what I believed. It was hard. Period. Looking back now, I can see God’s hand and where He was working in my life. I needed to be reminded that His strength was my strength. I was never alone. We can do hard things!
Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face continually [longing to be in His presence]. 1 Chronicles 16:11
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
2. Perspective is everything.
It is so easy to become overwhelmed by our circumstances that we lose perspective, especially when we are stressed or exhausted. I don’t know about you, but when my emotions are running on overload, the enemy knows how to get me to blow the situation out of perspective. I watched during the pandemic as “potential” scenarios were thrown around to the point that reality became clouded for many. How can we prevent the craziness of spring from skewing our perspective and confusing reality?
First, keep emotions in check. When we feel our emotions running down the track like a train out of control, it’s time to pause and recognize we are headed for derailment. Slow down, take a step back, and ask God to help you see your circumstances from His perspective (Philippians 2:2-5). It could be as simple as this. “Lord, I do not understand what is happening right now. I’m frustrated and overwhelmed. I don’t want my emotions to rule my actions. Help me, Lord, to see things from your perspective. I want to reflect you.”
Second, maintain an eternal perspective. So much of what we focus on in this life will make no difference in eternity. Jesus implored us to lay up for ourselves treasures in Heaven, for only that which we do for Christ will remain (Matthew 6:19-21). To maintain perspective simply ask yourself, “Will this make a difference in eternity?”
Finally, reflect Christ. The Bible says we are ambassadors for Christ. He makes His appeal through us (2 Corinthians 5:20). It is a huge responsibility to be God’s representative, and this responsibility should frame our perspective. Every circumstance or situation is an opportunity to demonstrate love and grace to those around us. It’s an opportunity to show others how our faith keeps us grounded, positive, and hopeful. Perspective is everything.
3. Better days are coming.
Jesus said He came so that we could have and enjoy life. His desire for us is abundance (John 10:10). I believe Him. There will always be seasons in our lives that are better than others. Sometimes we experience difficulty as a result of our own actions; at other times trials come for unknown reasons. Whatever the case may be, God’s plan for us is good (Jeremiah 29:11). There may be days of suffering and trial, but by God’s grace, He promises to restore, support, and strengthen us. Our foundation will be firm once again (1 Peter 5:10)! When chaos and uncertainty enter our lives, we can rest assured better days are coming.
Let’s not dread the season ahead. Let’s face spring like a boss! We all survived the pandemic, and we have learned God has a good, unique, and perfect plan for each one of us. He was faithful then, and He will be faithful in the future.
You can do hard things!
Perspective is everything!
Better days are coming!
Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you. I will praise your name, for you have accomplished wonders, plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness. Isaiah 25:1