The Silver Linings in the Coronavirus Pandemic
At the time of publication, we are in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and living through an experience unlike any other in our lifetimes. Our world has been flipped upside with employees working from home, schools closed, and people told to stay home to stay lives. And people are losing their lives. People are grieving and they have good reason to do so. But, even during this pandemic, people are finding the silver linings.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
- Philippians 4:6-7
As Christians, we are called to thank God in every situation – including our current coronavirus pandemic. When we begin to think about the things we have to be thankful for, we can begin to see that there is a silver lining.
The Church is Not Closed
All across the US, churches have closed their doors to protect their congregation and community, and to show respect to their governmental authorities. But just because church buildings are closed, it does not mean the church is closed. Quite the opposite. Churches across the world are finding this to be an amazing missional moment! The way Christians show love to their neighbors during this time will open “heart doors” and change lives.
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
– Matthew 5:14-16
Just take a minute to consider the ways churches across the world are finding ways to “be the church” and “shine their light” during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Embracing new technology – Many churches have embraced technology in a new way offering everything from live streaming church services to using video conferencing for small group meetings.
- Ministering creatively – Along these same lines, churches are finding ways to minister creatively. For example, a group of Christians met in their individual cars in a hospital parking lot to pray for the healthcare staff and another congregation offered to grocery shop for their more at-risk neighbors. These are ways to minister that seem unique to this particular situation; however, the ways Christians minister creatively today will continue to be used in the future.
- Reaching new people – With so many churches offering live streaming church services, the church is reaching a whole new audience. People who do not feel comfortable attending “real church” feel comfortable worshipping at home in their pajamas. In these times, when people are desperate for hope, they are opening themselves up to “online church” messages in a brand-new way.
- Family communion – Some churches have even suggested their church members do communion at home as they are led through an online communion service. What a special way for families that are quarantined together to remember what Christ did for them!
Spending with Family
Perhaps one of the most noticeable silver linings of being told to stay at home is that people are getting to spend much more time with their families than usual. Families are actually eating dinner together and talking to one another daily! Plus, they are having fun and simply enjoying their time with one another.
Social Distancing Has Encouraged More Connecting
While social distancing implies distancing and separating, it has actually encouraged more connecting. Once people were told not to socialize, it was like they began to see how much they need socialization. Many people are connecting with others online more than ever before. People who were too busy before are now spending time talking to long-distance family and friends regularly. We are, after all, made for relationship, so it is not surprising that we’ve found other ways to stay connected.
Becoming Good Neighbors
People are also meeting their neighbors for the first time – from a safe distance. We see who comes and goes, and who walks their dogs. With that newfound knowledge, another silver lining is that we are becoming good neighbors. We are more aware of the people who are around us – especially those who are vulnerable and in need. Plus, people are utilizing websites like Nextdoor to find ways to serve others in their neighborhood.
Learning to Appreciate Things We Took for Granted
As parents across America were suddenly thrust into the world of homeschooling, they appreciate their teachers more than ever before! And it’s not just teachers. Those who are staying at home are watching in awe as essential workers risk their health to make sure the rest of us are fed, protected, and cared for. We will never look at our grocery store stockers the same way again.
More Time to Do All the Things We’ve Wanted to and Neglected
We complained about never having enough time, and now we have plenty. Many people are taking advantage of it and discovering the silver lining of finally having the time to do all the things we’ve wanted to and neglected, such as cleaning out the closets, reading through the stack of books on the bedside table, and learning to knit.
While this is uncomfortable, different, and scary, God is still in control. Our day-to-day looks different, but we can try to find the silver linings. It may help to remember why we are doing this in the first place.
Beth Moore says, “It helps to remember the objective: We’re staying in so we can go back out. We’re staying apart so we can get back together. We’re loving one another WELL so we don’t make one another SICK. All our hard todays are for a lotta happier tomorrows.”