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And We Were Told to Be Still

It was the virus heard around the world, COVID-19, a novel strand of the coronavirus spreading at rapid speeds.


The words were spoken in Asia and Europe. Soon they reached across the pond. Warnings were given that, at this rate, those affected would overwhelm medical resources, exceeding available hospital beds, diagnostic tests, and medical supplies.


People were told this should be taken seriously. To increase hand washing and keep their distance from others particularly babies, the elderly, pregnant women and individuals with compromised immune systems. Officials suggested rescheduling events with over 250 attendees. Then that number shrunk to 50, the suggestion became a mandate and eventually restricted to a maximum of 10 people.


Classes canceled. Businesses closed. Weddings rescheduled. And people were directed to stay home. In a matter of days, COVID-19 went from being Breaking News to a household name.


Finding solace in Scripture, I find great comfort in Psalm 46, verse 10 more specifically “Be still, and know that I am God.”


Know that He is near. Believe that He is able. Heed His Word. Be still.


I spoke these words over the phone as I consoled a dear friend in Colorado. Her husband is a paramedic who has worked three straight shifts, including overnights. It’s been all-hands-on-deck by first responders in an effort to contain the virus. Her anxiety has spiked in addition to her feeling helpless. Yet, she must be still.


Her husband has been consumed by frustration as tourists use this as an opportunity to vacation and hit the slopes. Every hour he responds to a call for a broken leg or traffic accident is an hour less he is joining his brothers in arms in containing the virus. Although he is helping and doing everything he can, he is bombarded with thoughts that he isn’t doing enough.


I reminded him that God has called us to be still. This does not mean that we aren’t to act responsibly. This refers to a peaceful mentality. One that floods our feelings of fear and inadequacy. One that is fully reliant on God.


It irritates them to know not everyone is taking the situation seriously. Some have gone as far as to question the validity of the pandemic, accusing the media of exaggerating the situation. Their state and local officials have told them to stay home, self-quarantine, be still until further notice. Yet, they push back. In my county, the Health Department can legally enforce the 10-person maximum for gatherings.


As a parent of teenagers, I see the cabin fever setting in, my children’s desire to serve the less fortunate all wrestling with the fact we are all told that the best thing to do is to stay home. And so, I remind them to “be still.”


At this point they don’t have a choice. COVID-19 has forced everyone to “be still” everywhere. But my prayer is that “be still” is ingrained in their mentality. So much so that they live from that position of “be(ing) still” and knowing that He is God.


That is my prayer for us all. Especially for first responders, truck drivers, stock workers and others that are working around the clock, that are giving it their all and still feel like they aren’t doing enough.


Be still and know that you know that you know that He is God.

I don’t quote this Psalm to say that it will be easy. This is still difficult.


I have had friends forced to cancel weddings and baby showers. One even went into premature labor. Her husband shared with me how unsettled they felt being in a hospital serving record-breaking numbers. They are also anxious leaving the hospital, knowing they’ll be coming home to a house missing essential items they hoped to receive at their shower.


On the flip side a former coworker lost his wife of 30+ years, quite unexpectedly. Her death was not due to the virus. Nonetheless the hospital informed the family they are not allowed to hold a funeral for her because of the gathering restrictions. The family will host a memorial this summer in honor of her birthday. For now they mourn in isolation. I pray they can be still and find comfort in knowing He is God.


For a deeper appreciation of this verse, read Psalm 46 in its entirety. Stay home. Be still. And let’s exit this pandemic stronger than what we came into it.


Let's Discuss This:

- How have you been affected by COVID-19?

- How can I pray for you during this time?


RESOURCE:

· Be Still - 90 Devotions for the Hopeful Heart

· Psalm 46 (New International Version pasted below)


God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart

of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,

the holy place where the Most High dwells.

God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.

Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come and see what the Lord has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth.

He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and

shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the earth.”

The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

#COVID19 #CoronaVirus #Isolation #SocialDistancing #Pslam46

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