CHANGE, COVID, GOD
Change can be very stressful - especially when we are not in control of the outcome. Many people are finding the world at the moment very unsettling. We are not in control of the outcomes; we have moved out of our comfort zone. We just wait to be told what others have decided for us. All of us react differently to life events - our perception determines our reaction. There will be some people who don’t appear affected at all by this pandemic whereas for others it may have changed everything. Perception can be affected by a range of factors including upbringing, culture, age, experience, finances, beliefs and support systems.
Take a moment to identify the amount of change you have experienced this year:
HOME AND FAMILY
FRIENDS AND SOCIAL
THE GRIEF CYCLE
This emotional cycle was first recognised by Elizabeth Kbler-Ross in her book On Death and Dying. In the years that followed, it was realised the cycle also applied to other people who were affected negatively by change.
Shock stage: Initial paralysis at hearing the bad news
Denial stage: Trying to avoid the inevitable
Anger stage: Frustrated outpouring of bottled-up emotion
Bargaining stage: Seeking in vain for a way out
Depression stage: Final realisation of the inevitable
Testing stage: Seeking realistic solutions
Acceptance stage: Finally finding the way forward
People can get stuck at various stages, particularly in anger or depression. As Christians, our beliefs are central in moving us towards acceptance and not depression. The key beliefs we must keep in mind are:
God is Good
God is in control
When we lose sight of any of these, we become vulnerable.
God takes no joy in human agony.
So what about COVID-19? This may be beyond our human understanding. Natural disasters happen because of the way the world is. Maybe we are blaming God for creating it that way? Or perhaps it is our own doing for not looking after the world?
David Drury has looked at the Stages of Grief in relation to Coronavirus. Can you relate to these stages? Are you perhaps stuck in anger or depression?
You may be one of the people who feel this virus has broken them. People who are isolated at home, afraid to go out, unable to see your family and friends. Do you suffer from tremendous anxiety around the virus? Have you lost your livelihood or your sense of purpose?
Others may have realised that some of the things they thought were important no longer are. They have discovered that they were missing out on family time and are now loving in a more intense way. Many too have found community spirit and feel part of a collective effort to fight the virus.
Instead of blaming God for the Coronavirus, or trying to understand it, let’s remember that God is alongside us. He is in the midst of our suffering. There will be life on the other side of this. A brighter day will come, and ultimately life triumphs over death.