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Keep Calm

Updated: Jul 28, 2022

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5 NIV)

This has been an interesting week in the Seattle area and the nation. All of a sudden, cases of COVID-19 are being confirmed, whether they were brought into the USA or locally transmitted. Kirkland has seen the first American deaths from this disease, and although most of them were from older, immunocompromised patients, the fear is that anyone who catches it could die. We’ve seen stores across the area (and country) run out of bottled water, toilet paper, pastas, and hygiene products. Is this fear irrational or well-founded?

As followers of Christ and children of God, we are commanded to trust in the Lord. God’s messengers consistently tell His people to “fear not.” Wouldn’t this be one of those times? Certainly, I’m not suggesting that we’re immune from COVID-19; however, even this needs to stay in perspective. While it’s true that there have been deaths from this disease, there are deaths from many—if not all—diseases. The flu, measles, and even chicken pox can be deadly under the right circumstances.

It’s important to keep in mind that most of the time, we can control a lot of situations. Not all the time, and not everything, but God has given us wisdom and knowledge to figure things out, and how to take care of ourselves… and each other. Yes, if you haven’t bought any hand soap or bleach in a while, now might be a good time to do so! Ironically, when we went to Costco a couple of months ago, I took it upon myself to stock us up! At the same time though, I’m nervous about what will be on hand when we have a newborn baby to take care of in a few months. But I have time, and I trust that things will fall into place before she arrives.

Now is not the time to panic. Most of the time, when the Israelites panicked, they turned away from God and tried to take things into their own hands, which often became a fiasco. They would lose their country to invaders, their lives, and their identity as God’s chosen people. So don’t panic! Instead, remain faithful. Keep calm and carry on.

In 2003, I moved to China. SARS appeared that winter, and the week before I moved, a case of SARS had been confirmed in Seattle. It was the first case in the USA (sound familiar?)! Many people asked me that weekend if I was afraid to go to China, where a new, unknown disease that had killed a few people had originated. My answer, quite simply, was, “NO!” My reason? It was already in Seattle. If it was at home and abroad, would I be any safer at home? And my suspicions were right. Over the next few months, SARS cases dwindled, and the threat eventually disappeared.

While this time might be a little different (especially with the rate of infection), the circumstances are similar. All that we can really do is stay calm and trust that God is still in control. Keep doing what we’re doing. Take reasonable precautions like handwashing, covering our mouths, and coughing or sneezing into our shoulders/elbow. Exercise and get plenty of sleep. Eat a balanced diet. Wait, aren’t we supposed to be doing these things already? Heh…

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