I stood on the deck looking up at the night sky — the Big Dipper in its place as the moon shone brightly. I can hardly fathom the changes the last couple of months have brought with the COVID-19 pandemic. Our world is unfamiliar in ways we could not have imagined mere weeks ago. And yet… in the midst of it all, I also feel something familiar.
We all have our stories of when life turned upside down, when question marks plagued our hearts and minds, stealing our peace. Looking at the silent night sky, my mind went back to one of those times for our family. The same comfort that carried us through that time is what I believe will help families through the present health and financial crisis.
Our family had invested in a business in a small mining town. We were excited to move. We could see ourselves raising our kids and being part of life there. Yet, within a month of living there, news came that the mine, the mainstay of the town, was closing. Devastation hit the community: unemployment, homes lost, retirement plans shattered — each took their toll on these hard-working people. For us, there was financial loss, and every new, exciting plan we’d anticipated was crushed. My boxes weren’t even unpacked yet, and there were question marks punctuating every area of our lives. Fear and overwhelming thoughts were fresh in every conversation.
As humans, we have a resilience we dig down to access when trouble comes. But I felt completely undone. I found myself at a new level of weakness.
But I Learned Precious Lessons
Now, in light of COVID 19, as I ponder that difficult time for our family, my memory floods with the peace I found in that very uncertain time. It was a peace that didn’t make sense given the devastating changes happening around us. It was not a peace I could manufacture on my own. My usual coping tools for finding calm were overthrown by the circumstances.
I found myself weak…
- Weak in patience and strength for the day-to-day tasks
- Weak in hope and calm
- Weak in finding rest for my body and mind
- Weak in finding courage where there seemed to be no way forward
But then I was reminded of a story in the Bible where Jesus said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9.
It’s easy to run from God in anger when life presses in hard with questions and pain. But God doesn’t wag His finger at us when we worry. No. He says that His grace is enough. Our weakness is His very entry point to become our strength. So I chose to run to God for His strength.
I began to invite Him into my weakness.
As I turned to God in prayer in my weak moments, asking for His strength, He provided it. His peace carried me. I could not muster it up myself, and so I asked. Peace was a gift He provided daily. As I prayed, I experienced the mystery of His power within me. I learned that wherever I am weak, wherever I come up short — that is the very entry point and opportunity for God’s divine power in my life. In that place where my world was overturned, God was present.
I felt the familiar calm of God’s presence.
Now in 2020, as I look up at the night sky thinking back on that time, I am reminded that in this new overwhelming season of COVID-19 (like none we have experienced before), God’s strength can still be made perfect in my weakness. This truth is my help and my hope as we navigate a new reality in our world one step at a time. One day at a time.
My weakness is His entry point.
God always invites us to exchange our weakness for His strength. But it takes a step of faith. He’s not just there to be an add-on to our own strength. He is the source from which we need to draw. It requires a simple invitation. God invites us to come, to admit our need, and to say yes to His offer to help. As we open our lives to Him and invite His strength, He does help. He is always willing to bring peace and wholeness. We need only say yes to His gift.
God is our hope for this day, this moment.
Every new piece of information about this pandemic, each new statistic has the potential to make our stomachs flip with anxiety and “What ifs.” The world is spent and drained and worried. When we feel spent, that is the moment we can tell God straight: “I feel weak.” We can ask for help: “Please exchange my worry for Your peace.” He is ready to offer His peace that overcomes our fears. He will be our strength and shelter for every step through this pandemic.
“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoices; and with my song will I praise him.” Psalm 28:7
Let’s not wait for the morning news to sap our hope. Rather, in facing this pandemic, let’s draw on…
- His strength in our weakness
- His patience for our impatience
- His peace in our confusion
- His power over habits that drag us down
All of this is available to each one of us. In the Bible Jesus said, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest for your soul” (Matthew 11:23 & 29). No one is excluded. We can simply respond to the invitation and come in our weakness to find His help. Choosing our most obvious area of weakness today as the very entry point for God’s peace and power, we can trust that He is here with us.