As we approach week eighty-eight in the world of “two weeks to flatten the curve” most people have received their information on the COVID-19/Wuhan-China virus and its vaccinations based on their political views. Many people cling to their computer screens or television with nonstop talking heads citing headlines evoking fear. And they wait for the government to come out with their next edict hoping that it will solve their problems. Why? We are created to be responsible individuals and use our resources to make decisions for ourselves and our families. Why do so many people look to the government for answers and not to their creator, God?
Over the months, many families and friends instituted self-imposed separation based on their beliefs surrounding COVID, including mask wearing and vaccination status. Children were not allowed to go to school and now many cannot attend unless they wear a mask. Jobs were lost, others were performed in the isolation of homes as unconstitutional stay-at-home edicts were enforced. The economy is now improving but we are seeing employees leave their jobs because of their rightful refusal to get the vaccination. Government induced policies have infringed on our ability to buy goods and services, including whether or not an ill person will be admitted into a hospital. People have died alone leaving those behind heartbroken. For many months our churches were closed, the one place many of us wanted to be the most but could not because of government forced closures as churches were classified as “nonessential.” As a result of stress and isolation, we have seen depression and anxiety rapidly increase with youth and adult suicides occurring on a daily basis.
Last year, I wrote in an op-ed, The Skip of a Heartbeat, that I could not say when the pandemic would end, and I still cannot. I also wrote we need to know that God is with us. We are told in
Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with
thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which
passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Prayer is powerful. I know of many people who have prayed over the last twenty-one months and have found peace in their life versus the anxiety of so many more. Someone recently asked me: How do you pray? The answer is found in Matthew 6:9-13 when Jesus instructs us:
Pray then like this:
Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
God is our Father. God loves us. God wants to have a relationship with all of us as we are His children made in His image. We need to pray to Him for courage to get back to what was considered normal two years ago. Time is our most valuable asset. Taking the time to pray may be the hardest part to praying as there will always be an excuse not to. Know that God is present. Trust in God. God wants to have a conversation with you. Start with the Lord’s Prayer. Pray for your loved ones, people that you miss seeing, or worst, someone who passed away and you could not say goodbye to because of COVID restrictions. Take time to be silent and listen so that you can hear God responding. Let the Holy Spirit lead you.
Throughout the centuries many people have experienced defeat, isolation, restrictions, famine, war, and other horrible atrocities. Today we live in a society that is anti-God. There are evil forces that want to intentionally separate us from one another creating deep division in hopes that we will look to the government for dependency and not our faith. Socialism and communism have no tolerance for God and His believers. More importantly, God does not have tolerance for socialism or communism. Do not let this evil overtake your soul.
Know there is light in the darkness, and it is found in God. As the season of Advent approaches, come home. God is waiting for you. God wants to bring peace and serenity back into your life. “Freedom is when we put our lives in God’s hands.” God’s door is open and when you enter, Our Father will be there with outstretched arms for you, His child, to rest in.
Biblical References cited from The Ignatius Catholic Study Bible The New Testament, Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition with Introduction, Commentary, and Notes by Scott Hahn and Curtis Mitch, 2010.