It is March 2021, which means we have now gone through an entire year since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. Like you, living in a pandemic has taught me some valuable lessons. I would like to share 5 of them here.
1. Community is Essential
As a case manager working in the mental health field, as a pastor in ministry, and as a human being in general, COVID-19 has reminded me just how essential community is to a healthy life. Human beings were not created to live in isolation and with the pandemic regulations and mandates many individuals found themselves isolated. We all need community. COVID-19 is real, but so is the need to be human and to experience a warm hug, shared meal, and a good friend.
2. Bravery of First Response and Medical Personnel
Every year we ought to be grateful for the bravery of so many doctors, nurses, police men and women, and the like for how they willingly put their own safety at risk for the lives and well-being of others. However, this past year we have seen that on a heightened level as they continue to do so in the face of a global pandemic. These individuals not only put their own lives at risk of infection with COVID-19 as they serve others but also make sacrifices with their own family to keep them safe as well. I am thankful for the bravery of our first response and medical personnel.
3. Mental Health > Physical Health
I believe my job in the mental health field has opened my eyes to this point most vividly. COVID-19 presents obvious health risks for millions of people, however, COVID-19 also presents various mental health risks too. This past year I have seen physically healthy individuals suffer a great deal due to a lack of mental health. Whether it is due to a lack of community, a medical diagnosis, not being able to visit a loved one in quarantine, or not being able to gather with their local church. Whatever the cause for poor mental health is, I am confident that mental health is of greater importance than physical health. I would rather have good mental health and poor physical health than vise versa. A good life can be experienced with a healthy state of mind and a sick body, but poor mental health with a strong physical body will still lead to a poor quality of life. We ought to take care of our physical bodies and be mindful of the virus still, but never at the expense of our mental health. Get outside, go to church, invest in community. Your mental health depends on it.
4. Necessity of Being “Still”
When the label “pandemic” was given by the World Health Organization, many agencies and companies sent their employees home. For many this offered a time to be at home with the whole family for an extended period of time. I found myself with my own family at the home for a few months while things were “shut down.” In this season of being “still”, we grew as a family. We realized how fast we had been living and it allowed us to slow down more and enjoy what truly matters in life – God and one another.
5. A More Deadly Virus than COVID-19
I have been amazed at the lengths so many people have gone to protect themselves from this virus. They do so because they want to be safe, guarded from COVID-19. Yet, there is a virus far more deadly than COVID-19, and it is guaranteed to infect every single one of us – sin. By our very nature, we are all sinners and have fallen short of the glory of God due to our transgressions of God’s righteous and holy Law – the Ten Commandments. It saddens me that people do not show the same zeal to be protected from sin as they do COVID-19. COVID-19 can harm us for only a season, but sin can bring torment for all eternity. There is good news in Jesus the Christ. He is our “vaccine” from sin and refuge from the coming wrath of God on sin. Trust in Him with your life and submit to His Lordship and the sting of death will be no more as you stand redeemed in the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of all those who look to Him in faith.