I called one of the seniors from my Spanish class yesterday. Once I had explained that she wasn’t in trouble and we had a laugh about it, I said, “I’m sorry. I just called to say I’m sorry.” The end of senior year is when a student is supposed to be enjoying all of the final glories and enjoying the long friendships and being celebrated at every turn. But this year our students are only hearing cancelled, cancelled, cancelled.
Then there was my trip to the grocery store for hamburger meat. Costco was completely out, which was disturbing. The grocery store had a few packages, but it was extra lean. I wanted to make hamburgers this week, and everybody knows you need 80/20 to get a juicy burger. I sighed in disappointment and put extra lean burger in my cart.
And I talked to my daughter who will be 36 weeks pregnant this week. “Mom, only Dylan will be allowed in the hospital with me,” she said. This is painful news. Here I have a daughter living in the same town with me, and we won’t be able to be close for such a precious moment.
Disappointment is one of the themes of our current, world-wide pandemic. What are we going to do with it?
It’s painful to hope in something and have that hope evaporate, whether it’s what you hoped to buy at the grocery store or losing the opportunity to fully enjoy what should be an otherwise wonderful moment of your life. I told my daughter, as we talked about the hospital being closed to any visitors, “You know we’re both going to have to have a good cry about this.” It’s okay to take some time to be sad. And I think during this time, we should just be turning to the people in our lives and saying, “I’m sorry this isn’t the way you hoped it would be.”
Let’s hunt for the good.
I listened to a news show once about military people who are working on the front lines. One thing they’ve discovered, about whether people come out of those places emotionally well or not, is that it largely depends on their ability to hunt for what’s good around them, instead of seeing only the death and trauma. This concept comes first from God, who tells us clearly in his word to give thanks in all circumstances.
But giving thanks doesn’t just fall into your lap in a time like this; it’s something you decide on and go looking for. So we should be asking the question, “What’s good in this situation?” and practice saying it out loud to ourselves and to our people. In a crisis like this, we are emotional first-responders when we speak to the wounded around us what there is to be thankful for -the silver linings.
Let’s be valiant.
Valiant: possessing or showing courage and determination.
We all love the rescue shows. Our family was just watching a fireman show last night, and there’s a rush of excitement when you see men and women in uniform, trained and ready for disaster, heading into a burning building. Why can’t we be those people?
There are victims of disaster and there are strong, equipped rescue heroes who are looking for ways to head right into the middle of the thick of it to help people. Which one are you?
Here is the question for all of us: will we lie here, paralyzed in our grief and caving in to self pity, or will we have a good cry, brush ourselves off, and practice thankfulness and look for ways to show courage and determination to live well and help others?
A lot of disappointments keep coming our way, and I’m sure the tsunami of difficulty will not dissipate for a while. These things are happening to us beyond our control, but we control our response to them. We open our Bibles and get on our knees and ask God for strength to live valiantly in these worst of times. We go on the hunt for every good thing and speak it loudly to ourselves and to our people. We use our time to become helpers and rescuers. We can do this.