Isaiah 12:2-3, 4bcd, 5-6 R. (1c) You have turned from your anger. God indeed is my savior; I am confident and unafraid. My strength and my courage is the LORD, and he has been my savior. With joy you will draw water at the fountain of salvation. R. You have turned from your anger. Give thanks to the LORD, acclaim his name; among the nations make known his deeds, proclaim how exalted is his name. R. You have turned from your anger. Sing praise to the LORD for his glorious achievement; let this be known throughout all the earth. Shout with exultation, O city of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel! R. You have turned from your anger.
Like many of you, I’ve experienced several negative emotions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fear. Fear that my family would catch the virus. Fear that I would catch the virus. Fear that I would lose my job. Fear that my husband would lose his job. Fear that my team and friends would lose their jobs.
Stress. I work for a health care organization. My team worked very long hours to provide daily updates on COVID-19 to our staff and physicians. Sometimes these updates would involve complicated clinical guidelines, patient education in several languages, and essential information that was important to get right and get out quickly. The stakes were high. Added to it, like some of you, I eventually began working from home with a husband also working from home and a son schooling virtually. Plus a puppy and two cats, which made for an interesting background activity for Zoom calls.
Anger. Anger about a virus that is so hard to control. Anger about the financial situation impacting me, my loved ones, my teammates, and my friends. Anger that no matter how hard we try, we cannot convince people to take some of the most basic precautions to avoid getting sick.
As we learn in Isaiah, however, during dark times, we can focus on God to give us hope. He gives us courage in the face of fear. He gives us strength in times of stress. He gives us joy in times of anger. We can trust in Him to get us through this and whatever other struggles we may face because He has already achieved what many would have considered impossible. He gives us knowledge to fight the fear. He gives us teammates, friends and family to lean on during times of stress. He can help us turn from our anger and focus on the great gifts He has given us, both in this life and beyond.
Prayer: God, help us to always remember that You are our Guiding Light through the dark. When we fear, give us courage. When we waver, give us strength. When we are angry, bring us joy. We exalt You, O God, for You alone can save us from our burdens. Thank you. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.