Are you tired and anxious in this pandemic storm?

Posted: October 20, 2020 at 2:45 pm

We all know about sea sickness. I believe there’s a new ailment – pandemic sickness. Maybe you can relate to it.

It’s when you’re going along through your day, and you feel pretty normal, and then something fairly inconsequential happens, and you lose your emotional equilibrium, and fall apart. Maybe you feel like shedding a few tears!

After months of health alerts, lockdowns, let-outs, mask debates and more lockdown. Add the electioneering of a very intense general election. Throw into the mix some global human rights unrest, and a little more climate change concern…. and it can all just get a bit much.

Feelings of confusion and exhaustion are perfectly reasonable. Pandemic Sickness. We’re feeling anxious, upset, confused & frustrated, and I reckon it’s as widespread as the virus. Probably more so.

Help crossing “Lake Pandemic.”

Jesus’ disciples had a bout of this on at least one occasion. Luke 8:22-25 records a time they were all sailing across a lake. A huge storm came up and threatened to swamp the boat and kill them all. The trouble was, the answer to all the disciples’ problems was asleep in the boat! Jesus seemed oblivious.

So the disciples woke Jesus up with a very loud prayer: “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”

2020 has felt like a life-threatening storm for many of us. The wind and the waves of Covid-19 craziness has rocked us and changed everything. It’s still hard to know what 2021 will look like. Will it be any better? Will we drown?

Because none of us knows the answer to this or any serious questions about the future, I suggest the following very simple formula for getting to the other side of “Lake Pandemic.” When you’re feeling overwhelmed and anxious:

Stop. Pause what you’re doing and wait.

Take a deep breath, hold it a few seconds, and exhale smoothly. This genuinely slows you down, and supplies a quick shot of oxygen to you brain. It’s surprisingly helpful.

Remember this from God’s Word: “Jesus rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.” Reading or reciting Biblical texts of hope and promise is helpful for calming our mindset.

“Jesus rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.”

Pray. Something like this – “Lord I trust you. Forgive me for my lack of faith. Stop this virus and all the harm it’s causing. And bring your calm, to me and all the world. Lord I trust you. Amen.

Write. Journalling and capturing your thoughts on paper can be very therapeutic. No matter how messy it is, writing your hopes and prayers can lead to all sorts of helpful ideas, and release.

Jesus’ teaching moment after the disciples’ screaming episode was simply one gentle and friendly question – “Where is your faith?” If you make the above your practice, my experience is you are on your way to the peace and calm you long for. You are truly exercising faith. Good for you.

Take courage,

Matt

All was calm on the lake when Jesus rebuked the threatening wind and waters. This picture is “Follow me” by NZ artist Graham Braddock.

Author: Matt Perry

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