Lessons I Learned from the Pandemic

With the Covid pandemic in our wake, I’ve done some reflecting about how it affected my life and what positive things I could take from it. I’ve often wondered how people survived past hard times such as wars and plagues, and now I’ve experienced one myself. In the future, people will be learning about it and wondering how we coped with these difficult years. With that in mind, here are some of the lessons I learned from the pandemic.

Seeing More Clearly

The pandemic began at the beginning of year 2020. I couldn’t help but see it as 20/20, as in accurate vision. What did God want us to see? Did it only apply to that year, or the pandemic as a whole? I’ve always known about the spiritual battle between good and evil, but it had been easy to forget while everyday life went on uninterrupted. The pandemic lifted the veil and I was horrified to become more aware of the evil forces at work.

Do Not Fear

I’ve heard claims that “do not fear” appears in the Bible 365 times, once for each day of the year. Easier said than done at times, isn’t it?! That phrase’s meaning became fuller through the pandemic. This was the first time I’d been forced to isolate and wear masks. We experienced newfangled ways to divide us and pit us against each other based on our personal choices. “They” used our fear against us. It brought to a new light the power fear gives other people over us. When we don’t trust in God, we deny His power, and possibly even His existence, and give power to our enemy.

“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.”

Proverb 29:25 NIV

Joy and Peace

Even though the world is evil and chaotic, it’s possible for my own little world to be peaceful and joyful. My husband and I even managed to make some good memories. In the early stages, while we were trying to make sense of it all, we stayed at home a lot more. My husband and I are empty nesters and live in the country where we are quite isolated, so we spent a lot of time together, just the two of us. We planned nice dinners for ourselves and ate in front of the fire while watching favorite shows or movies. We went for drives in our beautiful countryside. We took long walks to blow off steam, and then counted our blessings to refocus our minds. We spent time at our home on the Texas coast and went fishing. It became quite romantic, and strengthened our bond.

Off for a relaxing drive!
Scott making a nice dinner on the back porch
A beautiful calm day for fishing!

Nature was calming for me. My flowers still bloomed as beautifully as ever. The birds still sang joyfully. Delicate butterflies and busy bees still visited. The news from every direction and mode was trying to make me fearful and confused. My garden offered a peaceful respite where I was reassured and comforted by my Creator.

No matter what life throws at us, joy and peace can always be found, if we only remember to look for it.

“…yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”

Habakkuk 3:18 NIV

Blind Trust

God gave me a noggin and I wanted to use it. I wanted to be responsible for my own decisions and not take my health for granted. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Sometimes our bodies need help, but sometimes they don’t.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

Psalm 139:14-16 NIV

My husband and I researched and discussed how we wanted to handle things. I’ve spent more time than ever reading health-related articles. Whether I made the right or wrong decision, at least I made it prayerfully and to the best of my ability. I would be the one to bear the consequences so I didn’t want to make decisions based solely on what an “expert” said. There’s only one who I can blindly trust and that’s Jesus Christ!

Lean Not

Lean not on your own understanding. If ever there was a time for humility, this was it. Where pride might cause one to lean upon their higher education and life experiences, humility would have kept an open mind, and a willingness to research and pray before making decisions. With such an abundance of conflicting information, the sole source of truth that I could base my decisions on was God’s Word, the Holy Bible. If a piece of information didn’t hold up to what I’d read there, I didn’t accept it.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.”

Proverbs 3:5-8 NIV

Conspiracy Theories

That label is used to make us think someone is crazy for going against public opinion or the testimony of “experts.” 

“Don’t look here, folks, there’s nothing to see! Move along, move along!” 

The problem is that there are “experts” on both sides. I’ve learned to take a closer look and think for myself when something is called that. Sometimes it’s a warning worth heeding.

“This is what the Lord says to me with his strong hand upon me, warning me not to follow the way of this people: ‘Do not call conspiracy everything this people calls a conspiracy; do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it. The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread.’”

Isaiah 8:11-13 NIV

Dividing and Conquering

They pitted us against each other by race, by religious beliefs, by vaccine, and by mask. When they divide us and have us looking at each other with suspicion, they weaken us. We’re much less powerful when we’re isolated and distrustful of each other.

It’s up to us to look beyond labels; to give grace, and room for other beliefs and judgments. By getting to know each other we’ll find that we have much more in common and there are more things that we can agree on than the one thing that they’re using to divide us.

Stand fast

In the face of pressure to get vaxxed from so many different directions, many people got it even though they didn’t want to; to be able to travel, see loved ones, keep their job, etc. If they would have stood fast and waited, much of that pressure would have abated.

It may not have been the Mark of the Beast, but it certainly shared some of the the warning signs given to us in Revelations 13. For that reason, I didn’t want to have anything to do with it.

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.”

1 Corinthians 16:13 NIV

Now that years have passed, the requirements are being lifted. I truly feel for people who were pressured to go against their religious beliefs or better judgment. If they could have somehow held fast, that situation might have passed. It’ll be many years before we could know the totality of the damage the pandemic caused, and I doubt that we’ll ever know the true cost.

Be in the Word

When the pandemic started and everything closed up, I started reading my Bible more diligently. I became more dependent on my own study time, and the brain and Bible that God gave me. I prayed for wisdom harder than ever because some of our decisions would affect the rest of our earthly life, and possibly even our eternal life. The Father of Lies is at work even among we Christians, and being on guard against his half-truths is a full-time job. Making a point to read some of His word every day helps to hide it in my heart and mind, where it can act as a sword, dividing truth from lies. We should never blindly trust in others with issues as important as our health and eternal life.

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

Hebrews 4:12 NIV

Whatever it is we’re going through, it won’t last forever. The key to getting through it is focusing on God by being in His Word.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

Ephesians 6:10-17 NIV

The Bible is full of accounts of how God’s people endured difficult times, for our benefit. It also reveals how God is behind them, how He works through people or kingdoms to bless or curse. The silver lining of difficult times is that people turn back towards God and have more of a hunger for His truth.

Marital Bond

When choosing a life mate, I’d advise people to choose someone they enjoy being with even when there’s no money in the budget for entertainment, or when you’re isolated by life stage, geographic location, or belief system. Through life, there will be times when you’re alone together, maybe not always in the physical sense, but in making choices that aren’t popular, when sticking together will have eternal consequences. I was so thankful that my husband and I were like-minded and could research and make decisions together. I was grateful that we weren’t divided from even each other. 

Lord Willing

No one is guaranteed another day. Whether it’s making your will, accepting Jesus Christ as your savior, or telling loved ones about Him, do it now because you aren’t guaranteed another day.

“Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’”

James 4:13-15 NIV

Your Turn

Living through historic times changes us in many ways. Take some time to reflect on your own experiences. Consider writing them down for your own memories, as well as for the benefit of future generations. In fact, if you homeschool, this would be a good assignment for the kids.

If you had it to do over, what would you do differently? How will that affect you in the future? What have you learned from the pandemic?

P. S. Have I offended you, or did my words make you feel uncomfortable? If so, please know that it isn’t my intention to offend you, I’m simply sharing my thought processes and experience. I don’t claim to know everything. The Bible tells us in Romans 3:10, “As it is written: ‘There is no one righteous, not even one…’” Not a single one of us has everything right, including me. But I’m seeking God’s wisdom. I believe that scripture is “God breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16) and essential for life to its fullest. I’ve included scripture references so that you can study for yourself and see what conclusion you come to. But please don’t blindly trust me, or anyone else.

If you need to talk to someone about Jesus, contact me and I’d be happy to tell you all about our savior!

I'd love to hear what you have to say!