I have a t-shirt that was given to me as a gift, it reads—“June girls are sunshine mixed with a little of hurricane.” I find it humorous because if I’m honest there is truth in it, but it also speaks to something deeper, a reflection of how there are always two sides of things - the good and the bad- the weakness and the strength – the silver lining to the storm clouds.
This pandemic has caused more than its fair share of adversity and tragedy; but despite the awful, there have been quite a few positives. As with everything in life, we must accept the good with the bad and see how historically times of trials and tribulation not only bring humanity together through a common condition, but in the adversity, we collectively become stronger in the process.
So, to seek the silver lining, let’s take a moment to reflect on the positives that have come from this ordeal and see how this pandemic has forced a global great awakening that has the potential to positively impact our lives.
First and foremost, the realization that life is short and now is the time to take control of our lives! A call to see a bigger picture- to appreciate what is truly important in life and see what positive things we can implement to make our lives better.
In looking at a broader perspective, one can see how six areas of our lives have been notably impacted by this pandemic: mentally, spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, physically, and relationally. I believe if we look closely we can find positives in every single one.
Attitude is half the battle especially, an attitude of gratitude. It is in difficult times that we should pause to appreciate the good in our lives. To be thankful for each day that we are blessed with health, safety, and provision. During this pandemic, we’ve also seen innovation with many folks tapping into their creative side: learning new skills and hobbies or resurrecting old ones from painting, cooking, crafts, photography, writing, etc. Creativeness and learning are great ways to expand ourselves and stimulate the mind!
While digital learning opportunities increased we also saw an increase and appreciation for science. I think most can say, this pandemic has forced many of us to do our research to learn more about viruses, vaccines, and healthcare. Further, this ordeal has opened many eyes and ears to see the censorship that is taking place within our news and social media! A much-needed push towards critical thinking.
Quarantine and isolation took a toll on many, but some benefitted from a greater work-life balance equation with being able to work from home. Freeing them to devote time spent in commuting to family time, exercise, or just taking a break and enjoying nature. Not to mention, the decrease in road rage had to be a plus! We also saw an increase in pet adoptions during the pandemic. While Fido and Fifi found their forever homes their human companions received positive psychological and health benefits from the new union!
Positive lifestyle changes took place with better hygiene practices and many getting serious about implementing healthier lifestyle choices. To name a few:
o Weight Loss
§ (COVID tends to target the obese)
o Sleep Management
§ (Quality of sleep is foundational for good health)
§ (Replacing empty carbs and sugars with healthier choices)
§ (Limiting or omitting sodas, energy drinks, caffeine & alcohol)
o Boosting Immune System
§ (Intake of key vitamins especially Vitamin C, D & Zinc)
o Nasal & Oral Health
§ (Increase immune system & diminish viruses with Listerine & nasal sprays they are your friend!)
o Exercise & Nature
§ (Improve your overall health with activity & outdoor exposure- movement is medicine, natural Vitamin D absorption via sunshine & fresh air- so good for your mind, body, & soul!)
As lockdowns happened life was forced into a slower more intimate pace, families were afforded more time to spend together without the hectic crunch of the time clock and endless activities, commitments, and appointments. Quality time was made possible and parents had more opportunities to engage in their children’s lives at a whole new level-especially in their children’s education. Society also saw a rise in engagement with long-distance relationships with reaching out to others through technology to show care, compassion, and concern to loved ones and friends.
Enlightenment and revival took place for many with people seeking answers and comfort from a higher source. We’ve seen how churches across the country stepped up to provide innovative ways to minister to the people through online church services, podcasts, social media messages, and small group Bible studies held through Zoom. New ways of reaching many who haven't been in a physical church in years! Churches have also intensified new ministries to include prayer calls, fasting times, and outreach to the community to bring hope to those struggling. A recent Pew study even showed that despite many churches being closed, Americans reported their religious faith has increased!
We’ve seen how lockdowns, fear, and isolation magnify weakness. Dr. Mark Sherwood, a naturopathic doctor from Tulsa, Oklahoma, was interviewed and discussed his belief that there is a spiritual component to COVID-19 and it’s being activated by fear.
"There is a spiritual battle here going on because I think the Bible says clearly that God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind. So, let's talk about what God did not give us and that's that spirit of fear,"
“When we are being constantly bombarded with the drip of fear in media or posts or even podcasts, it does affect the immune system. Chronic fear, not healthy fear, ... will absolutely deteriorate the effectiveness of the immune system, making you less resilient.” ~ Sherwood
When we move closer to God during struggles- when we activate prayer and faith over fear we actually increase our overall health and wellness. It is in our weakness that we can improve because when we are weak Christ is strong.
When you contemplate the good that has come from this pandemic, you can’t help but see the testament of God’s goodness and His faithfulness. Even in the darkest hours, God always finds a way. Jesus is always the answer because He alone is our hope, salvation, and ever-present help in times of trouble.
COVID-19 is real and we all need to come together as one from a place of compassion and encouragement. I know many are reading this and struggling with the idea of a silver lining because you have lost loved ones from this illness- please accept my heartfelt condolences. It is always tragic to lose a loved one for any reason, I pray this time of grief and sorrow will not be wasted. May your loved ones' death not be in vain rather; let it serve as a wake-up call to those that remain to cherish the gift of each day and to walk this journey of life from a place of hope and celebration.
It is in the hardest trials, that humanity finds a way to overcome and the sun does come out again!
May you allow God to turn your tears into triumph and your fears into faith. Jesus Christ always provides the silver linings!
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. ~Romans 8:28