Do not be afraid, for I am with you; do not be alarmed, for I am your God. I give you strength, truly I help you, truly I hold you firm with my saving right hand. – Isaiah 41:10
In some respects our lives are different since Covid-19. No doubt you are washing your hands more often than before. You may be working from home, and you’re probably concerned about what will happen in the next few weeks and months. But in many respects things are the same.
Let’s think about our mental and spiritual health. Each person will have a different response based on their life experiences and access to community resources. With the constant news reporting, each sounding worse than the last, there is plenty to think about.
People who already have anxiety, depression, or problems with substance abuse will likely respond stronger to the stress of a crisis. Healthcare providers may have concerns for their own health and that of their families. They will work longer and harder, see more critically ill people than usual, perhaps even a friend or co-worker, and become exhausted. Both children and adults may experience excessive worry, sadness, and crying. There may be changes in sleeping and eating patterns or an increase in use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs. Take care of yourself and each other, and know when and how to seek help. Call your health care provider if stress reactions interfere with your daily activities for more than a few days.
Our children or grandchildren may be anxious and ask questions. How do we answer them? They will react in part to the way they see adults coping. Keep it age appropriate, don’t go into global statistics with a grade-schooler. Be honest, but keep it simple. Reassure them that they are safe. Try to help them have a sense of structure. Once school resumes, help them return to their regular activities. Try to be upbeat and maintain a sense of humor. Take deep breaths, avoid too much media coverage. Be a role model, get plenty of sleep, exercise and eat well. And of course pray, alone and with your family.
To help cope with your feelings connect with friends and family. This is one time when cell phones and social media can help! Maintain healthy relationships. Share your concerns, and how you are feeling. Don’t forget to ask them how they are feeling too!
We survived Y2K with ease. September 11, 2001, was hard, but we stuck together and survived. Now we face some unknowns, but we know with God’s help we will make it through this, too.
Prayer for the NACC
In this age of anxiety & stress, we ask for your Presence to be made clearly amongst us.
Be with us as we confront illnesses that leave many of us in a state of worry for our families, our friends, our colleagues, our communities, our nation and our world.
As hospitals and health care providers seek to continue the healing ministry of You, may they have fortitude for the road ahead, knowing that you are walking this journey with them with your mighty Hand. Remind them of both their strength and Your strength.
We ask for Your comfort upon those who have already lost loved ones during the time of viruses. And, may healing be upon those who are physically suffering and spiritually suffering through this season.
May the wilderness of this time, & the uncertainty we may feel, strengthen our resolve to lean on your word, abide in your presence, and be guided by your enduring and powerful Spirit.
You have been with us in every age and will remain a refuge — to take solace, to recollect our thoughts, to remember that all things of this world are fleeting, and this too shall pass.
Let us recall the calming of the storm by your Hand. Let us today and tomorrow and the days ahead lean on Your fortitude, and resolve to care for each other and support each other through this difficult journey before us in our lives both collectively and individually.
Amidst the darkness, the confusion and the storm of worry, may your Presence be abundantly revealed so that Your light, Your hand and Your strength, give us steadiness, refuge, clarity of purpose, and hope.
by Elizabeth (Lisa) Ecks in Sacramento, CA
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