How Do You Want COVID-19 to End?

The long marble hallway stretched like a tunnel ahead. I remember the wavy lines narrowed to another corridor where doctors and nurses passed like a hospital thoroughfare of workers intent on going and arriving.

Something weird had happened to my eyesight ever since my daughter had been diagnosed with a brain stem lesion. Dark shadows edged my peripheral vision, vibrant colors drained pale as if they’d hung too long in the sun, and walls on both sides swayed in and out of focus.

There are times in life when you are headed in one direction and something happens. Life pivots, and you know nothing will ever be the same again.

It was a time like that in 2007 for our family. It was a bad year. And like the thermometer shoved daily between my daughter’s still lips, it measured my own spiritual temperature.

There will be many who will look back at 2020 with grief dulling their vision, with the bitter taste of heartache and fear, and a lead weight of dread in their gut. It will be a pivotal year, after which nothing will ever be quite the same again. For others, the year will dim, and routine will resume. And for some, it will be the springboard for better things.

Regardless of whether or not Covid-19 reaches its spectral hand into your being or a loved one’s, you will look back and wonder at what God meant for you during this time. You will move past and ponder at what it robbed and what it gave.

At the bedside of my daughter, when my days passed in a dark surreal fog, David’s songs recorded in the Psalms calmed my spirits and brought me joy in the middle of my sorrow.

“I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry.” Psalm 40:1 (ESV)

The mere thought of the Lord bending toward me, tender in His care, was precious.

“He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.” Psalm 40:2 (ESV)

In a sun filled courtyard at Mayo Clinic, while my daughter teetered between life and death, I opened my Bible and pulled out my journal. In it I scribbled a couple of questions.

“Where do I want to be spiritually when this is over regardless of how it ends? What do I want to be true in my life from this experience?”

It was like taking a reading of my spiritual temperature and looking forward to healing.

I knew what I didn’t want. I did not want to end in bitterness, blame and sinking in a mire of doubt. I wanted to come out at the end stronger in faith and stable in trust. I desired to look back grateful at God’s grace and compassion.

I filled pages. Words brought hope of someday being able to look back and see where I’d been and feel solid rock under my feet.

David, with eyes that saw God’s hand reaching down in a miry bog of destruction turns his eyes to look at what could be, is and will be. His temperature measured far more than his physical state.

“He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear,

 and put their trust in the Lord. Psalm 40:1-3 (ESV)

What do you want 2020 to look like in the rearview mirror? How do you want to be when this, Lord willing, is a bad night long ago, when playgrounds don’t look like crime taped areas and masks aren’t all the rage for grocery store customers? What would you like your spiritual temperature to register when the sun comes out again?

Wouldn’t it be marvelous if like Psalm 40, regardless of the pain and darkness of 2020, in spite of its creeping destruction, we come out singing new songs of praise? Can’t you imagine the testimony it could be and the resulting many who might see and fear God because of a pivotal virus which altered the course of a whole world? What if because of 2020, many put their trust in Him?

I still see 2007 in a bad light, but looking back, the shiny bits are so brilliant I almost squint when I remember. Jesus revealed Himself so many times and in such glorious ways. I can see them more clearly now, time having brushed some of the grief from my vision.

New songs aren’t always ones we would choose ourselves, but they bring the kind of praise God uses most.

So, join with me. Take a few moments and check the spiritual temperature of your heart. Once you have your mind clear, think about all those people who are struggling due to Covid 19 and if you can, be part of a coronavirus fundraising to help them out!

Where do you want to be spiritually when this is over regardless of how it ends?

 

*Feature Photo by Christine Sandu on Unsplash
*Bible Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
*Other photos by Philip Schroeder

19 Replies

  1. J.D. Wininger Reply

    My answer to your title question is “Quickly.” My answer to your ending question is with a stronger faith than when this all started. I’ve held strong to this point, often hash-tagging #FaithGreaterThanFear, but I pray daily that God gives me increases in my existing, and new, spiritual gifts that better prepare me for the next trial this world brings. God’s blessings my friend. Prayers for you and your family for continued protection.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      I agreee with “quickly!” And I am with you on the next answer as well. I too want a stronger faith. I admit I’ve had far too much unsettledness and fear. I am grateful God is patient with me! Thanks J. D. your responses are always appreciated.

  2. Jeannie Waters Reply

    Sylvia, your post is full of faith, even in hard times. I cannot imagine walking the road you traveled, but I’m challenged to allow God to increase my faith as I look to Him. Thank you.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      It is a continual challenge for me as well. The Covid-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty and fear to me. It has again measured my spiritual temperature and found a lot of growth still needing to happen. Thanks so much Jeannie for your comment.

  3. Rebecca Thesman Reply

    I would like to look back and have no regrets – to know I did something to help another person through the crisis.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      That’s so good Rebecca. I find myself tending to be so careful about myself and not caring enough for others. Thank you for that perspective.

  4. Sue Vogt Reply

    Thank you for sharing

  5. Sharon Skopnik Reply

    Thank you for sharing so vulnerably and from your heart Sylvia. A great challenge too…taking our spiritual temperature.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you Sharon. Appreciate you taking the time to read and comment!

  6. Shirley Bruning Reply

    Thank you for the assuring words in your article. I am blessed to be your cousin. I hope and pray you are all well. God is on the throne and prayer changes things.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you so much for your comment Shirley. You are right. God is on the throne and I for one need to remind myself of that daily! Appreciate hearing from you!

  7. Anne-Marie Johnson Reply

    Hi Sylvia, As always, I appreciate your writing. For us, it’s been one of those years! At the end of 2019, Christina, our daughter was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive form of breast cancer. We have zero cancer history in our families. So when the doctors kept saying, don’t worry…go home and relax, we did. Then came the phone call, right before Christmas. She did have cancer and from being told, it is most likely nothing, she was told, double mastectomy. She was 41.
    Sylvia, you more than anyone knows how a mom feels during a time like this. And yet, I/ we have felt peace. God is with us. He has a plan. Sometimes we don’t understand his plan but we keep trusting.
    Christina is recovering from her surgery well. This past week we were told that she does not need chemo nor radiation at this time. PTL! They did not get all the cancer. She will have an MRI every 6 months for the next 5 years. If the cancer spreads, then it will be chemo and radiation.
    On top of that the virus! We still feel so blessed: a little over a year ago, the house next door to us came up for sale. It is a long story but it really was a miracle. We live right next door to each other, so we have been able to help each other out.
    God knew, God provided.
    Thanks for listening.
    Sending viral hugs!
    PS: I’ve been praying for the Italian people. I would think friends of yours have been dealing with the virus.
    So far, my family in Belgium, Switzerland and Portugal are all ok.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you so much for writing. I’m so sorry to hear of the trial you all have been facing. The word “cancer” is not a pleasant one to hear. I am really glad she is recovering and you live near one another. With the virus a threat, it must have added another layer of uncertainty. I’m sure you were all extra cautious. I thank God with you that He provided and He knows. Trusting while not understanding is a hard place but a good one as well. So good to hear from you and thanks for reading! Greet Carl and Christina.

  8. Emily | To Unearth Reply

    This is beautiful! We so focus on how to get through day-by-day, which isn’t a bad thing, but your question is filled with wisdom. Because by it the Holy Spirit will give us daily wisdom as we strive for that end goal. Love this!

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you Emily. You are so right. We certainly can’t attain those end goals without the Holy Spirit to help and guide. Thanks for commenting!

  9. Nancy E Head Reply

    I love this message. We are not just supposed to endure this time and move forward unchanged. Thank you!

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you Nancy. Moving forward is sometimes a challenge. I hope you find the challenge a blessing! Thank you for your comment!

  10. Joanna Eccles Reply

    This is a great reminder that we have a choice of how to walk through the valleys of our lives. We can choose anger and frustration or let go and trust God. May God deepen our hearts to hear His through this time.

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