Let me state the obvious; life won’t always be this way. The reign of the coronavirus will one day come to an end, and we will resume our regular activities and go back to life as usual.
Although I imagine that this transition back to everyday life will be gradual, I picture it as an epic ending to a movie. A symbolic one at that.
In it, COVID-19 will meet its demise in a final battle, and the smoke will clear and the dust and debris will begin to settle. Then, one by one, families will slowly start to come out of their homes.
As they assess the aftermath of the war, they will pick up the broken pieces that can be put back together again. Then they will tenderly sweep up the remaining fragments that are too shattered to be pieced back together. They will sweep them up not to throw them out, but rather to bury them in a sacred place where they can be mourned, honored, and remembered for what they once were.
The losses will be evident. Some of them already are. But grieving will be made fully possible when this saga comes to an end, and it will be accompanied by the hope of restoration for what has been broken but can be made new.
When the moment comes for each of us to build up what has been torn down and to bury what is forever gone, I hope we will remember that not all was lost during this time. I hope we will see what we have gained.
Can you see what you have gained so far as a result of living during this time? What is God doing in and through you in this current moment?
Recently, I read about how pearls are formed. Their initial formation begins when an oyster cannot expel an irritant, such as a parasite that has latched onto it. When this happens, the oyster secretes a fluid known as nacre with which it coats the parasite. After layer upon layer of covering the parasite in this material, the pearl is formed.1
I’ve heard it said before that the world is our oyster. If this is true—if the world is our oyster, then the coronavirus is our parasite. It has latched onto this earth tightly and will stay here for however long it will, as unwelcome as it is. But we don’t have to let it pollute our minds or get the best of us. We can, in fact, get the best out of this time through God’s working in us, because
We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.Romans 8:28
This doesn’t mean we won’t have our hard days or struggles throughout the duration of this moment in history. However, the overarching theme of our lives can be one of faith because we know the goodness of our God, and we know our story’s ending involves an eternity beyond our wildest imaginations. This is where our hope lies.
In the meantime, God has given us our own “nacre” to combat the polluted thoughts of this parasite in this present time. He has given us His truth and the promises and hope we find in His Word. He has also given us fellow believers who can encourage us and be encouraged by us. And through all these things, we continue to be reminded that God is in control, and He continues to show us that there is still beauty to be seen in this world, because
The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof…Psalm 24:1a
When we are anxious, afraid, or upset due to all things COVID-19, let’s choose to wrap up these thoughts in the nacre we have been given—not just once, but in layer upon layer.
We can’t change the fact that the coronavirus has come, nor can we undo any damage it has done. But if we continue to allow God to do a good work in us in the midst of the frustration, heartache, and discomfort, we might just see that we emerge out of this season with a whole lot of treasure. As of now, a shiny pearl is in the making. Let’s see the work through.