Coping With Feeling Blah During The Pandemic
For anyone who’s struggling to stay positive during the pandemic, the Bible offers hope.
As more and more people are being vaccinated against COVID-19, case counts are dropping and many places around the world are beginning to reopen. But that is not the reality for everyone, as dangerous variants of the virus remain a threat. So, people continue to wonder if and when we will ever see our lives and interactions resembling what they were pre-pandemic.
A recent article from The Washington Post argues that we will likely never see herd immunity in the United States, and another article suggests that the immuno-compromised are still under the threat of COVID-19, even if they are vaccinated.
So, as time passes, the continuing uncertainty weighs down on all of us. For those gaining increased freedoms, they still cannot travel and see those still confined at home.
On top of our physical weariness, after a year of pandemic life, we can now add psychological and emotional weariness, which The New York Times describes as languishing. The author writes, “It wasn’t burnout — we still had energy. It wasn’t depression — we didn’t feel hopeless. We just felt somewhat joyless and aimless.”
It’s as if there’s just not enough energy to feel sufficient joy or motivation to move, and if they are moving, they’re not moving very fast, they’re kind of just stuck, feeling….. blah. Languishing. Yes, an apt description. Failing to make progress or to be successful.
Does the Bible provide any advice for God’s people who are feeling aimless during this COVID-19 pandemic? What exactly does God want us to do to make this time worthwhile?
How to get through languishing pains during the pandemic?
God teaches us the following:
“We are pressed on every side by troubles, but not crushed and broken. We are perplexed because we don’t know why things happen as they do, but we don’t give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going.”— II Corinthians 4:8-9 The Living Bible
Even though God’s people may experience difficult times in our lives, just like the pandemic that we are still going through after more than a year, we are admonished to not feel crushed, to never quit, and even if life knocks us down, to not be knocked out; rather to get up and keep on going.
So, if we feel like we are not getting anywhere at present, we need to mentally and virtually just GET UP! And deal with our life. A positive frame of mind is absolutely essential in order to tackle and overcome feeling forlorn, or as if we are standing still.
Still, if one feels deeply mired in negativity and hopelessness, he may indeed seek help. When we are facing similar challenges in life, the Lord God is the only one who is always ready to assist us.
“Don’t you know? Haven’t you heard? The LORD is the everlasting God; he created all the world. He never grows tired or weary. No one understands his thoughts. He strengthens those who are weak and tired. Even those who are young grow weak; young people can fall exhausted. But those who trust in the LORD for help will find their strength renewed. They will rise on wings like eagles; they will run and not get weary; they will walk and not grow weak.”— Isaiah 40:28-31 Today’s English Version
Though we may feel weak, exhausted and just downright tired of the restrictions imposed on us due to this pandemic, we must place our hope and trust in God who will grant us the renewed strength, determination and confidence we need to pull ourselves out of the rut we may find ourselves in.
The future looks bleak. How can one still be successful?
Considering the current economic climate, one could very well develop hesitancy when it comes to his career and personal goals. But who is going to help us attain success, regardless of the uncertainty of our times?
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”— Jeremiah 29:11 New International Version
Still, I’m missing the joy and happiness of pre-COVID life
The abrupt and lingering condition of being cloistered at home, and the loss of the freedoms usually enjoyed in an open society, has really impacted many people. The yearning to return to a semblance of pre-COVID life is immense. But if we engage in a deeper introspect, we will realize the futility of placing our hope in this world. The problems of man’s life are multiplying and intensifying: extreme weather conditions causing flooding and scathing fires, civil wars resulting in colossal numbers of refugees, an economic downturn caused by this persistent pandemic, and so much more. This is why members of the Church Of Christ take to heart this pronouncement of the Bible:
“The earth itself will stagger like a drunk, sway like a hut in a storm. The world is weighed down by its sins; it will collapse and never rise again.”— Isaiah 24:20 The Good News Bible
So, instead of placing our hope in this world, we should look forward to what God is preparing.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”— Revelations 21:1-4 New International Version
This is what we should place our hope in, and focus our attention on. For just as sure as this world is coming to an end as we know it, there will be a place for those whom God recognizes as His own. So, while waiting for that glorious day to dawn, we can take advantage of the time we have.
What should we do while we’re confined at home?
The Bible teaches us how to make the most of every day: we need to make good use of every opportunity we are given.
“Make the most of every opportunity you have for doing good…”— Ephesians 5:16 Living Bible
“…and make the most of every opportunity for growth.”— Ephesians 5:16(a) The Remedy New Testament
So while we are at home, we can focus on our spiritual growth. What can we do to improve our lives so that we can better serve God? The content on incmedia.org helps us put into practice the reminders we are given during our worship services. For example:
- Improve your diet, including what you listen to. Read this blog about adding Christian podcasts to your playlist. And find out how listening to Christian podcasts can help you grow mentally and spiritually stronger.
- This podcast is about how simply decluttering can reduce stress. After decluttering her entire home, Natasha learned she is living a more stress-free life filled with meaning and she’s encouraging others to do the same.
As the world is undergoing change (and not for the better) we can change for the better. No more feeling sorry for ourselves! Let’s get up and about and work on improving all aspects of our life, and most especially, our relationship with God and Christ.
This blog was written by Donald Pinnock, a minister of the gospel in the Church Of Christ. An ordained minister for over 18 years, he hosts the show, The Solution, where he helps individuals find solutions to life’s problems by turning to the Bible.