Without exception, all of us are feeling fear of some sort at this time. There is the fear of how this pandemic and life in South Africa, and the world, will be like once this virus has run its course. There is the fear of not having an identity anymore because work was your life and now you are deemed “non-essential”. There is the fear of protracted infections. There is the fear of not being able to provide for your family. There is the fear of relationships breaking up because of this abnormal strain that is put on them. There is the fear of financial ruin. There is the fear of being locked up in a home with the person that is physically, verbally or psychologically abusing you and you have no escape. There is the fear of death. There is the fear of being forgotten. There is the fear of never seeing certain people again. And on and on, I’m sure you can add many more fears and categories to this list.
This morning I’m acknowledging fear, because it is on everyone’s mind, in one way or another. And as much as I am a positive thinker, there is no Nelson Mandela or Abraham Lincoln or John Maxwell quote that will make it go away so we feel better. And even if you are very positive, you have to sleep sometime, and then the weird dreams come. I’ve had my fair share.
These are unprecedented times, and nobody knows how things will turn out exactly, despite predictions, trends, analyses and scenarios. And that’s the point: we don’t know.
So despite the fear, despite the uncertainty, we must turn to those things that are secure. One thing that is sure is that “this too shall pass”. Another fact is that most people will still be around. Then there is the love of special people, friends and family. Fourth, faith – the faith that I can take this one day at a time until “this too has passed”. And most importantly in my case, Faith in God who was not taken by surprise by this virus, or anything it causes.
This may seem like a gloomy message, but if I can sum it up: The things we are facing and fearing are real and we must accept that, but it is extremely helpful to, as far as possible, concentrate on the things we are sure of. And when we speak to anyone familiar with going through tough times, the sentence we often hear is “Hang in there, and just take it one day at a time.” And as time unfolds, the situation will become clearer.
We will see the other side of this.