People around the nation and the world are making painful sacrifices because of this pandemic. Some of the sacrifices are voluntary, like not meeting up with friends and family to celebrate a birthday; some are not, like being let go from a job. After the virus has abated and the quarantine is eased, all of the pain is not going to vanish. Some of the hurt is going to last for quite a while.
So how do we ensure that our sacrifices will be worth it? Sure there is the immediate benefit of saving lives by slowing the spread of COVID-19, but our experiences will permanently reshape us, our country, and the world. Just like things did not go back to the they were on September 10, 2001 after the terrorists attacks, it is almost impossible to imagine returning to how life was in January 2020. Most people agree that life changed for the worse after 9/11, but we have an opportunity to use this current period of change for the betterment of our society. If we come out of this not trying to get back to how life used to be, but pushing forward to a better way of living, we can redeem the sacrifices that so many of us have made.
As followers of God, we believe that this is how He operates in our lives. Yes there are times when we prevents bad things from happening to us or immediately rescues us from difficult circumstances. But usually He walks with us through our trials and works to redeem our pain by bringing out something positive once we have gotten to the other side. This is what we find in Joseph’s response to his brothers that had sold him into slavery. “You tried to harm me, but God made it turn out for the best, so that he could save all these people, as he is now doing” (Genesis 50:20). May we follow God’s guidance and work to bring something good out of our current difficult circumstances!