5 Ways Covid-19 Has Changed Us
We share our personal reflections on how the pandemic has influenced and transformed us.
Like it or not, the Covid-19 crisis has changed daily life as we know it. From wearing masks everywhere to scanning our MySejahtera apps each time we enter a building or shop, we’ve learnt to adapt to protect ourselves from infection.
The pandemic has also changed us from the inside. As our team at Our Daily Bread Ministries sourced for and prepared content for Covid-19, we discovered along the way that we were being personally changed by the crisis. Allow us to share our discoveries with you; and we pray that as the Holy Spirit continues to work in us and mould us, He will transform each of us into a more Christlike person.
1. We’ve become more thankful.
“I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. (Psalm 9:1)
Until the movement control orders (MCO) kicked in, most of us probably never thought much of going out for a meal. After all, isn’t that a natural part of life in Malaysia? When the restrictions kicked in, however, we were quickly reminded not to take such simple joys for granted.
Not only that, the constant reports of infections and deaths in the country and around the world have also got some of us thinking: What if we were to lose a loved one or a good friend to Covid-19? As we continue learning to commit to the Lord this worry that is beyond our control, we try to cherish every moment we have with those we love–every conversation, every meal, every meeting.
Covid-19 has not only shown us that being able to meet up and share a meal with loved ones or friends is a gift from God, but it has also taught us to treasure every gathering. May we continue to do so from now, knowing that it is a real privilege and joy that God gives us.
2. We’ve become more gracious.
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:2-3)
With the work-from-home arrangements and home-based learning for children combined with extended school holidays, many families ended up with long periods cooped up at home together.
This has tested our patience at times. Many of us have failed to keep our temper in check and snapped at our spouses or our kids, and quarrels have broken up over the smallest things. Such clashes have exposed areas of our lives which need to be worked on by the Holy Spirit, so that we can become more patient, loving, and gracious.
As we try to nurture our children and bear with the failings of others, may we remember that we ourselves are also works-in-progress. Just as the Spirit is gracious to us when we fail, may we extend the same graciousness to others who are also being moulded.
3. We’ve become more giving.
“Do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” (Hebrews 13:16)
Over the various MCOs, some of us benefited from the many surprises and meals that were lovingly gifted to us – whether it was dessert deliveries or sourdough breads or other treats. These thoughtful acts of love made us feel less isolated and reminded us that we were not alone in this crisis.
This joy of receiving has taught us to be more giving in return, especially to those whom we know have been badly affected by the pandemic. Now, we try to think of little things we can do for others, whether it is a phone call to ask, “How are you?”, sending a surprise snack, or offering help with groceries or caring for someone who is ill.
Just as we have received much from the Lord, may we always have the joy of giving generously to others.
4. We’ve become more reliant on God.
“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Psalm 18:2)
When Covid-19 struck, it caused many disruptions to our lives. Not only did we have to put our plans (like travelling) on hold, many of us also had to deal with unexpected tragedies such as losing loved ones to disease and losing our jobs. Many things, we soon found out, were outside our control.
The crisis was a stark reminder that we are indeed not masters of our own destiny. We can plan all we want and do what we can, but ultimately, we have no power to make things happen. The only thing we can be sure of is God – our only rock, fortress, and deliverer (Psalm 18:2).
In this time of uncertainty, we have discovered that the only thing that is unchanging and reliable is God. And so we have tried to become more intentional in seeking Him – to be found in greater communion with Him through prayer and worship, and to spend more time in His Word, our only guide and source of truth.
5. We’ve become more hopeful – in God.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Throughout the past year, we’ve been getting nothing but bad news. Along with the pandemic and its resulting impact on the global economy, we’ve also been hearing about natural disasters and political upheavals. The non-stop tragedy and suffering has left some of us wondering: When will all this end? How can I stay hopeful when nothing seems to be good or getting better?
This was when we remembered what Jesus said about trials and tribulations – that they are unavoidable in this life (John 16:33). The fact is, as long as we continue to live in a world ravaged by the presence of sin, we will face suffering and pain.
We were also reminded of Proverbs 3:5-6, which reminds us to “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
And so, even as we are surrounded by the bad news of today, we keep an eye on the future and the good news that lies in it. We take heart that our future is entirely in the hands of a good and loving God who is sovereign and omnipotent. May we not lean on our own understanding, but place our heart and hope in Him always.
Adapted from an article by Our Daily Bread Ministries, Singapore.