First of all, an update. I was diagnosed this week with COVID-19. My symptoms remain mild. I’m okay. My family has everything we need. The same cannot be said for others I know. This is a highly contagious sickness and symptoms do not always stay mild. There’s always a smart doctor with a second opinion on every issue, but I encourage everyone to please be careful to pay attention to the preponderance of peer-reviewed evidence of this new sickness in which doctors are reporting. Like this.
Let’s Talk About The Feelings
Feelings are a crazy thing. They are fact. But they are not necessarially true. A common example is a feeling of being alone. It’s a fact that you do feel alone . . . but that doesn’t mean you actually are. Especially for the Christian.
I say this because I’m about to get REAL. I’ve had some feelings the past few days. Some of them are completely irrational! I know that. But I’m opening up my heart today so you can understand what I’m going through. I’m sharing this in victory; I don’t need to work through these — I’ve worked through them!
Here are a few of the feelings I’ve had to deal with.
I remember when my wife and I found out we were pregnant. In one day, having a child went from an idea to a reality. It sunk in. It became real.
The same thing happened when I got tested for COVID-19 and then again when I was told that the test came back positive. It was like a wake up call. “Whoa – I’m actually about to do this” followed by a punch in the gut, “Ugh. I have COVID-19.”
Thoughts flooded my mind. Will I die? Will others die? Who will be hospitalized because of this? What will happen? ** Panic, panic, panic. **
God does not give me fear. The Spirit of fear that began to take hold of my life is demonic.
Sidebar rant: Taking wise precaution is not the same as fear. I take my medicine, wear a seatbelt, and check the batteries in my smoke detector because I trust what experts have suggested is a wise precaution. Avoiding medical attention or abstaining from a COVID-19 test is not “faith.” It’s a rejection of wisdom; a rejection of what God has provided. People who say otherwise are possibly dealing with their own fear of losing control.
I had to take my fear to Jesus.
After my positive test results, the department of health did a fantastic job helping me track down who may have been exposed by me. I had to go back to the first day my symptoms arose, and then back-track two days before that. Anyone I had close contact with (within 6 feet for 10 minutes or more) needed to be quarantined. I was very thorough.
Someone’s dream vacation was possibly ruined.
Someone else may lose work which affects the support staff they employ.
Someone else now is quarantined and can’t attend their grandchild’s birthday party.
All because of me.
That’s a terrible feeling. It will get worse if any of these people I’ve exposed get severely sick.
Now some people think, “Nobody can tell us what I can or cannot do! We don’t need to quarantine!” Okay, I’m not going to try to change your mind. But you need to understand that not everyone feels that way, some people choose to listen to the advice of their doctors. Just like secondhand smoke, this has very real and very damaging effects on people around us.
God does not give me guilt. I had to take my guilt to Jesus.
The guilt led to anger.
I hate wearing a mask. It’s so uncomfortable. It’s so hot. It’s so bothersome. It’s downright miserable. But I did it very frequently anyway in order to stop any possible spread to others.
I was careful around others. Why weren’t others careful around me?
That made me feel a little hurt, betrayed, and angry.
God calls Christians to a life of irrational forgiveness. So I can’t stay angry. I had to take my anger to God.
This one surprised me. I’m a pretty optimistic guy.
The morning after my COVID-19 result, I went to go get dressed and the thought flashed through my mind, “Why bother? What’s the use getting dressed today? Your life is over.”
For me at least, this one was easy to realize as a lie and take to Jesus. COVID-19 will not define my life. I had to take my hopelessness to Jesus.
Taking it to Jesus
God is at work in my life.
So is the devil! You know he’s lying when he’s talking.
Can I show you how I did it?
Reject the Lie. Replace it with Truth.
Fear. God has not given me a spirit of Fear. I reject fear. Perfect love drives out all fear, so I accept the Love of the Father. He will take care of me one way or another.
Guilt. Through Christ, there is now no condemnation. I reject the feelings of guilt and condemnation and acknowledge that they are from the enemy. I replace this guilt and condemnation with God’s love and acceptance of me. His acceptance of me is enough. I accept wisdom from God which allows me to still be cautious.
Anger. The harsh feelings I was feeling were not from God. I reject them and acknowledge them as a trick of the enemy to get my focus off of the main thing: SHARING HIS LOVE. I choose to forgive any careless organizations or individuals who had a part in spreading this sickness to me. I replace my anger with the Love of the Father, which includes loving others.
Hopelessness. My life has no use? What a bunch of cow manure. I was made in the image of God. I was created as God’s masterpiece to do good things! I need to step into that mission! I replace hopelessness with the mission and love of my Father.
Be in church this weekend! I’d love for you to join me at mine this weekend at 9:30 or 11 a.m. online. For obvious reasons, I won’t be on the camera, but I’ll be there on chat! Online church at New Hope is here.