COVID-19 is Terrible.

Still coughing. Still tired. Still mild symptoms. Energy comes and goes. Nausea and stomach aches come and go. I sniffed some roses sitting on our counter and today I THINK I smelled a hint of rose, but I might have imagined it. I think I am on the mend, but I know a young fellow COVID-ite who was on the mend for a week and then “bam” — he was in the hospital with trouble breathing. So I am trusting God that my symptoms just stay mild!

When I told a friend of mine how my symptoms were mostly mild, he responded, “Oh, so it’s not as bad as they hyped it up to be!”

If only it were that simple! COVID-19 is terrible!

Weird Symptoms

COVID-19, at least for me, came on with a MINOR cold. I thought nothing of it, and I walked around a few days potentially exposing others during that time. One friend has tested positive with a single symptom: loss of smell. The range of symptoms, at least to me, are just weird. Vomiting, diarrhea, toe-blisters, respiratory problems, rashes, eye pain or pink eye, fever, cough, loss of taste, loss of smell, and sore throat are some of the possible symptoms.

What does a toe-blister, nausea, and coughing have in common? Not much – except they’re all possible symptoms of the same virus. Bizarre!

Nobody Knows Much

Since this is a new disease, little is known.

Doctors spend years studying how this stuff works. Lives depend on them. They need to have answers.

Consider what it would feel like to ask your doctor a very simple question — a question that any doctor or even a nurse would be able to answer if it were any other disease — and the doctor just looks back at you and says, “Nobody knows yet.”

That’s a little unsettling when it happens to you, and it happened to me yesterday.

Sickness Aside, This Still Stinks.

I want to break this down to help others understand why COVID-19 is terrible, even with mild symptoms.

When my test came back positive, the health department called me. I had to remain in isolation for at least 10 days since the onset of symptoms, and I could come out after three days symptom free.

I had to back track everywhere I went up to two days before any symptoms arose. Anyone I encountered within 6 feet for more than 10 or 15 minutes should then enter into their own quarantine. Vacations, birthday parties, grad parties, and work have been missed because of this.

If one of them gets a positive test result, that expands the web of people who need to be quarantined. Quickly, my social and support network is diminishing. Anyone who tests positive has to go through this whole cycle themselves!

The moment my quarantine is over, my children’s 14 day quarantine begins. That means I may be allowed to go out, but not much because my children are preschoolers and need care — and nobody else can care for them since they’re quarantined.

So if I’m home sick 14 days, I’m home 28 days. That’s best case scenario… if anyone else in my family gets sick, it all moves back from there. I could be stuck in my home until August! Others — because of me — could still be in their homes by September or later!

So What Should I Do With All This “Stink”?

So far in this blog, I’ve pretty much just complained. I did this for two reasons. First, to help others understand what COVID folks may be feeling. Second, to make a point.

This blog is helpful in understanding our complaints and laments. Complaining can be spiritual!

A third of the Psalms is laments or complaints. This implies that God expects us to frequently experience pain and therefore frequently express our pain to him. God wants us to pour out our complaints to Him!

I pour out before him my complaint;

Before him I tell my trouble.

Psalms 142:2

My Prayer Today

Dear Jesus,

This sucks. But I still trust you.

Amen


Do you need to cry out to Jesus today? Go ahead. He can take it.

Will God Heal Me From COVID-19?

Today, I feel a little worse. Overall, still mild. But today is the first day that breathing was a little difficult. Coughing is a little worse. More people around me are getting positive results from their COVID-19 tests. Many symptoms are mild, but that doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods yet. One with mild symptoms can spread the disease to another who may have serious conditions, and many lives could be affected and have to go through a quarantine period. That alone is enough reason to take precautions. Please, get your medical information from peer-reviewed doctors and scientists and not from memes and gossip. I was careful to not spread… but many lives are STILL now entirely on hold, quarantining or sick. This matters. 

A Bible Example

In the Book of Daniel, the Bible tells a story of a king in Babylon named Nebuchadnezzar. His friends called him Nebbie (not really, but I don’t want to keep checking the spelling of “Nebuchadnezzar” so just go with me on this). 

King Nebbie made a statue of himself and issued a law that everyone had to worship the image he had made – lest they be thrown into a blazing furnace. 

Three Jews who lived in Babylon had a big problem with that, obviously. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to worship the image. King Nebbie summoned them and gave them another chance to worship his image and made clear their incendiary alternative. 

I absolutely love the three amigos’ response: “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” 

The rest of the story is irrelevant to my point, but I’ll share it anyway – they were thrown into the blazing furnace, Jesus protected them and they survived — unharmed, and King Nebbie declared the greatness of the one True God. 

I love their steadfastness with their faith. I want to share that same passion. 

God Can Heal Me, But Whether or Not He Does is Irrelevant.

I think about this story when I’m in a hard time. 

Can God heal me? Can He just blink and my lungs be free and my body be ‘Rona-less? Can He wave his hand and remove all your cancer? Can He resolve that genetic condition with a twitch of His nose? Of course He can! 

But whether or not He does is entirely irrelevant to my devotion to Him. 

If my parents had given me a curfew I thought was unfair, I wouldn’t have disowned them. If my wife didn’t make me a sandwich, I wouldn’t get a divorce. (That reminds me, honey, if you’re reading this, I’d like a slice of provolone cheese next time). That’s just being a faithful son and a faithful husband! 

So why would a hard time . . . 

. . . like COVID-19 

(. . . or like losing your job)

(. . . or a relationship struggle)

. . . have any bearing upon my status as a son of a King? He’s still my God, my King, and my Father, in the good times and in the hard ones. I’ll remain faithful. Watch me. 

I hope to see you tomorrow morning at 9:30 or 11 a.m. for church online!

The Feelings that Came With COVID-19

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.

Fear

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.

Guilt

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.

Anger

The guilt led to anger.

Masks suck.

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.

Hopelessness

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.

Dealing with these emotions was a matter of rejecting the lie and replacing it with Truth. This is a principle found in scripture and explained in detail in this book by Carlos Whitaker.

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.

Church

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.

I Have COVID-19.

Hi. My name is Adam Diehl, I am a child of God, and I have tested positive for COVID-19.

My symptoms started like a very minor cold. I didn’t think anything of it. I often get a cold each June. One evening I got the chills which was slightly concerning, but the next morning I felt pretty much fine, so just figured I was tired.

But when I lost my sense of smell and taste, that’s when I knew I needed to call my doctor. He recommended a test, and it came back positive.

Right now, physically, I feel a little tired sometimes. I have a cough and a few other symptoms. I’m quarantined and recovering with my family. We have everything we need. I’m not needing hospitalization. Emotionally, I’ve had a lot of them over the past 48 hours: anger, hopelessness, fear, and guilt are a few that I’ve had to surrender to Jesus. I plan to write about each of them in this blog.

WHERE IS YOUR GOD NOW?

You know, God promises a lot of things. He promises that he has good plans for me. He also promises that “in this world you will have trouble.” So today, I’ve got some health trouble — but that doesn’t mean God went anywhere. In fact, he’s fulfilling a promise! Christians will have trouble.

But I’m not alone. God is with me. Other Christians are with me.

My God is able to deliver me from this calamity, but even if he doesn’t, He is still my God, He is still in charge, and I will serve Him the rest of my life.

He is a faithful God, even in the hard times. I will serve him now in the hard times. Watch me.

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