In the midst of rising concerns over Covid-19, New Orleans had a few beautiful days this weekend.
Maybe because of movies and shows, I tend to associate pandemics with overcast skies, storms, and general dreariness. But that hasn’t been the case in NOLA so far. People have been jogging, hamocking, and enjoying the weather. All the while, we’ve been keeping updated on the news about the virus and how it’s affecting life as we know it.
Such a juxtaposition of relaxation and fear, of the world’s beauty and its ugliness, may be surprising, but it isn’t new. Throughout life, we see good intermingled with the bad, positives alongside negatives. Happiness, it seems, does not necessarily preclude sadness, and vice versa. “Even in laughter,” the author of the proverb writes, “the heart may ache, and the end of joy may be grief” (Proverbs 14:13).
Finding both sides of a matter together may cause confusion, especially when action is required. For example, beautiful weather and the seeming normalcy of life may give us pause when measures need to be taken to minimize group gatherings in an attempt to slow the spread of a virus. We know a threat exists, but we can’t see it. The same may be said about a host of issues, whether medical, spiritual, or other. Appearances can deceive us and can make us feel safer than we may actually be.
But perceptions can work another way. Things may appear to be out of control, hopeless, and lost, but the Lord remains on his throne. In the darkness, light still shines. After the storm, peace. So much of our lives is outside of our control, but nothing is too hard for God. We know Christ has overcome the world and that he will return to bring an end to this present season of sin and death.
So we hope in spite of our fears. We believe through the barrage of doubts. We hold fast because we are held fast by one who will not fail. We endure because of the unchanging one. So hope, believe, hold fast, and endure, all in the name of the one whose love and power will never fail.
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”