COPING-20 with COVID-19

Two of John Ed's grandons, who have learned about coping well.


The COVID-19 pandemic caught us all by surprise. It has interrupted our normal lifestyles. Six weeks ago, I was preparing to speak at several churches, a coaches conference, a pastors’ conference, and I was planning to celebrate the graduation exercises of 2 of my grandsons. All of that has changed.

How do you deal with a pandemic? We all do something to cope with it. We must be careful about how we choose to cope because our reaction to the pandemic could be more detrimental than the pandemic itself. (Tweet this!) When the pandemic subsides, we will either be bitter or better!

Many are turning to alcohol as an escape. While nonessential businesses have closed, several states, including Alabama, have allowed liquor stores to stay open. The owner of Liquor World in Syracuse, New York said, “We are probably three times as busy as we usually are. People are stocking up.” Is liquor really the best thing to stock up on to get through a crisis? You’d find much more strength in stocking up on prayer, Bible reading, acts of kindness, thanking God, etc.

Many people are coping by turning to fear. Wall Street has a “fear gauge.” The CBOE Volatility Index, known as VIX, is a means of recording the fear factor. During this last week in March, it set a record high of 82.69. That surpassed the old record of 80.74 set on Nov. 21, 2008. The VIX more than doubled during March. We need a “faith gauge” because faith is a far more fruitful approach than fear.

The pandemic has increased Nevada’s legalized sex business. One employee, Roxanne Price, 25 years old, says, “The Coronavirus fear is reminding people of just how short life is, so people are visiting sex workers, like me, sooner rather than later.” That’s a sad choice based on faulty thinking.

Every morning at 10 o’clock since the first week in March, I’ve offered a short “Good News” video message on Facebook. I interviewed 2 of my grandsons, Will Aaron and Si “Mat” Mathison. Both are good athletes, good students, and good leaders. I asked each how he is dealing with the situation.

In separate interviews, both of them indicated that they are trusting God more, reading the Bible more, developing a greater appreciation for family, and understanding that the best testimony is a result of a test. They have both missed ¼ of their senior year of sports accomplishments, honors at school, social activities, and a graduation ceremony, but they both indicated that their faith is stronger! That’s the way to cope with COVID-19!

The pandemic caught us by surprise, but it didn’t catch God by surprise! (Tweet this!) We don’t have to know why it’s happening or when it will end. We know that God is with us, and COVID-19 will offer many opportunities to be a positive witness for Christ. Jesus instructed us to make disciples and said, “Be sure of this – I am with you always, even to the end of the world!” (Matthew 28:20) Paul quotes Jesus saying, “I am with you; that is all you need. My power shows up best in weak people.” (2 Cor. 12:9)

How are you coping?

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