Pandemic fatigue — A biblical outlook

TIME has a wearing-down effect on the body, which worsens when one undergoes a negative situation for an extended period of time, much like the current novel coronavirus pandemic. Desperation may drive some to do things they would not have considered doing.

A proverb penned thousands of years ago says, “Mere oppression may make the wise one act crazy.”

Have you contemplated or succumbed to doing things you normally would not have done? Are you at your wits’ end?

Well, the proverb cited above is from one of the ancient of texts, God’s word, the Bible, which has many other tried, tested and proven refrains. These transcend time and make relevance of the holy text unparalleled by any other book. When last have you taken the time to linger in the Book of Proverbs and draw upon the wealth of wisdom therein? This may just be the time for it.

Concealing oneself from the calamity

Proverbs 22:3 says shrewd is the one that has seen the calamity and proceeded to conceal himself.

We bring on added stress when we fail to conceal ourselves from the calamity at hand. A face covering conceals us from the danger of the virus, reducing the risk of transmission. Wear it. So, too, we limit association with others, who, for all intents and purpose, should be considered potential carriers of the virus.

Do not be afraid

Though there is much to fear, let us never be afraid.

Instead, keep doing what needs to be done. Never forget to keep resting and being active to develop the fortitude and mindset not to be fearful. Proverbs 3:24 gives of the greatest antidotes — rest. “When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you rest, your sleep will be sweet.”

But even as some rest, some may feel they are resting too much, and for sure, too much rest is not good. This can cause the body to be in a state of lethargy, so balance sleep with work. Think and make yourself productive since, in the words of Proverbs 21: 5, “The hands of the diligent surely make for advantage” or “lead to profit” as another version says.

Search for wisdom amid chaos

Aren’t these words of Proverbs 2 comforting and self-explanatory?

“My son, if you accept my words

and store up my commands within you,

2 turning your ear to wisdom

and applying your heart to understanding—

3 indeed, if you call out for insight

and cry aloud for understanding,

4 and if you look for it as for silver

and search for it as for hidden treasure,

5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord

and find the knowledge of God.

6 For the Lord gives wisdom;

from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

7 He holds success in store for the upright,

he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,

8 for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.

9 Then you will understand what is right and just

and fair — every good path.

10 For wisdom will enter your heart,

and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.

11 Discretion will protect you,

and understanding will guard you.”

Rely on God’s word to strengthen, safeguard and protect you.

Warrick Lattibeaudiere, PhD, a minister of religion for the past 23 years, lectures full-time in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Technology, Jamaica, where he is also director of the Language, Teaching and Research Centre. For further information or feedback, kindly e-mail wglatts@yahoo.com.

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