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Peace in the midst of pandemic... by Ruth Hanson

“Be still, and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10

You can spell the word ‘panic’ from the letters in ‘pandemic’ – coincidence? I think not!!

There has, unsurprisingly, been a lot of panic surrounding the current situation we are in. First there was the panic buying, then came the panic packing up of the office, and now perhaps we feel panic at the prospect of life returning to normal.

Personally, panicking is something I do very well. During the coronavirus pandemic I have frequently experienced feelings of panic whilst reading the news, as I saw the numbers of deaths and the numbers of infections going up and up each day. ‘Will I be in that number?’ ‘Will someone I love be in that number?’. More recently, panic has crept in as I’ve walked through a crowded park or shopped in a busy supermarket. This may be something you can sympathise with. If not, I am sure you are aware of friends and family members who have been dealing with panic during this pandemic.

So how are we to cope with it? How are we to control the feelings of panic and instead find peace in the midst of this pandemic? Peace rather than panic. I want to share a few things that have helped me to feel at peace during this uncertain time, as well as some verses from the bible that speak about peace.

Firstly, I chose to engage less with the news. I opted for checking it once a day rather than having the constant stream of updates coming through to my phone – this is something I would highly recommend! Instead of allowing my mind to be filled with things that cause panic I decided to fill my mind with helpful truths about God. Open up the Bible and you will be reminded that God loves and cares for us, he is in complete control of everything that happens in this world and therefore we need not panic as he knows what lies ahead of each of us. I have found this to be a hugely comforting truth.

Secondly, I made it my mission to get out for a walk/run/cycle each day. The Bible tells us that God created everything and spending time in his creation is a great way to be reminded of how good and powerful God is. The picture above was taken on one of my walks. We don’t need to panic when the God who makes the sky look so beautiful is in control.

Finally, I have been bringing my feelings of panic to God in prayer. God is not distant from our troubles, he cares for us and wants to hear our thoughts and feelings, even the irrational ones! In the Bible, the book of Philippians chapter 4 v6-7 says Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

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