This pandemic taught me that hope is a reality of life.
We usually associate reality with negative things. It is hurtful and painful. It takes the form of hardships and challenges. We don’t want to hear, see, feel, think of, and talk about it. We avoid it. The other side of reality is idealism, where we often link it to positivity, wishful thinking, and too-good-to-be-true things.
This pandemic is the reality of life today.
Most people either lost lives, jobs, relationships, and sometimes, sanity. I have small failures and major losses that caused (and cost) emotional challenges, mental stresses, physical limitations, and spiritual battles.
Sometimes, I doubted if it’s true, if there is still something to look forward to. I reached that point where I thought, “What if I don’t exist? What if I stop existing?”
The corners of this house seem to limit my existence, and outside, people may not really know who I am. I feared that they would forget my identity and value because of limited encounters. My life revolves around home, but it freezes when I step out into an already unfamiliar territory. And I don’t want that. I want not only a virtual life, but also a real, tangible existence.
I kept on wrestling with God.
Lord, when will this end? When will this pandemic stop? Will cases go down? When will the virus disappear? Can I go out without a mask? When can I feel significance with this reality of life?
But God is good.
He did not succumb to my requests instantly. Instead, He took me deeper into my own realms and depths of despair, to the realities I don’t want to see. The realities of my fears, anxieties, death, and loss. The reality of losing what I have and everything I held dear.
After some time, I don’t know how my feelings developed gradually. I’m okay to stay at home, limit social interactions, and enjoy my me-time. My worth does not diminish if I choose missing events rather than going out.
Hope is the reality of life that helps me accept things I cannot change. It’s not the temporary and fleeting hope that everything will be over and go back to normal.
Instead, this reality of hope comes from God. It is knowing that He is constant even if the earth and heavens change. It is the hope that He will remain the same yesterday, today, and forever. I might not get rich. My health may fail. I might finish my studies or not. My loved ones will leave me one day. I will die as well.
With this reality of life I face, the eternal hope in Him keeps me going. This is not only wishful thinking or pure imagination, but this hope brings me peace.
With hope in God, I can trust His assurance.
I have this, Jarys. DO. NOT. WORRY. Just do what you can right now. Do what I tell you to do. Don’t compare yourself with others. Don’t look at what others are doing that you are not doing. This is the reality, yes, this is the reality. You’re not going out. You may feel stuck, but being at home is not being stuck. If you’re not at home, you may not even know the depths of your heart, the realities of your fears. And without knowing the realities of your fears, you will not know the reality of who I AM. That I AM GOD, I AM always here always, and I AM the Alpha and the Omega. And one day, you may die physically. Your body will perish, but you will be with Me, forever in eternity.
This pandemic showed us that deaths, losses, disasters, and conflicts are real. But they only show one side. What happened to us also opened our eyes to another reality of life we often miss, that Jesus Christ is the tangible expression of our hope, always.