The Coronavirus pandemic has brought many emotions, including anxiety, fear, impatience, resentment and sadly even hatred, but it has also given many a fresh outlook on life – both good and bad. It’s easy to be positive and happy when times are good, but it is the dark times that our true character is often revealed. If your marriage, your family, your finances or your faith, do not have a firm foundation, it will be revealed. Some have been living with the assumption, or maybe hope, that it will work itself out. Unfortunately, many aspects of their lives have crumbled around them.

For others, it has more of a positive effect. It has offered them the opportunity to slow down, spend quality time with their family and realize the wonderful opportunities that have been there all along. All over social media you can see parents teaching, playing, laughing, and praying together. You see families coming together. Yes, the past few months have had more than its fair share of hardships. Millions have lost their jobs or had their income drastically cut and cabin fever has driven people to the brink of insanity. But through the storm a silver lining is beginning to reveal itself. We can choose to only see the dark clouds that remain, or we can see the silver lining and find hope – a hope that I believe God wants us to see.  Unfortunately, it often takes extreme darkness before we can actually see the light.

Because many parents lost much of their income due to the pandemic, it became difficult to purchase the new video game to help look after their kids. Instead they have been forced to come up with new creative ways to keep their kids busy – and keep from losing their minds. Parents who had trouble finding time with their kids because all the extracurricular activities were overwhelming them, suddenly found themselves forced into teaching their kids, having meals together and talking about life. 

Everything we were working so hard to obtain because we thought we needed it to be happy, was suddenly gone and what was left was an opportunity to spend time as a family and learn about what really matters to us. We can work our whole life to provide the nicest house, the finest clothes, the best meals, and the most expensive toys, but if we don’t take the time to invest in what really matters – our loved ones, then eventually we will wake up and realize we were focusing our time on all the wrong things.

Personally, this whole pandemic has driven me crazy. I feel like we are living in an irrational world right now. But I must say that this pandemic has helped me to appreciate my family that much more. For example, my son was forced to come home from college over the past few months – something I never expected; and it really has given us an opportunity to have some of the best discussions we ever had. Almost daily we read a book together that helped us both grow in our understanding of each other and most importantly it has helped us to grow in our faith much deeper.

I hope you have had a similar response in your family and that God has also shown you a silver lining over these past months – even if it does seem that the darkness has been overwhelming at times.

Mark Etting

Author Mark Etting

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