Daily Devotions

Children's Pandemic Anxiety

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Cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)

Adults are not the only ones who feel stress and anxiety. Childhood anxiety was at an all-time high, and that was before the Coronavirus hit us hard. Worse, children do not have the life experience, emotional maturity, or ability to even address their struggle. Yet, children are keenly empathic. Perhaps because children are unable to verbally communicate as well as adults, they are even more attune to the emotional cues of the adults in their lives. In other words, they focus not only on their own stress and anxiety, but they also take on our stress and anxiety, and that of others. In dangerous times like this, children are especially vulnerable.

“Childhood in an Anxious Age,” is an interesting article in “The Atlantic” magazine. Kate Julian’s article addresses the issue head on. She states, “Many cases of childhood anxiety go away on their own-and if you don’t have an anxiety disorder in childhood, you’re unlikely to develop one as an adult. Less happily, the cases that don’t resolve tend to get more severe and to lead to further problems-first additional anxiety disorders, then mood and substance-abuse disorders.” Julian’s statements clearly show that we ignore childhood anxiety at our own risk, and theirs.

A devotion is not the place to try providing complex answers to horrific issues. It is our task to lift them up and ask God to bring enlightenment and healing. At this unprecedented time, our thoughts and prayers should be focused on those who cannot care for themselves: our children. Today, focus empathy on the children in your life. Picture their mood and life experience, then consider their fears and struggles. Finally, place yourself in our situation of social distancing and fear of the unknown. Pray for the wisdom to reach our children and provide the comfort and strength they need to face our present situation. Give them the spiritual tools to bring their issues before the Lord. Then, emotional safety and healing will be theirs.

A Tale of Two Futures

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Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

I was interested in Time Magazine’s special on “Time 100: Finding Hope.” As I was reading through the one hundred stories, I stopped at the article, “A Tale of Two Futures.” Nathan Wolfe deftly considers how we are facing a moment in history that could go one of two ways. We can continue to alienate other countries and pretend it is all going to go away, or we can make the uncomfortable but necessary changes to protect us from this virus and infinitely more dangerous ones in the future. 

Let’s take a moment and consider what a brave and beneficial response would look like: First, our nation would take the lead in forming international alliances which could address support necessary to stop poor nations from bringing its wildlife in close contact with its food sources. The sooner they are able to shutdown open markets, the safer we become.

Second, by forming international alliances, we will be able to find a vaccine sooner. As long as we remain parochial, each nations’ scientists will take a long time to develop a vaccine. If our medical science community is global in outlook, sharing findings, failures, and little successes as one global laboratory, the vaccine will come sooner, saving lives and every nation’s economy.

Yet, there is room for hope. Twenty years ago, before a strong and extensive internet, we would have had trouble communicating globally. Now, our nations have a better global perspective that was almost unheard of twenty years ago. Today, pray for our global society. For once, allow the United States and every other nation on our planet to respond globally, rather than with a short-sighted nationalism. Viruses do not honor national borders. As we respect and respond to global needs, we will be better able to save ourselves and all God’s children.

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