COVID and all the changes that have happened due to the pandemic have changed our lives! I doubt your daily schedule is the same as it was before March 2020. I also doubt your church activities are the same as they were before then. These changes have caused a lot of fall out and negative impacts, but maybe none more than the continued uncertainty we feel. It’s hard to make long-term plans because we don’t know when or if there will be another COVID spike or when authorities will make rulings that change life as we know it.
All areas of our lives are affected — work, school, home, holidays, family gatherings, church, hobbies, everything. One of the main areas of impact is on our minds. The brain is an unfathomable thing. I’m not pretending to understand the brain at all, but researchers and psychologists share that one of the great challenges of our minds is facing uncertainty. It appears our brains are wired to strive for certainty. Here’s what one psychologist wrote about the effects of uncertainty on our minds:
“Uncertainty can cause tremendous anxiety. Your brain is constantly updating your world, making judgments about what’s safe and what isn’t. To the human mind, uncertainty equals danger. If your brain doesn’t know what’s around the corner, it can’t keep you out of harm’s way. It always assumes the worst, over-personalizes threats and jumps to conclusions. (Your brain will do almost anything for the sake of certainty). And you’re hardwired to overestimate threats and underestimate your ability to handle them — all in the name of survival.
“Your brain’s hefty responsibility to keep you safe means it hates life’s inevitable uncertainty — sulfuric acid for your lizard brain. It’s why so many of us have a meltdown right before a big trip or why instability at work can cause a bigger toll on our health than actually losing a job. It’s why even the most rational-minded adult might feel unsettled when they wonder who lurks underneath the clown makeup.
“When certainty is questioned, your lizard brain goes haywire, instantly kicking you in the pants in an attempt to spur you to action and get you to safety. Waiting for certainty can feel like torture by a million tiny cuts, and you’re consumed with anxiety. Will I contract the coronavirus? Will the MRI reveal cancer? Will I get the job? Who’s in the house when the alarm goes off, friend or foe? The ground beneath you opens up, threatening to swallow you, or so it feels.”
You may not have pinpointed your increase of anxiety since the pandemic began, but it’s likely there. The continuation of the pandemic keeps us in a mode of uncertainty, and it’s helpful if we can realize this.
I believe, as believers, we are blessed to have several tools to offset this uncertainty-induced anxiety. We have the Holy Spirit, the consistency of the Lord, the assurance of our faith and the Word. And with the Word we especially have prophecy. Through Bible prophecy, we’re told what will happen. No, we weren’t told exactly that COVID would occur, but we’re told details about the nature of the time leading up to the end of the age. We see this in the Olivet Discourse recorded in Matthew 24 and Luke 21.
We see there will be: “As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. ‘Tell us,’ they said, ‘when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?’… You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains” (Matt. 24:3-8 NIV). Luke’s account adds “pestilence” (disease) to the list.
The four horsemen prophecy in Revelation 6 also points to the likeliness of a death-causing disease wrecking the earth at the end of the age. I don’t believe COVID is theend-of-the-age pestilence, but it’s definitely the type of thing we’re warned will happen.
What a gift we have in the Word — we’re told what will happen. When the world unravels the most, we’re given a road map to help us navigate that crazy time.
So, yes, right now is a time of great uncertainty, but the end of the age will be even more so — a crazy, uncertain time. Our minds are wired to crave certainty, leaving many, many people struggling with anxiety, both realized and unrealized, in these crazy COVID days. But if we turn to the Word, we can find certainty. We can be certain that the uncertainty is happening according to God’s unfolding master plan. We can be certain that uncertainty will happen. We can be certain that we’re on the winning side, no matter how crazy things get.
Right now, whether you realize it or not, your mind is battling the uncertainty that awaits the governor’s daily COVID number announcement or maybe even the results of your own COVID test. Things seem to be uncertain on the surface, but according to the Word this craziness is the promised certainty of truth.
Jake is available for revivals and preaching learn more at standfirmministries.com.