In addition to the onslaught of stress in our personal life, many of us have lost our support systems. Friends we had previously commiserated with and strategized about family issues are no longer readily accessible. Yes, we can still meet via video chats and phone calls, but gone are those precious chats over a meal or during a favorite activity. Our in-person meetings with colleagues to brainstorm solutions and navigate coping mechanisms are no longer available Instead, many of us are remote workers, isolated at home to navigate responsibilities without the support of peers.
2020 has been an exhausting year. Nurses and health care workers have and continue to experience extreme emotional and physical distress. What was originally predicted to be an upheaval for a few weeks or months. Has now turned into a grueling, endless year of lockdowns, remote schooling, and work-related stressors. Many of us have been blessed to not experience the illness and/or loss of loved ones from the coronavirus. Yet, we are overwhelmed with the numerous social and personal difficulties:
- Burden of home schooling children.
- Worry over children and their response to homeschooling, social isolation and family stress.
- Extreme stress and over worked related to work AND/OR inundated with economic worries due to job loss
- Strained relationships with spouses and/children
- Inability to visit and/or care for aging parents and sick relatives.
- Isolation, fear, and depression as a prisoners in their own home,
- And countless sufferings, too many to name.
The biggest, most acute loss has been our spiritual support. As Christians our lifeline is the rooted attachment found in our Christian fellowship. Weekly times of worship, regular consistent group prayers, and connectedness with our church family is the bedrock to life. Yes, many can attend online church, chat via group video, and send frequent texts and messages through WhatsApp. YET, it is not the same as coming into the House of the Lord and experiencing the Holy Spirit’s connection with our church family. In less than a year’s time our solid footing in life has been drastically changed by the pandemic. We have been proverbially cut-off at the knees and are no longer able to stand strong in our faith.
Many of you may be saying with me, “It is Enough!” During a recent period of extreme fatigue the Lord reminded me of another person who had said, “It is enough.”—Elijah. In the next few devotions, we are going to explore events leading up to Elijah’s exhaustion. Then, like Elijah, we can gain strength to stay the course in how the Lord is using us during this unprecedented time.
In the meantime, I want you to openly cry out to God about your exhaustion. It is okay to say, “It is enough”. Psalm 118:5 David shared his distress, “In my distress I called on the Lord, and he answered me and set me free.”
From this place, God will care for you and provide what you need. If need be, reach out to someone else who can provide a helping hand. Remember, the Holy Spirit uses other people in our lives to help us out. “Although an assailant may overpower one person, two can withstand him. Moreover, a three-stranded cord is not quickly broken”. (Ecclesiastes 4:12).