By Phil Wiggins, National FOP Chaplain
Like many of you during this COVID-19 pandemic, I am trying to find ways to cope and make the best of things while staying at home and limiting any unnecessary travel. It reminds me of the movie Groundhog Day with Bill Murray. He plays Phil Connors, a cynical TV weatherman who is dispatched to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to do an annual puff piece on Groundhog Day. You know the story: Once there, he finds himself trapped in a time warp, living out the same 24 hours over and over again. Does this sound familiar to some of you? The movie certainly reflects the impact emotional stress and anxiety can have on a person doing the same routine day in and day out. Even at one point in the movie, Phil loses hope and tries different means of suicide.
We are certainly not in a movie; this is real life for people around the world. Doctors, researchers and scientist are working tirelessly to find a cure for COVID-19. Our national leaders are now talking about how soon people can safely return to work. At the same time, our law enforcement and first responders are on the front lines, putting their families at risk to serve and protect our communities.
This has caused many problems for families. Many parents are having to homeschool their children for the first time; children who depend on school meals are going hungry; people in abusive relationships are now confined with their abuser; those who deal with loneliness are being put more at risk; and the list goes on.
I guess, looking back at the movie, it causes me to think how important it is to find good in each day and to be good neighbors and friends to those around us. Make a phone call and give words of encouragement, make a grocery store run for the elderly and offer to help in other ways. We are God’s voice, hands and feet to a hurting world. God hasn’t promised that we won’t suffer in this life, but he has told us that he’ll walk through our valleys with us. He will be right by our side, and his grace will be enough.
Sometimes, one of the hardest things to do as a Christian is to have faith that God is working and to not be afraid of all the things that come our way.
“The LORD is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life — of whom shall I be afraid” (Psalm 27:1).
“I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1-2).
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:24).