Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a different time of history? Maybe when you were small you pretended you lived in a medieval castle, explored the American frontier, or sailed on a pirate ship. Some of my favorite books are set in a far-off period of time. Part of their charm is imagining what it was like for people to live during a time when life was very different: sweetly simple or awfully dangerous.
There’s no question that certain eras of history carry a sense of fondness or nostalgia. My best friend thinks she would have loved to be Caroline Ingalls in The Little House on the Prairie.
And some eras are downright terrifying. I’m pretty glad I didn’t have to live during the horrors of the Mongol Invasion, the French Revolution, The Civil War, or The Third Reich.
But it turns out, I do have to live during the COVID-19 pandemic. And it is truly a unique time of history. It’s got its challenges, to be sure. But I feel compelled to remind myself to put this in a broader historical perspective:
- On August 22, 1914, mothers in France lost 27,000 of their brave young sons in the Battle of the Frontiers. In one day.
- In The Battle of the Somme, which lasted just 5 months, and upon which J.R.R. Tolkien based his description of the desolate Land of Mordor, over 300,000 died.
- During World War 2, just a couple decades later, The Soviet Union lost over 12% of its entire population. Nearly 24 million people—over half of that number civilians!
I’m not saying COVID-19 isn’t deathly serious. I’m not saying the effect it is having on us isn’t extremely profound. It is the greatest challenge of our generation.
But I am saying, let’s not be driven to despair. We are children of the Living God, made in the image of our Creator. Through Christ who gives us strength, we can be confident, resilient, and capable of surviving incredibly challenging times—even worse than the ones we are facing in 2020.
If our grandchildren ever wonder what it was like to live during those crazy COVID-19 years, let’s leave a legacy that shows them how: Be brave. Be hopeful. Be grateful. By the grace of God.
“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed…So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9, 16-18).