Finding God in the Midst of Crisis
D uring this time of a global pandemic, it can be easy for adults and children to be anxious and fearful about what might happen. It can also be difficult to know how to talk to your children about what is happening and know how to calm their fears. Children might not understand why they can no longer go to school, to BSF or to Grandma’s house. They will definitely need reassurance that life is not out of control because God is always in control.
These are unprecedented times. We will not always fully know how to handle everything that happens. We will make mistakes. We may temporarily give in to fear. But through it all, we must remember we have a gracious, loving heavenly Father who knows everything and who controls everything. Our God is unstoppable!
Take the following steps to guide your children through this time.
Click on the text below for scripture references and helpful tips.
Listen to your children's fears.
Then validate those feelings but assure them that believers in Christ do not need to be afraid, because God is sovereign. Explain that Christians do not need to fear death. For the believer, death is not the end. “Death has been swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:54). Jesus came to save us from our sins. When we trust in Him, we know we will have eternal life with Him in heaven when we leave this earth.
Know what is true.
Many details are being disseminated in the news media and social media. Some are true. Some are not. Rely on experts and established organizations such as your federal health department and the World Health Organization (WHO). Communicate these facts to your children in a way that is appropriate for their age and emotional capacity. Explain that these are the reasons life has changed in such drastic ways.
Limit your news consumption.
While much of what official news outlets report is true, it is often sensationalized. This can increase your children’s fear and anxiety, as well as your own. If your city, state or nation hosts an official news conference, tune in, but limit little ones’ exposure to the details.
Follow the guidelines.
Romans 13:1 says, “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.” If your federal government says to stay inside, stay inside. If your city says to not gather in groups of more than 10 people, follow the rule. Wash your hands. Enact social distancing.
Love your neighbor.
Whether you need to stay home or not, there are ways to love the people around you. Check on elderly people who might need food or medicine delivered. Call someone who is stuck at home alone. Video chat with grandparents to keep them connected. Don’t “panic buy” things that other people might need more than you. Take groceries to someone who has lost their job. And do not take risks that might expose you to the virus that you might then pass on to someone more vulnerable than you. Involve your children in these activities in safe ways.
Pray with your child.
Use some of these options or come up with your own creative prayer ideas:
Pray one-sentence prayers.
Take turns praying for something or someone that starts with A, then B, etc.
Bag of Prayers
Write names of family members or friends on slips of paper and put them in a bag. Pull one out before each meal and pray for them.
Draw or paint a prayer.
Remind your children of God’s Attributes.
Click on the text below to read more about each attribute.
God controls all things. There is nothing outside of God’s wise control, even the exact time and place for each person to live.
God has unlimited power, authority and influence. Nothing can stop God. Evil and death will not win. God has promised a day He will raise all His children to life that does not end, and God has the power to keep that promise.
God knows all there is to know. God knows the past and the future. He knows the number of our days and all the plans He has for us. Only God knows all things.
God does not change. We can count on Him always to be good, always to be faithful, always to love us. Because God never changes, we can trust Him always.
God in His mercy does not give us what our sins deserve. He limits the extent of pain. God seeks those who are lost, alone, hurting and in need.
God’s children experience His goodness even when bad things happen. God promises to make all things work together for our good.