Reaping the rewards of valuable lessons during COVID-19

Let the wise hear and increase in learning ...

- Proverbs 1:7 (ESV)

Several of us grew up with parents or grandparents who shared stories of life during the Great Depression. Theirs were stories of hard times, resilience, brilliance and courage.

As we move forward to reopen our state during the COVID-19 pandemic, let us be mindful we have stories of our own. Have you stopped to ponder what things you may have learned these past months? It's fascinating to listen to the things people share they have learned during this short time.

Countless lessons are practical, yet give way to extraordinary insight; others are remarkable new discoveries.

Many individuals have learned the value of entertainment to calm their nerves and balance life. Watching old TV shows and reminiscing while viewing favorite programs from their childhood rekindles a feeling of how pleasurable life use to be. It's like an anchor to their soul.

Some have realized their creative side, with new talents and ideas emerging. They've learned to sew, write, sing, play an instrument, decorate their home or personal space, and plant a garden.

People have found innovative ways to communicate a happy birthday or get well wishes, using automobiles, internet and social media as a way to relay their message and remain connected.

Many discovered fears they weren't aware they had. They learned to have a greater appreciation for life and accelerated the process to fulfill some of their bucket lists.

First responders displayed courageous dedication as they faced the hardship of performing their jobs while wearing hazmat suits and enduring long hours to heal the sick and fragile. Most have been enlightened to life as shut-ins. They resolve they will visit those who remain shut-in by difficult circumstances.

Some discovered they are animal lovers as they adopted a pet to join their family. They learned the dedication and sacrifice it takes to care for an animal - and the satisfaction that comes from rescuing something helpless.

Some became more aware of their inability to handle stress and learned new coping skills to help them take a sensible approach when problem solving.

Businesses became resilient, stretching their industrial savvy with the expansion of services they provide. We watched as they quickly came to the rescue by manufacturing masks and hand sanitizer, to name a few.

Expanding food services to takeout or dining out was a stretch for the restaurants we know and love. And others came to the forefront to provide delivery for all sorts of goods, such as prescriptions, groceries and almost anything you need.

Parents have placed their personal lives on hold to become teachers and activity planners for their children. They have been stretched with the ability to juggle a multitude of activities with the kids.

And, sadly, some of our friends have had the hard life experience of saying goodbye to a loved one. The mark left by this cruel pandemic has been a journey of emotional pain and loss for them.

Countless prayed and trusted God for provision and safety while they reached out in love toward others.

I've heard it said, "The capacity to learn is a gift; the ability to learn is a skill." The Bible points out that God delights when we learn and grow, and has a mysterious way of using the bad things that happen for our good.

So as we forge ahead, may we bring delight to God and reap the rewards of valuable lessons.

• Annettee Budzban is a Christian author, speaker, life coach and nurse. Contact her by emailing or call (847) 543-8413. She is available to be your personal coach.

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