It’s fair to say that these are interesting times. Within the space of a few weeks (and even more so days), our experience of life as we know it is drastically changing. The coronavirus is affecting absolutely everything, from the health implications all the way to economic uncertainty, mental health, community and so on.

(Read my most popular blog so far all about becoming less anxious here)

The question now is of course, what do we do? Whilst much of the news is (probably rightly so) devoted to the more serious side of what is happening, I wanted to pull apart the other side of things.

Because in every crisis there is a silver lining. Multiple in fact.

To acknowledge that isn’t to downplay the severity of what is occurring right now across the world but simply to point our eyes in a different direction.

Fear is very real and so are its impacts. So is economic uncertainty which is devastating the ability to earn for many who are self-employed as well as all sorts of industries (too many to mention).

And yet what good does it do to focus on the negative things that might be happening around us?

I thought I would try and pull out some reflections, encouragements and challenges for us that might help us move forward in this post.

Here are some silver linings to be discovered in a crisis.

1) Your trust is revealed

Part of the shock to us in today’s civilisation is that this could happen to us. We’ve been living with great prosperity (I’m generalising but if you’re reading this on a mobile device then you are definitely included) and comfort of life for at least a generation. And so it’s easy for our trust to be in the things themselves.

The recent election showed us how much people had invested their hearts in a political party. I believe politics and government have an important role to play in society but it is not the focus of my trust (regardless of who is in power).

So too is our trust in our workplaces, employers and the money we earn. All things that may dry up the next day as is literally happening right now.

Where is our trust?

Because part of the silver lining of today’s crisis is to reflect upon the safety of our energy, time and resource.

For me personally (and as a Londoner), although I am affected as much as anyone by the current crisis, my trust is connected to a God who is the rock and security of my life.

Contrary to popular belief, Christians should be no stranger to crisis – in fact throughout history, throughout persecution, disease and so on they seem to emerge stronger.

Let’s not forget that it is a movement founded upon the death (and resurrection) of a single man. To be brought to reflect upon the placement of our heart and the security of our future is a real silver lining. You would do well to consider the wider implications to life.

2) A sense of community is renewed

Ironically despite self-isolation and social distancing, there is a real sense of the community rallying together. The internet has become a few shades nicer and there are some genuinely wonderful things happening around us.

My wife recently got added to a WhatsApp group for our street so that we could all be a part of helping the more vulnerable in our neighbourhood. This is something that only happens in crisis.

Although crisis can make us more selfish (hence the stockpiling dramas), it also can make us more selfless.

It’s a little bit how no one will ever talk to one another in London on the tube. But if an incident occurred or the train was delayed then people would unite in their common frustration or upset.

Let’s lean into the benefits of community, not only by receiving but also being givers in this moment. We can be generous with friendship, kind words, phone calls and prayer.

Personally for me, it’s a great opportunity to lean into the power of social media to encourage people.

3) Entrepreneurial risk is rewarded

Unfortunately many have been negatively affected economically. However, there is also an incredibly high demand for certain products and services (think hand sanitiser as a simple example). Whilst this is probably not the time to be selling essential services, for those who are willing to step out, this is actually the perfect time to do something radical, particularly due to the power of the internet.

If you can learn to think sideways and be flexible in approach, there are many possibilities out there.

Online learning is a great example of a service in need as many people are currently at home and looking to develop their skills in this down time. People are looking for mentoring, consultation and even career advice.

4) Change is easier

Normally people are fairly resistant to change but in these times, change is not only expected, it’s welcomed. Our entire way of life has been affected by coronavirus, which means there are certain changes that need to happen.

One of these changes we are seeing in the church world is the introduction of online church. Whilst the early innovators jumped on board a while ago, suddenly there are a flurry of communities jumping on board and tapping into the power of social media and the internet in a totally new way.

The opportunities were always there but it’s always easier to shift gear when you absolutely have to.

What changes have been forced in your world? At the very least, your hands are probably cleaner than they’ve ever been before.

5) Our diligence is challenged

I’ve saved this one til last because it was the most painful. And one that I’m still on the journey of learning about so I say it from a place of curious reflection, not judgement.

You might also like this blog post on 12 mini lessons I learnt in 2019.

When crisis comes, we get to see if we were prepared for it or not, specifically in our financial planning. As a risk-taker, my personality is always to always step out of the boat and push the limits of faith and possibility. And I won’t be changing that any time soon because it’s part of my unique contribution to the world.

But also, we do have a responsibility to forward plan and to think about our future. Whether that’s investing in appropriate insurance, saving or simply cutting back on spend.

If we are honest, we do live in a world that is used to spending like no other generation has before.

The mismatch between our income and expenditure is something to be very wary of and we would be wise to apply caution to certain areas (but not all) and to learn from the lessons of current times to inform our future self about the uncertainty of life.

My prayers are that this current crisis will be resolved swiftly in all of its entirety. There is no doubt that this has been an incredibly turbulent time for our nation and our world. But there are silver linings for those who seek them out.

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