I first heard of the coronavirus months ago, a brief mention in a news report from halfway ’round the world. And since then? Now it has spread across the globe—nearly to my own doorstep. I’m trying to keep that door closed tight. From inside this door of mine, I wait, and I pray, and I think… and those thoughts, if I’m not careful, threaten to spin away with me.

So, then what?

Then I need to look to the Lord. To put my focus back on him instead of on myself, so those thoughts will stop the incessant spinning—the spinning that can keep me awake at night. And I need to remember—and remind myself—of what his Word says.

It tells me, “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalms 46:10, ESV). Every time I think of those words, they have an immediate effect. I take a deep breath, and I thank God that I can be still—and that I don’t have to be in charge. And neither do you. We can leave that to him. We can daily do our work and care for our households and our families—without fear.

We can also remember Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” Jeremiah was writing a letter to the exiles in Babylon. Verse 10 was a promise: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place [Jerusalem].” I believe a lot of us are feeling like exiles right now—exiled from our jobs, from our friends’ homes, even from the church. But remember that the Lord plans to prosper us, not harm us. Remember that his plans include giving his people a hope and a future. And remember that programs are being put in place to soften the blow of lost jobs. We can still connect with friends via phone or video chat. If they live nearby, we can even take a walk together—while social distancing, of course. And many churches are live streaming services, forming support structures, praying together via Zoom.

We also need to remember that our true hope isn’t in any of that. It’s in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. It’s because of Christ that we can have hope in the first place. Hope for the future—for these next weeks and months—and our heavenly future too.

With your schedule likely in shambles, I hope you’ll join me in setting aside some extra time to read your Bible and talk with the Lord during this trying time. If prayer isn’t already in your daily routine, put it there. Take time to be still, to know that he is God. And put your hope in him.