Look for the Silver Lining in Covid-19

When I saw this gorgeous beach photo taken by a friend it immediately reminded me of a phrase, “look for the silver lining.” Our nation and the world have faced heartbreaking challenges in the last few months.  

Life has hit all of us with a curve ball. How will we respond?  Going into the “fight the good fight” mode I strive to remind myself, “No matter what, I have a choice. Will I trap myself in a quagmire of self-pity or will I look for the silver lining?” Sometimes it's an easy road, but more often, the road is full of ditches and rocks that challenge my persistence.  

Most of us struggle with life's ups and downs. Yet,  Covid-19 has greatly intensified anxieties and a sense of loss. Looking for ”silver linings” is more important than ever. Often, the prayer, "Help me, Jesus” is all we can muster. Choosing to dive into favorite scriptures helps me refocus on the reality of Jesus especially Psalm  23. It reminds me that I am not alone in the valleys or the feasts. The Good Shepherd guides and sustains me.

Curious about the phrase “look for the silver lining,” I found its origin. The British poet and writer John Milton, one of the most famous wordsmiths in the English language, first coined the phrase, “silver lining” in the 1600s. His most famous work is his epic poem “Paradise Lost” where he grapples with human suffering and life’s unfairness. Several authors in the 1800s picked up the phrase, then famous songwriters Jerome Kern and B.G. DeSilva wrote the song in 1919.

They penned this song for a musical when the world had just experienced the devastation of World War I where 17 million were killed. At the same time, a Spanish flu epidemic took the lives of 20-50 million people worldwide, a third of the world’s population at the time. I’m guessing the song could have been a musical antidote that helped ease a little bit of pain in a lighthearted way. The beloved songstress/actress Judy Garland made the song widely famous in later years. Here are the lyrics:

As I wash my dishes, I'll be following a plan
Till I see the brightness in every pot and pan
I am sure this point of view will ease the daily grind
So I'll keep repeating in my mind
Look for the silver lining
Whenever a cloud appears in the blue
Remember somewhere the sun is shining
And so the right thing to do is make it shine for you
A heart full of joy and gladness
Will always banish sadness and strife
So always look for the silver lining
And try to find the sunny side of life

All of us have asked the age-old question, “Why?” It’s the most normal yet the most dead-end question in the English language when it comes to sorting out life’s painful events. Often, no answer is available when we face heartbreak or disappointments.  What does the Bible say to us?

Psalms 46:2 "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." A silver lining!

Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." Yet another silver lining!

John 16:33 "I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” And best of all, here’s the Truth……Jesus is our Silver Lining

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