As published on Christian Today Australia 06/04/20
It seems the world’s done a bit of a flip, gone a little crazy, is feeling a little unsafe, and though we hope this is a short-lived interruption to our lives, the emotional and economic effects of the global corona virus crisis, are more than likely going to hang around for quite some time.
It is going to change us—and we are going to recover.
But what effects are we looking at? Never before has the world at large, had to deal with such a crisis that shuts everyone away from each other. In a world where too many individuals already suffer from a loneliness epidemic, this fight for life against an invisible virus, is taking isolation to a whole new level.
We’ve all had thoughts and questions running through our heads for the past weeks; we’ve been weighing up our options and trying our hardest to keep sanitised and find supplies for our families when grocery shelves are bare. Is it okay for Christians to feel afraid? Is it okay for us to be surprised by such a sudden upheaval of life as we know it?
Is this really happening?
I’m not sure if I believed it at first. The toilet paper flying off the shelves made me laugh—why are we so worried about our bottoms? Then the reality of society’s panic became real as shopping visits felt heavy with people’s fear, and news of other countries going into lockdown began coming through our news networks.
Watching our own country take precautions like never before and go into lockdown has also been very sobering. Livelihoods lost and the future unknown is disconcerting for even the bravest of hearts. But in amongst it all, we know that God is above all of this, that he has gone before us and is already in the future. He is already standing at the cure, He is the cure, and He is already walking us through our next steps of life.
Blessings and curses
In the book of Jeremiah, we read about the suffering God allowed the Israelites to go through because of their disobedience and abandonment of God. We also read about the great love and compassion he shows for those who turn to him and seek him as their refuge.
‘This is what the LORD says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the LORD.” (Jeremiah chapter 17 verse 5)
But then in verse 7 we read: “But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
Where our focus needs to be
I think it’s clear where our focus needs to be. We know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, so therefore, He is the one we can trust and look to for guidance, comfort and wisdom. What is it He is teaching us in this season? What opportunity does this season actually afford to us? And what state are our hearts in?
I pray we come through this season with our lights shining brightly, our heads held high in the confidence God gives us, with our hearts turned towards others, and with welcoming arms to those who desire to give their hearts to the One who gives peace. For those that turn to God there is refuge, protection, providence, peace, and love. That’s my God. That’s my Redeemer. That’s my Father in heaven and He has the whole world in his hands.
‘The LORD said, “Surely I will deliver you for a good purpose” (Jeremiah chapter 15 verse 11)
‘“For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were before,” says the LORD.’ (Jeremiah chapter 33 verse 11)
©Rebecca Moore 2020