We live in such a busy world with people always striving towards the next goal in their lives. In my life (as with many others) my next goal was to complete my A levels. I had ‘my plan’ which was to do my exams, get the grades, go to uni and that would be how my life would plan out; I felt I was in control. ‘My plan’ was suddenly changed when schools were shutting down, exams were cancelled and there was nothing I could do to change this. The coronavirus was going to change our lives significantly. The reality set in that I wasn’t going to be doing the exams I had been working towards and I was no longer in control. I had become so focussed on my own plan for my life but this wasn’t God’s plan. This time of uncertainty has been difficult for so many people, however, I have found great comfort in the fact that God is still in control. God, the creator of the world loves me and knows everything about me. In the Bible we are reminded that God is the one who knows the plan for our lives. “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 29:11 (NIV). God has been teaching me that if our lives were always easy and never challenging we would rarely need our faith and it would never grow. I find it so reassuring to know that God plans each step of our lives.
As this pandemic spread so rapidly and got closer and closer to home, fear and anxiety also spread. When living in such uncertain times our immediate reaction is to panic. Over the past number of weeks God has given me peace. In John 14:27 (NIV) it says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” We can find temporary peace in the world but it doesn’t compare to the peace God gives. Even in these unsettling times His peace cannot be destroyed.
Recently I was doing a Bible study on Jesus calming the storm. Jesus’ power is displayed as He only utters a couple of words for the chaos of the sea and wind to become still. The seeming chaos of this world is so scary but we have a God who is faithful and so much greater than any chaos. God’s faithfulness is evident throughout the Bible and in our world today. “Who is like you, Lord God Almighty? You, Lord, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you. You rule over the surging sea; when its waves mount up, you still them” (Psalm 89:8-9). These verses speak of the faithfulness of God. Our circumstances may change but our God doesn’t. I find it so encouraging to know that the same God who calmed the storm by simply speaking is my Lord and Saviour.
“Fearless faith is not something we can produce ourselves, any more than we can overcome our troubles and trials by some supreme effort of our will. It is achieved by Christ’s work in us. That’s why we must always look to him. The key is constantly to grow in our knowledge and love of Jesus” (Fearless Faith, Jonathan Stephen).
Even in the midst of all the chaos we still have a lot to be thankful for. I am thankful for my family, food, a home, friends and modern technology, to name a few. I am also thankful for a God who cares. I know that whatever my circumstances are, He already knows them, He knows exactly how I feel and He is faithful to answer my prayers. I am thankful for a God who loves me and has promised to always be with me.