Let me guess that during lockdown you decided to become the next Mary Berry by attempting to bake scones or maybe you decided that it was the perfect time to get that pre-summer glow up. Perhaps you were nominated (forced) to run 5k and honestly after that horror show I thought my lung had collapsed. No matter what you decided to do to take your mind off everything that was going on, I’m sure you felt slightly overwhelmed.
When I find myself overwhelmed or feeling anxious, I remind myself of Romans 8:28 (KJV) ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God to them who are called according to his purpose.’ This is one of the most reassuring promises in the Bible, that the all-knowing, almighty and omnipresent God is the God over the Coronavirus and it reminds me that God’s way is the PERFECT way. (See also Psalm 18:30.)
I find (and I’m sure you do too) that it’s hard to be positive about the whole situation. It’s especially hard to see the suffering around us and then try to look on the bright side, but I’ve learnt that if you are a Christian, we have no need to be anxious but the exact opposite! Joshua 1:9 (NIV) “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Although we have no control over our future, we have control over our outlook of it, so be optimistic knowing that God is in control!
I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. On social media, I came across the testimony of a man who had been praying for a relative for more than 20 years and because of Coronavirus and how available online church services are now, this man came to know Christ! How amazing is it that God can use this situation for good? Not convinced? Well, the story of Joseph in Genesis 37-50 proves this. Joseph’s brothers sold him; he was accused of adultery with Potiphar’s wife, and then thrown in prison. Joseph endured all of this suffering and God was at work placing him in the position in which he would be able to save the people from starvation.
Often, I find fear and prayer go hand in hand. Normally, I try to solve my problems by myself. I also find that ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ when talking to family and friends. However, if you are a Christian, God is willing to listen to ALL of your problems through prayer. In fact, He urges you to do it (1 Peter 5:7 (NIV) “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you”).
Recently, I came across the book ‘5 Things to Pray for Your World’ by Rachel Jones. I started to flick through it and was shocked when I reached a chapter about praying for your emergency services. How relevant is that for today? It takes us through 2 Corinthians 1:3-11, and verse 4 really struck me, “…so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” What this means for us is that we should pray that Christians on the front line would have opportunities to share their faith so that they can speak of the only good news that can give people lasting comfort – salvation.
P.S. Final piece of advice: don’t social distance from God!