Who hasn’t faced their own sorta fire this week?
Who hasn’t had their normal turned upside down and their world inside out?
Who hasn’t felt the low-grade fever of worry, and not been gutted out with the fear of the unknown — terrorised not only with the risk of contracting and then transmitting — but also wondering what would happen with our society and the economy in the aftermath?
Not a single dear soul has escaped this tsunami of stress threatening to engulf us, to eradicate our peace.
It’s uncharted waters we’ve all been told — of vaccines not yet produced and death rates steadily climbing, of governments scrambling to find the balance of maintaining the economy whilst managing the outbreak, and cities going into lockdown whilst hubs of human life put on hold.
Meander to the marketplaces and meld into the moment, and you’ll witness just how the town turns ghost, and the bull market goes bear, and people everywhere panic-purchasing. How the boy, the bride, and the businessman all shed their tears over birthdays, wedding parties, and carefully planned conferences cancelled. And we know the monster of fear, anxiety and loss can come and choke you by the neck.
And yeah, who knows?
Who now knows what ‘normal’ is, or how long it’d be before normal returns, or if it ever would?
Who knows how to carry a burden so universal and yet so personal?
Times of grave uncertainty produces great unravelling and propels great transformation — history’s shown us that.
When the systems we’ve heavily relied on give way, and the positions we’ve carefully curated collapse, and our sought-after socialising stops — doesn’t this force us to look inward and upward for the ruse of control we thought we always had but never did?
Cry won’t you, with the cafe owner who confesses “I don’t know how I can keep going”, or the local hairdresser who puts on her brave face staring blankly at her empty slots or the Uber-eats driver who gets the rude remarks, “Just leave the food at the door and leave!” —- and yeah, the Goliath of fear makes many fearful men mean, and panic gets really belligerent in pandemics — but look at the face of Peace who never contorts in challenging circumstances, who reminds us in our core: that what feels all encompassing need not all encompass us.
What feels like a crumbling can be an invitation to rise.
And we can have a new refrain for a new normal:
“When I am afraid, I will trust in You” (Psalm 56:3)
Yeah — even when clients cancel, and productions postpone, when trips terminate, and holidays halt, when churches close and sports suspend; we can say it slow: “When I am afraid, I will trust in You”.
When the headlines, the newsfeeds, the new stats pummel on, and all you can do is pray for the medics under the pump and the Government pleading for more test kits;
And mums swapping hats to become stay-at-home teachers while dads skype into work from home; we can exhale and still say: “When I am afraid, I will trust in You”.
In Him we can be certain, in Him we will find refuge.
This life — isn’t it a gift? Grace we’ve all taken for granted? Life like we’ve always known it running on our plans and our prerogative like we’ve always prided in?
May we learn to be alive to the things we still have, and in love with the people we still hold.
May we master the basics well: bake the cookies, and bathe the children, and for once, bask in the baby-turned-girl practicing her B harmonic minor, and know: the strength of our nation stems from the strength of every family — and so having everyday joy isn’t a luxury, but a necessity — it’s immunity for our mental health, a vaccine for our dear soul.
Having everyday joy isn’t a luxury, but a necessityTweet
May we remember that God scaffolds His greatest work on earth’s shakiest days — and if all come to a grinding halt; He will still be working behind all things hard.
So we come with our deepest fears and our greatest worries. We are cognisant of the challenges we all must face, but we pray that we’ll rise greater than our fears; remembering who God is and what He can do — so we will know who we are and what we’re called to do.
Remember who God is and what He can do — so we will know who we are and what we’re called to do.Tweet
We pray that we’d be awakened to the people and the problems all around us. That in linking arms and promoting peace, we’d protect the weak and defeat our dark.
That perhaps, this is what life comes down to — not in the money we amass, or the people we impress, or that we’ve never messed up and we’ll always be liked — but that we come to the reality that we have been born precisely for such a time as this.
We are exactly where we need to be for the people we need to give to.
So, rather than being depressed, we must praise.
Because this is the quiet decision we must all make:
Allow the peace of Christ to reign so the panic of corona will leave.
We take our sadness so we can be still, stay alert, remain useful for the things God has to say and the part we all have to play.
Because God who records all of our troubles and keeps a list of all our fears — who knows that the sanitisers and the ventolins are gone, and which mother can still come up with the 101 things to do at home?— He knows, He sees, and He reaches out to us.
When He doesn’t still the storm, He’ll calm the sailor.
When He doesn’t still the storm, He’ll calm the sailor.Max Lucado
He’ll let us ride the stress without it breaking us asunder.
Our God is one never phased by the size of our mountain because He is the God who forms every mountain.
One day these too shall end.
Till then, we have to make this our new refrain: “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.”
He will save us and hide us under the shadow of His wings, so we must pass this refrain to every heart gripped by fear: “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.”
Let our quiet trust in God vaccinates us from the onslaught of panic in this pandemic.
Because He who rules supreme over the skies and the earth will keep us steady, stable and strengthened.
And in this tough and trying time, He promises to make walls of waves to keep his sailors asleep...