Are you over it all yet? “Over what?” you might ask. The whole COVID thing with its restrictions, fears, disappointments and uncertainty. If somebody had told us 18 months ago that we’d be giving our personal details every single time we went out – whether to the supermarket, coffee shop, service station, store, Church – anywhere at all, we’d have thought that person had rocks in their head. If we’d been told that we could no longer freely plan holidays, family visits, activities, or outings, we would have been convinced of it.
We know that these restrictions are for our benefit and the benefit of our society, but that doesn’t make them any easier for us to live by. It’s hard not being able to spend time with extended family and friends. Weddings, birthday celebrations, anniversaries and funerals are important parts of family life, and yet they have been affected greatly this past year and a half. It’s normal to feel sad and disappointed when they can’t happen or we can’t travel to them.
This time, though, there’s something different. In previous lockdowns, we stayed away from ageing family members to protect them, and we were assured that our children were safe. Delta’s a whole new story though. In this latest outbreak, a high percentage of sufferers are children and that’s scary. (If this continues on into the term, I’ll speak more about fear and how to help our children manage that. In the meantime, be cautious about what media coverage your children see, particularly the younger ones.)
Uncertainty has become a new normal in our lives and society. Before COVID, we did have times where some of us were living with uncertainty, but in my lifetime, we haven’t had our whole world experiencing it. The reality is that COVID has redefined a lot of things in our society and I think a big one is that we don’t actually have the control over our lives that we thought we had. Now I know as Christians, we say that God is in control, but do we truly believe that? It’s a question we do well to ask ourselves.
We might wonder why He’s allowing all this to happen. I can’t answer why, but can I suggest that you have a read of Isaiah 45 in the Bible? It wasn’t written specifically to us, but it contains many important truths which I think are relevant to us today. Verses 5 to 7 are helpful:
“I am the Lord, and there is no other, besides Me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know Me, that people may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides Me; I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form light and create darkness; I make well-being and create calamity; I am the Lord, Who does all these things.”
A couple of relevant points – God wants people to know Him. The reality is when life is going smoothly, people frequently forget about God. Often, we’ll have certain passages we like and we’ll underline or memorise them. What about those uncomfortable or difficult passages? We acknowledge that the good in our lives comes from God, but not so much the hard times.
You have made it through 18 months of uncertainty and numerous challenges. It hasn’t been easy and at times, it’s downright hard, but you’ve made it. Trust God and He will equip you to get through whatever lies ahead – He has promised to never leave nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).