We have been on lockdown for three weeks plus and I know that for some, that is a short time compared to what they are going through. For me, my heart is crying out “How long, Lord?” How long do we have to be quarantined like this? I am grateful for all that I have access to during this period. My family, a good roof over my head, sufficient and wide variety of food, clean water, more than sufficient entertainment, etc. The list can go on and on. I am okay in this lockdown, which is more than a lot of people can say right now. Even then, I long for normalcy, I long for what used to be. The unfortunate thing (or fortunate thing, depending on the way you look at it), is that the past is gone. Likely forever. Life, as we knew it before, is gone. Of course, life continues. But not in the same way it used to.

I recall the events of September 11 and what happened to air travel subsequently. I guess we have so adjusted to the new normal that we may have forgotten that security checks at airports used to be less intense. We could carry any amount of liquids into the plane with us. We didn’t have to remove shoes for scanning. We didn’t have machines scanning our bodies for hidden stuff, not at the degree we have today. Travel life was simpler. We were forced to make changes and we did.

They say the only constant thing is change. When I was growing up, my siblings and I used to explore our environment. There was a piggery farm near our house that we used to visit. Note that ‘near’ was at least two kilometers away, surrounded by thick bushes. We used to love going there to watch the pigs feed. Our parents were never worried about us. They knew we would always come back home. Kidnappings were not common then, the way they are now. When my children were still young and we were living in an apartment, I never dared to let them play outside. They were always couped up in our apartment. So they would be so excited when we went to my parents’ place and they had such large grounds to play in. It was a joyful thing to see them running and laughing all over the place.

I don’t know how you are coping with this, but I find that every day, I have to remind myself that God is still in charge and I have no cause to worry. Even then, I find it difficult to muster enough courage to step out of my house to take a walk around my estate. It also doesn’t help that I have Chinese neighbors living next door. Now, I don’t mean to offend anyone by this, but when I see them, my brain triggers: ‘Wuhan’, ‘virus’, ‘run’! My Chinese neighbors are not sick. I doubt they have been to China this year. I know my fear is unnecessary. But tell that to fear!

Another downside of this whole lockdown thing is that I’ve put on weight. And I feel particularly bad about this because I actually worked hard on losing weight towards the end of last year and early this year. I lost 10kg! It might not look like much but I actually put in a lot of work to achieve the weight loss. Now, the weight is creeping back. It’s not substantial yet but I don’t like it. I feel I’m losing control again because I’m eating away my fears! That is not good! Another battle to fight.

So you see why I’m asking, ‘How long, O Lord?’ All I hear is “Patience. It will come to pass.” So, I have to still my fears and trust God to resolve everything in His own time. I need to get back to exercise, even if it has to be indoors to start with. I have to summon up the courage to step out and walk around my estate. I have to eventually be able to go shopping for food (my husband has been doing all the shopping in this season). I will have to hold God’s hand and let Him lead me. I have to trust Him. Like the psalmist says “whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.” Psalm 56:3 NKJV

How are you doing? Can you identify with me? Maybe you’re stronger and loving this time out. Regardless of how you feel, let us encourage each other, and trust God together. He is ever faithful. No matter how long this lasts, we have the assurance that He will be with us through it. He promised that He will never leave us nor forsake us. We hold on to that promise today and always.

Stay under the shadow of His wings and may His presence abide and remain with you. Amen.