Hello! How are you doing? I’m happy to share that things are looking up at my end. Well, somewhat. My government has announced that there will be an easing of the lockdown from next week. Joy! Of course, it is a partial easing, as schools will not resume yet. Neither will religious gatherings. But we can go to work, with face masks now a compulsory outfit. I’m looking forward to it. I’ll probably take a short drive out. Nothing more. You see, the virus is still out there and the possibility of infection is still there. But businesses must resume, as the Government cannot feed everybody.

You know, in the midst of this pandemic some people are actually smiling to the bank? I’m sure Zoom is having the best boom ever! I can’t count how many meetings I have attended on the Zoom platform in the last month! My daughter’s school actually uses the Zoom platform to deliver some of their lectures. There are others too. Food vendors, delivery and logistics companies, pharmacies, grocery stores, and the list goes on. They are able to rise up to the occasion and serve the people who are locked down and desperate for supplies. So, in Lagos, we find that people like me, who were initially skeptical of buying stuff online, have taken to it like fish to water. The habit has been formed and it is unlikely to change. Talk of having good things thrown into your lap.

As we prepare to exit the lockdown, my sights are turning to ‘what next?’ What do we do now? A lot of adjustments will be required to fit back into the workplace. Routines have to be changed, for example, as workers have to get home before the 8p.m. curfew starts. Some offices might need to rearrange workstations to abide by social distancing protocols. Communal areas will have to be assessed for safety and distancing. What about airconditioning? Is it still advisable to use air conditioners in an office setting? What about public transportation, especially buses? Our buses are usually packed to the hilt. Would there be social distancing in buses too? Who knows?

I don’t have answers to these questions, and I’m mighty glad I don’t have to go to work in an office right now. I sympathize with those who do. In the current situation, the whole workforce is only as safe as the weakest link. One person gets infected and disobeys the protocol and you could have a disaster on your hands. Which is why I find it so annoying that some people who ought to know better, are shown on TV speaking to reporters and wearing the mask on their chin or below the nostrils. What purpose does that serve?

Anyway, that being said, we must not forget where our hope lies. Our hope is in God. He controls everything. He has the final say. So, no matter what happens around me, as long as He is with me, He will protect me from infection. And not only me, but as many as believe the same promise. This does not mean I will be careless. No! I will follow the safety protocols strictly. But the truth is if God does not keep me from the virus, no protocol will. I will keep looking to Him, as my Refuge and Strength. You should do the same.

Since it appears this matter of COVID-19 is a marathon rather than a sprint, we must prepare ourselves for the long haul. No point giving up halfway down the road. This is why we must continue to speak of hope and encouragement on a daily basis. This will renew our strength and our focus daily. I said last week that I have to remind myself every day of God’s goodness and the fact that He is in control. This is what keeps me going. Jesus’ words ring true, especially in these times. ‘Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.’ Taking one day at a time is the best thing. And holding God’s hands every moment of the day too. The statistics will not be fearful when we know that there is a name above all names.

So, moving on, how can you make the most of the lockdown? What can you do to optimize this time? I know a lot has been said about learning new skills, taking online courses, etc. I would like to suggest one thing that I have done. Getting to know myself better, resolving some knotty issues with God, looking inwards, and addressing some psychological issues I’ve been grappling with, doing some spiritual springcleaning. I’ve been doing some of that. There have been many hours of inactivity, so I used some of them for ‘me time’ with God. You could do the same. Just enjoy relaxed conversations with God, not prayers in the strict sense of the word, but just emptying of your mind to Him, talking over issues, doing some Bible study on those issues, asking for clarity, guidance, or whatever it is that you need. I am being pleasantly surprised, to confirm that God really loves me and He wants the best for me. When John said, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us”, he meant it. It is great love, a lavish love. Explore that love now, since you have time and don’t have to rush anywhere. Even if you knew God’s love before, renew your knowledge of it. It will make your heart glad. Store up oil for the journey ahead, you might need it.

You could also explore the various new ideas for living in a post-COVID world. There will be new businesses coming up that never existed before. New opportunities in a new era. You could start one of them. Instead of allowing this difficult period to chafe us, let us adapt to it and come out better, stronger, and more resilient because the journey is long. May the Lord bless and keep you in this season and beyond.

Shalom!