Now the Lord had said to Abram:
“Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. Gen. 12:1,4 NKJV
We may not all remember where we were when the first case of COVID-19 was announced in our country, but we do remember the early days and the fear that accompanied that announcement. Since then, we have gone on this journey of the pandemic until now. We can testify that but for God, we would be in the grave, as many hundreds of thousands are right now, having succumbed to the virus. With much gratitude, today we can say “Thank God we are still here and forging forward.” Indeed, God has been good. Here we are, at the end of the third quarter of the year and already looking forward to the end of the year!
It’s a good time to look back. If we don’t, we will not be able to extend the right gratitude to God, who has kept us through it all. Some of us had encounters with the virus and survived. Some only watched it from afar. Some watched relatives and friends battle it and live. Some watched loved ones lose the battle. Nevertheless, we are here today. Alive and kicking! Nothing we did or didn’t do is responsible for our survival, but God.
Can you remember the days of total lockdown? Those days when the fear was palpable? Days of overeating and sleepless nights? I recall that the fear was so bad, I dreaded even taking out the trash. It always felt like the invisible enemy was waiting outside the door and if I were to just venture out, I would be infected. I stopped listening to the news and tracking the numbers. It was feeding my fear. Reading was difficult. So was writing. I knocked off hours with Netflix. I slept poorly. Prayer was difficult. I had no utterance. All I could pray was “God have mercy!” And He did!
Gradually, the dark days passed. Yes, the virus is still lurking around but it is on it’s way out by God’s grace. We still stand in faith. But we can breathe now, even with the mask. We are washing hands and keeping respectable distance from others. Church is back, and schools are reopening. Yes, safety is still a concern but we are stepping out a little more each day.
Can we dare to start planning for Christmas? Can we plan for next year? Who knows? We are hopeful that we have seen the worst of the pandemic. We hope we can move on and start looking forward to recovery on all fronts – psychological, emotional, spiritual, financial, economic and social recovery.
They say the wilderness is not a place to stay in. We just have to pass through it. 2020 has been like a global wilderness. The world has passed through and is still passing through an unprecedented event. We cannot fully appreciate it, until it’s over and we can look back. That is when understanding will come, and we will see better than now. May this wilderness usher us into the promised land. May the coming years compensate for this year in every way.
We have had our fill of 2020. We want to fast forward into next year. But our experience this year is still so fresh. We are a bit reluctant to dream, to plan, to strategize. What if?
When God called Abram out of his family and country, we read that he moved. He didn’t know what was ahead of him. He didn’t even know where he was going. But he packed up and left because he trusted God. I believe that is what we have to do at this time.
As society is opening up and usual activities are resuming. We have to trust God. We have to trust Him to continue to protect and preserve us as He has done till now. We are not better than the thousands that have died as a result of the pandemic. We have no special case to make for ourselves, other than to say that it is by His grace that we are still alive. So we will continue to count on His grace to keep us alive and well, no matter what the future holds. Worrying will not get us anywhere but away from God’s rest. Rather, let us hold on to His hand and allow Him to guide us through the rest of this year and the many years to come.
As the song goes, “He holds the whole world in His hands”.
Image credit: <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/photos/people”>People photo created by jcomp – www.freepik.com</a>