No one foresaw this coming. It started as any other challenge that would sooner than later quickly pass. After all, it was said to be a flu similar to many other types that have been around. However, in such a short span, a lot has changed and our faith is being shaken day and night.
Time and again, life presents us with unpleasant situations, often happening when we least expect them. These challenges can be on an individual or larger level affecting each and every one of us. The current global spread of the Corona virus has caused panic and fear all over the world. But as believers and Christians, how can we keep calm and carry on in times of adversity?
The words of the Psalmist in Psalm 121 are there to encourage us especially during such uncertain times. In Psalm 121:1-2 “I lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth”
When all is but seems so grim, hopeless and fear has taken over, we should find strength, comfort and refuge in the Lord. He is our ever-present help in times of trouble. He still got us and we can always count on Him. Therefore, let’s be of good cheer acting as the candle lighting up the world during this trying time.
The current lock downs owed to the control of COVID-19 can be looked at in a positive light. We have been accustomed to fast paced life where our every activity revolves around time. But now Covid-19 has forced us to slow down and think through life more calmly, reflectively and meditatively.
Additionally, there is a wave of unity that this crisis has created around the world. In Africa, where greed is the order of the day, those in positions of influence and authority realise now that every citizen matters and every life counts. There is the urgency to protect all lives. For example, in my country Uganda, the president has had to put in place a curfew forcing everyone to be in their homes by 7pm. And the people are obliging as this is another protective measure in the fight against Covid-19. We recognize that keenness to instructions is key for the success of any battle.
Lessons for humanity from Covid-19
Prompt response and effective communication are fundamental: It requires courage, insight and the ability to withstand pressure in the face of taking very unpopular decisions. Imagine governments have shut down markets, transport and tourism sectors among others, rendering millions unemployed. Such decisions may be unpopular considering that those affected depend solely on these sectors for survival. But a leader must act to protect the bigger picture for the common good of the larger society. The ability to promptly communicate this message is a requirement of leadership especially in times of crisis.
Community engagement is crucial: Rallying the community’s full participation for the achievement of the grand goal is key. In this present crisis the goal is beating COVID-19. There is simply no way this can be achieved without involving the community. Also checking our systems for comprehensive care should be at the forefront of our health agenda. This crisis is a wake-up call, especially to developing countries.
Always have an emergency fund: As business or an employer there must be a budget that caters for eventualities. Crises may not warn you but they will require your actions to address them. Covid-19 teaches us that emergencies are inevitable.
Embrace modern technology: Imagine during the current measures such as social distancing and complete lock downs all over the world, all aimed at limiting the spread of the virus, you still had to go out and queue for basic services such as banking or payment of bills. With technology you can transact from the comfort of your home thus, limiting exposure and spread of the virus. There is no middle line today; if you fail to improve your technological aptitude, you would have automatically excluded yourself from the massive opportunities despite the pandemic. In times like this technology makes you a winner.
Respect by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Alpha Stock Images
Be humble for there is indeed a supreme power: Until now, it’s been easy for the wealthy and highly educated to find solace in their money, wealth and knowledge. They pride themselves in the fact that they are able to purchase solutions to most of their socio-economic problems with their wealth. But see how the pandemic has levelled all of us regardless of class or social status.
Let’s use COVID-19 to make some basic changes in our core values, beliefs and learn to appreciate humanity for who we are and not for what we are.
There are many lessons for us to learn from COVID-19. However, we should remember that the Lord didn’t promise us a life devoid of challenges. But He promised to give us the wisdom, grace and courage to help us go through the challenges. Therefore, at such a time, it’s important to have the attitude of a victor. Otherwise, our spirit is crushed as we drown in fear and hopelessness. In fact, apostle Paul says that you are more than a conqueror. Why? Because Jesus Christ won the victory already on our behalf and all we need to do now is to accept it by faith.
Let faith transform our weakness into strength. Expect that when you receive His word in faith, you will also receive the strength you need to live it out. Read, study and meditate on God’s word as often as possible because the substance of faith is inherent in God’s word. Remember that faith is worthwhile. However, be patient during times when your faith is tested by hardships.
Know that faith makes it possible to be secure anywhere. No doubt, many people are far away from their loved ones at this particular time of COVID-19. Feelings of worry, fear, isolation and insecurity fill them but let us be consoled by the fact that any place is secure if we trust in the Lord Jesus, for His spirit is with us and dwells all over the world. Just like the Lord commanded Joshua in the book of Joshua 1:9, “Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go”
Don’t give up under pressure; Challenging situations tend to exert a lot of pressure on us and if our spirit is weak, we may give up during tough times. For instance, some might choose to commit suicide instead of facing the adversity. Nevertheless, be assured that God will give us enough courage, faith and wisdom sufficient for whatever situation we face. Allow faith to give you quiet confidence and peace: In our present world where technology magnifies everything, it’s difficult to find peace and calmness. But we can learn to cultivate a spirit of quiet confidence that emanates from an indwelling faith.
Focus on God’s power rather than on the size of your problem: When problems strike, we easily gravitate towards them than on God’s power that can enable us handle the difficulty at hand. However, challenges become bearable and manageable when we fully surrender to the Lord believing that He will calm the storms in our lives. When you focus on how great God’s power is, you will be able to see your problem from the right perspective and gain the confidence to know that you can handle it with God’s help.
Trust in God’s plan for your life: God ‘s plan for your life may seem unconventional and mysterious from your limited human perspective. But the Lord says that He has got the best plans for our lives, plans to give us hope and a future. Therefore, we can count on God to deliver His promises in our lives regardless of our circumstances. Also, let’s acknowledge that everything happens for a reason. For example, this current virus has brought everything to a standstill. We may not know why but one of the reasons could be to allow the earth to replenish itself. By staying home, it has already been reported that the reduction of human activities is allowing the ozone layer to heal itself.
The more, we focus on God’s plan for our lives, the less afraid we will feel during challenging times.
There is light at the end of the tunnel: Ultimately, after dusk, dawn will come. The challenges don’t last forever but tough people do. Therefore, seek to learn all of the valuable lessons that God wants to teach us as we go through the various hardships confident that, at the end of the journey, we shall experience a season of joy and victory will be ours.
By Katherine Masa.
Katherine Masa and her family are active long-time members of the English-speaking Christian Congregation (ECC) in Bochum, Germany. Katherine is currently staying with relatives in Uganda while she completes the studies she began there before she and her family came to Germany.