Three Reminders of Hope during This Pandemic

As we grapple with the magnitude of this unprecedented crisis, Tejdor Tiewsoh brings three key reminders to the forefront of our minds.

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel described the fight against COVID-19 as Germany's–perhaps, the world’s–greatest challenge since World War II. Spreading faster than wildfire and baffling the greatest medical and scientific minds of the day, the virus has single-handedly dominated news headlines and people’s consciousness, both at the public and personal level. Potent and relentless, it has thrown the whole world out of gear and affected every sphere of life, from politics, economics, and religion to social life and leisure. Unbelievably, it reads more like a horror-sci-fi movie than real life!

As we grapple with the magnitude of this unprecedented crisis, three thoughts come to mind:

  1. We are limited. This crisis drives home the message that humans are limited. Humanity has reached space and carved out niches of technical and scientific proficiency far beyond our wildest expectations. Nevertheless, much remains beyond our control. It took a tiny microbe, so small that it is invisible to the naked eye, to remind us of this reality. Though blessed by a creative God with the unique ability to create and generate, history repeatedly shows us that, left to our own devices, people are not only limited, but destructive as well. King Solomon, the wisest king in Israel’s history, towards the end of his life, exhorts his people thus: “remember your Creator in the days of your youth... Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:1,13). Progress, without God as a moral compass, will only lead to destruction and lostness.

Progress, without God as a moral compass, will only lead to destruction and lostness.

  1. We live in a flawed world. Ours is a world that is sick, broken, and fallen–a world in desperate need of healing and restoration. Even as we’re constantly mesmerised by its beauties–a glorious sunset, a flower in bloom, the smile and happy laughter of a child–we are not blinded to the fact that it is far from perfect. The reality around us attests to this. As believers, how assuring it is to remember that this present world is not our final home. Jesus has promised another place for us, a perfect and out-of-this-world glorious certainty where he himself, in all his healing and restoring sufficiency, will be a constant presence.
  2. We need each other. What a humbling recognition! And although inadvertently, the common threat that this virus poses has brought humanity together in a way that has not been witnessed in a very long time. It is heartening to see people across community, religious, and professional lines going out of their way to help and care for the needs of others. The sense of human interdependence is truly brought home to us as we see everyone from politicians to business leaders, medical personnel to truck drivers and grocers work round the clock to render assistance and mitigate the effects of this pandemic.

In the Bible, we are told of many instances where the people of God faced crises in their lives and in the nation. One such crisis was during the reign of King Jehoshaphat of Judah (2 Chronicles 20). Faced with an enemy far beyond his power, the king exhorted the nation to seek God’s face as he leads the people in prayer: “We have no power to face this vast army… we do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” As we struggle with this difficult and challenging situation, perhaps, we too feel the same overwhelming sense of helplessness that Jehoshaphat and his people felt. Jehoshaphat’s prayer acknowledged his and his people’s helplessness. More importantly, however, it is a confident acknowledgement of who God is–his power, his mercy, and his dealings with his people in times past. He has never failed his people when they turned to Him in earnest and He’s not about to do that now. As we worship this God, may we too live in faith and in love rather than allow ourselves to be bowed down by fear.

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