Happy Sunday Friends, How do you do?
So today I thought I would write a small piece just to encourage you during this time and remind you of course about the goodness of God.
I read once that fear is a spiritual roadblock and in no way can faith and fear co-exist. So it’s either you have faith or you have fear and that’s that. It’s been quite an enigmatic couple of months and in my last article I mentioned that decisions and indecisions were being made in relation to the Coronavirus mostly because we are all still trying to understand it. The learning process has both been intensive and extensive, and very much so draining especially because for many, their mental health state has suffered drastically. The supremacy Coronavirus has over us is unmatched and when we think we have somewhat found a way to mitigate its spread, something comes up which literally changes all that we thought we knew and it is back to the drawing board. Basically, COVID-19 exercises its dominance over us on a daily basis. For example, when this pandemic began, it was stipulated that only those infected and health care workers attending to patients were to wear masks, however now we have been instructed that every person is expected to wear a mask when stepping out of their homes. Well, that’s the reality of the matter at present because the truth of the matter is that we know not how or why or when or what changes tomorrow will bring in terms of this virus. All we have is hope that in the end things will get better and thats all we will continue holding on to.
I have been engaged in conversation lately with some friends, acquaintances and colleagues, and a lot of them are, above all else struggling with their mental health. I mean, yes, we are all concerned with this virus, however for some people that is the least of their problems. Many people have lost their jobs and literally have no means to support their families which is the saddest thing ever. With all that’s been going on with the Coronavirus, you realize that those less fortunate are suffering the most and the hand of assistance you can offer can only go so far. In low and middle income countries, the number of people living below the poverty line is way over fifty percent of the population. A lot of people have no access to clean running water, and many live in informal settlements with no way of maintaining any form of social distancing. It’s been said that we should try and boost our immune system through a variety of measures, which include, but are not limited to; balanced meals, fruits, multivitamin supplements. However, with the number of people living below the poverty line, that unfortunately can never be possible because we have so many malnourished groups as well as a high prevalence of people who are immunocompromised as a result of HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis. For these vulnerable groups, the prospects of survival are very much bleak and this is a gloomy reality.
I saw an infomercial on the television the other day, which was linked to the effects of the Coronavirus especially in relation to these vulnerable groups. The reporter gave a report in which she expressed that she had interviewed a woman just earlier who informed her during that interview that as people living in informal settlements, with no source of income to cater for basic needs especially food, Covid-19 would not be the cause of death for them, rather hunger would. Hearing those words, honestly cut so deep because of the truth in that statement. People are starving, and the food parcels given out can only sustain them for a short period of time. In truth the help given out can only go so far, and you wish to do more, however you realize that it isn’t a possibility. However, I have learned that whatever you can give; be it food, clothing, money, time or anything as a form of assistance does go a long way. Covid-19 isn’t a battle for one group, but rather it affects us all and how ever way we can help out could be much appreciated by those who have less.
I started off by reiterating the words I read about faith and fear because during this time our faith has to be stronger than it ever has been. Yes, our physical reality speaks to the situation being worse (tough times, they say) and yes that is true. However, God still stands, and He is still a constant regardless and we should doubt Him not. I was reading Revelation 1, just the other week and came across verse 8 of that chapter which are words spoken by God. Those words are a reminder enough that God has been present from the beginning and when He put things into existence He knew exactly how it would all go and how it would all end. This verse speaks to the fact that just as He was there from the beginning; He is still ever present even during this time. Many may doubt His presence during this time especially looking at the situation with the increase in number of cases and fatalities but I’d like to reassure you today that; God is still present, He has not forsaken us, He is still our refuge and His right hand is still firmly gripped on ours. All we ought to maintain is our faith and keep our eyes focused on Him!
No one can ever take away another persons fear except God and believe you me, regardless of whatever I have faced, I have tried to maintain a state of calmness through it all because I trust God completely. It isn’t a façade or denial as many other people have said but its pure faith and it is drawn from within, from the source who lives within me, God! I read and meditate over the Word of God daily and with each day, each scripture affirms the power of God and His presence in our lives. I recite Psalm 23 with confidence and faith because I have no doubt in what those words speak to; God is my shepherd and even when I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear nothing for He is with me. So even now with Covid-19, I fear no evil for I know that God has me under His divine protective wings. Some might question as to why I adhere to the set precautionary guidelines if I trust God and they might continue to point out that doing that might mean that I have less faith in God. Well, I trust God with all my being and I know that God is not to be tested. Noncompliance and non-adherence to set standards for the precautions is sheer stupidity! You have to understand that God gave us the power of free will of which we should not take lightly. He gave us a moral compass to distinguish, right from wrong and having granted us that autonomy means He trusted us enough to make the right decision. God speaks but often times we are oblivious to what He says. You cannot test God by willingly placing yourself in the line of danger and expect Him to save you. This is not a game and God is not a joke!
Faith is a whole different story, and I have since realized that we completely don’t comprehend the essence of it enough to exercise it or put into use in our lives. I trust God completely and understand faith enough to know that I can never test God. Remember when the devil tested Jesus in the desert (Matthew 4:1-11)? Well, during that time the devil made all attempts to turn Jesus by presenting many things, but even during this spiritual battle, Jesus maintained His stance and rebuked the devil. So even during this time, God is neither to be tested nor doubted. The devil may want us to doubt God by shutting blind our spiritual eyes through creating scenarios that instill fear in us which act as antagonists to our faith. That said, we too need to maintain our stance and rebuke the devil. We ought to not doubt even for a second that this shall pass, because truth is, as much as the situation is bad and we see the reality of the matter at hand, we should remain rooted in Christ and grounded in faith because this too shall pass!
Friends, God still remains a constant and He has not forsaken us. Yes, things are hard during this time. Faith may waver but God still maintains His position in our lives and we too should maintain ours. He will pull us through because He is still the same God He was yesterday, and He will remain to be God even today and tomorrow.
As I have been saying lately, may we continue to lean on Him for strength, and I would like us all to continue finding comfort, remind ourselves, believe and swear by Psalm 91. Also, read Psalm 77:9-20, it reminded me of Gods strength especially all the wonderful things He had done for His people, that I realized that being concerned was not necessary because even now, God is still God! Let us not lose sight of Him but let us continue believing in Him through all this, and firmly maintain a tight grip of His right hand. Let us continue to pray for those infected, for the families who have lost their loved ones, for our economies, for the businesses that are suffering and for the individuals who have lost jobs. Let us pray for strength and an end to this infirmity.
Lastly, I would like to request that we offer any assistance to those less privileged and have no coffer to sustain them during this time. This could be donations in the form of food or money or clothing or time. Let us help out where and how ever we can!
This too shall pass friends. God is faithful. Let us be safe out there. Let us keep up the faith. It shall be well!
Grounded in Faith