In these day, every morning I wake up I am so tempted to read the news first than read the Bible or any encouraging devotion. The news I am afraid to hear is about how many have lost their battle to Coronavirus, whether the toll of positive cases is rising, if there are any more cases identified in my city etc. There is unexplainable tension which, from the start of the day till the end, makes the heart heavy and forces the mind to think about nothing but this frightening disease which is spreading across the world rapidly.
The fear of the unknown and what’s next is real. Even though social distancing, closed schools and staying at home haven’t affected me much, because most of my time is spent being inside the home and my son is being home-schooled. However, the most unusual thing is to see no person on the road, closed shops, the news of city closing down, no sound of vehicles on the highways, no conversations of people heard around or no children playing in the locality. It almost feels like a lonely Island.
In this most unknown season of life, one can’t just think in a composed way or do anything without losing concentration and enthusiasm. Just a sneeze or slight coughing from the kids or my husband makes me imagine the worst. I am cleaning the house more than I did before, taking every precaution as explained by the experts, checking on children’s health more than I did before, reading and watching every piece of news on social media more than I did before, using WhatsApp to read and watch every forwarded message & video and every piece of information on COVID-19 more than I did before, getting lost in my thoughts while doing the household chores more than I did before, and most of all to be honest, I am praying without fail every moment for God’s protection and His grace more than I did before.
At one moment there is a feeling of faith in God and the next moment the frightening news overpowers the faith and makes the mind have anxious thoughts. These mixed feelings remind me of a story in Bible when Peter asks Jesus if he too could walk on water. Jesus asks him to come over. As Peter walks, seeing the wind, he gets afraid, his faith begins to waver and he begins to sink. He cries out to Jesus to save him. We read further that Jesus immediately reaches out and rescues him.
Peter’s doubt and fear make him to sink in the water, but despite that Jesus holds his hand and saves him.
Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:28-31
In the same way, when I begin my day stepping out of my bed believing God for peace, strength, joy and more faith to walk by, but each time the wind of scary news comes in, each time I hear children sneeze or cough, each time I read the statistic of cases being raised, I begin to sink in the anxiety, in the unknown and the unpredictable outcome of this challenging season. Even randomly imagining what it would look like if I become a victim of it or my loved ones become a victim of it.
Being a human, it’s easy to feel concerned about many things; it’s ok and just normal to have fear of the unknown and be worried about our beloved ones. But it also is possible to focus more on the promising and uplifting things in the midst of this crisis. It is also possible to fix our eyes on Jesus rather than the challenging situation.
In midst of all the daunting news on social media, a beautiful encouraging card I came across which is in my native Hindi language. It says that “God’s mercy (meaning Karuna) is stronger than the Corona. There is healing in Jesus’ name”.
The fear will be real but God’s grace & compassion will be real too. With our human efforts, we can take all possible measures to remain safe but the truth is: – He will always protect us not only during the pandemic but during every crisis that will show up. He will rush to hold our hand not only when we sink in our fear, but also when we walk by His promises, He will guide us to do what’s right and necessary not only when we feel hopeful but also when we are down in our faith. His Karuna (Mercy) will be always bigger than the Corona we are afraid of.
Stay safe, Stay encouraged and Stay in His Mercy!