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COVID-19 How to live in uncertain times (18 - Be Joyful)

Nigel Gillson, 3rd April 2020

See part 1 of this series here.

I remember prior to the lockdown having the sense of standing on the edge of a shoreline. I was watching a tsunami approach at high speed and knew there is nothing I can do to get out of its path. The sense of anticipation of the oncoming COVID-19 was powerful and filled me with anxiety. I had no way of knowing what life would soon be like.

No toilet rolls in shops. No pasta. A restriction of four cans of a product. No more than three packets of rice. Having to wait between an hour and two to actually enter the shop. Washing my hands several times more than usual. Only being allowed 1-hour walk or exercise a day. Not being allowed anywhere other than my locality. Not being able to meet friends and family. The list goes on and on.

Some aspects of life now have been compared to those of the World Wars. The usual freedom we happily experience has become an enforced distant memory and we yearn for normality again.

I cannot help but think of Habakkuk, living in Judah shortly before the mighty Babylonian invasion. The anticipation he felt after his prophesy and the feeling of impending doom must have affected him in a similar fashion.

But there was hope. Habakkuk did not, for one minute believe his God would leave him when the mighty army invaded. He prayed these words in Habakkuk 3:17-19

"Though the fig-tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour. The Sovereign Lord is my strength…"

There is hope for us, too. Despite the numerous restrictions in place. Despite the segregation and the house lockdown. Despite not being able to meet others. Despite being stuck in the four walls of our homes, why not join me in repeating the words of Habakkuk, “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour”.

Why not praise God now for the mini-miracles happening every day; the numerous COVID-19 sufferers recovering, the birth of new babies, the way communities are banding together to fight off boredom and to keep healthy, the sense of hope and love in the hand-drawn rainbows on people’s windows are just a few examples of the miracles happening every single day.

God has not left us, nor will he ever do so. Let’s choose to lean on him, rejoice in him and be joyful in God our Saviour through these days of uncertainty.

See part 19 of this series here.

During these strange and testing times, we hope to post encouragement for you here each day. As ever, if you would like to speak with a Minister, please get in touch through our contact us page.