I think it’s fair to say this lockdown situation has the nation responding in varying ways to the worries of catching coronavirus.
Now although we’re all different I’ve noticed some rather amusing behavioural trends arising; eg. people who walk on the other side of the road when they see you coming towards them, family groups who huddle together as you walk past them, people who walk exceptionally fast when in the supermarket grabbing produce and then making for the checkout quickly and the funniest of all, people who take a sharp intake of breath as they approach you and pant for breath once they pass!
I’m chuckling as I write this, but I have displayed at least some of these behaviours recently. And although we try not to let fear control us, it can creep in and change our behaviour.
Daily, we have the challenge of trust versus fear.
And whilst it’s clear that we all need to act responsibly towards this pandemic we need to not allow fear to take over our lives.
‘God, how can we as Christian’s respond with faith to a very real crisis that’s affecting us all?’
‘How can we make sure we don’t end up running away from everybody, or distancing ourselves too much from others?’
I’m a person who loves interacting closely with others, thrives on hugs and sees the benefits of close human interaction so the current social distancing guidelines have been a particular source of sadness for me.
I have to also ensure that in answering these questions I don’t end up basing my judgements on my emotions.
We read in Ephesians 5:15-16
‘Be very careful about how you live, not as unwise but wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish but understand what the will of God is’.
These verses are so appropriate to the situation that we currently face!
Firstly, we need to be careful because coronavirus is a very real threat which has impacted the world but our wisdom comes from God and not based on everything in the news.
Secondly, we need to make the most of every opportunity, this pandemic has created opportunities to share the gospel as more people are searching for answers. Recently a neighbour told me her mother was very ill so I offered to pray, for which they were very grateful.
Thirdly, verse 16 encourages us not to be foolish but understand what the will of God is. This is probably not the season to go and lay our hands on everyone but rather these verses are encouraging us to be prayerful in our actions.
God is giving us opportunities to show his love and share the good news but we should proceed cautiously and with wisdom in how to do this well.
I believe that God is saying:
Don’t hide away!
Leave fear aside!
Step out in faith!
Take the opportunities that God provides!
Written by Eunike Tate (Hope City Newcastle) as part of the SHE IS Collective Blog Series