As we currently sit in our homes quietly during the lockdown, Australians all across the country are on edge with what’s to come. As our government implements strict measures to contain the further spread of this virus, it has made a catastrophic impact on our economy to say the least. A month ago, it was estimated that over half a million jobs in Australia were at risk as many businesses shut down due to the drastic shortfall in consumer spending and government mandates. Today, we are expecting more people to be laid-off from their occupations, and more people becoming reliant on the stimulus packages that the government is releasing to off-set the tremendous financial losses they are facing. It is a sad and distressing reality to see.
And we have only swiped the surface with the multi-faceted complications that this virus has brought upon our nation’s health, careers, families, and much more. But an interesting phenomenon that is taking place amidst all this is that a number of workaholics are now recognising the fleeting nature of their careers and have since begun to spend more quality time with their family and friends during this time of economic inactivity and government-enforced social isolation.
It’s refreshing to see some good that has come out of this atrocity. People are so busy and restless all the time that they often lose sight of what is truly important. Perhaps it takes a pandemic for a nation to put down all the things that they are so mindlessly doing to see that all their immense efforts to find long-lasting security and comfort in their careers, relationships, physical health, and materialism are all but a tremendously poor investment. And perhaps the virus has done its job in nullifying the sporadic frequencies of our lives in order for our destitute souls to hear the frequency of our Father’s voice in the midst of the silence:
“Be still and know that I am God
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.” (Ps. 46:10)
The ravaging of this virus on this nation is a wake-up call to our spiritually-lethargic people that these things do not offer the protection they are looking for. COVID-19 is teaching a crucial lesson that ought to point us to the existence of a God who rules and reigns over this fractured world. This God promises to give the greatest protection from the most lethal virus that has plagued all of humankind from the beginning – our sin. And the cure He offers is His Son, who has taken the punishment for our sin, so that we might know what true comfort and refuge is, when we place our trust in Him.
That is why even if the earth succumbs to the virus, we should not fear (Ps. 46:2). Why? Because God has already dealt with humanity’s biggest predicament. If He has solved our greatest problem, then surely the spread of this virus is subject to Him. Even this malicious microbe cannot move a single nanometre without His divine permission.
God is our refuge and strength and He invites us in to find true peace from our deepest troubles (46:1). There is an overarching purpose behind all the things that are happening in the world that draws us near to the One who is in control of all things: everything is ultimately for His glory as He seeks to have His name exalted among all who have entrusted their souls to Him.
No one is able to foresee the direction that this world is going to take amidst this global pandemic and panic. No one, apart from God, that is. For God knows and remains in control of everything. Amidst the storm of chaos and hysteria, He calls on us to anchor in Him. When we cry out, grasping for some relief from the fear and terror of this disease, He reminds us that He has already sent our ultimate Saviour, Jesus Christ, His only Son.
So as we sit in our homes in self-isolation, be still and know that there is a God who invites us to dwell under His shelter. For those of you who are anxious in this season of uncertainty, call and pray to the God of all comfort and ask Him to help you trust in Him with your life. He assures you that times of refreshment will come even through all of life’s calamities. This doesn’t mean that you will be immune to the virus that is currently spreading across our land. There is no guarantee that even strict self-isolation will prevent exposure to this disease. But it does mean that even if you are made redundant from your job, even if you are afflicted with the virus, even if everything was taken away from you, you are safe in the arms of Christ.
And for those of us who are ambassadors of our King, let’s be part of the glory movement by being ready to promote to our world the better story we live by. Let us call this fear-stricken world to repentance and faith in the one true King, who offers the everlasting satisfaction and peace that it desperately needs.