When in 1993 Lionel Peterson and his gospel band sang the song Peace, littledid he know we would need the assurance from its textual form. A quick click on the weblink or turning on the TV or radio brings nothing but frightening stories of countries after countries locking down.
Apart from the physical manifestations of the Covid-10, the Coronavirus is causing psychological traumas in many people’s lives, in particular, the most vulnerable. They are those who venture into panic buying. Likewise, they have to panic over everything and by the end of this pandemic, they are most probably going to bear the long term brunt of it all.
The ultimate question is, is there any need for that? Is there any way for these people to manage their stresses and protect themselves from these catastrophic events? Oh yes, there is ONLY ONE WAY. God! He is our help in these present times of trouble, and His word will not be washed aside. His support equally means He is our Peace. It is written; Jehovah is our Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), and He is our VERY HELP in chaotic situations like this Covid-19.
What is ravaging our world, and tearing it apart can simply be curtailed by God. A look to the left or the right proves that the Lord is the Peace we need. It is not the mask or the sanitisers that you and I need. God is who we need.
The story of Ruth began with unhappy tales that end well. A marriage to Mahlon was necessary for Ruth for her to get to her destiny. There was no child between them, and worst of all, Mahlon died within the space of ten years after his father’s death. If Ruth had not married Mahlon, she would not have met Noami who would later be her spiritual matchmaker to meeting Boaz. That was Ruth’s happy ending.
Jehovah, alone, decides the direction of our lives. Take, for example; Joseph suffered for thirteen years before his dreams came true. David waited for so long to take the throne, and he was always on the run, hiding from his opponent. For divine reasons, something or someone stood in their ways of breakthroughs for decades until God’s appointed time. These blockages were crucial to prepare them for their future successes. The tighter they became amidst their trials, the stronger they were when they finally took hold of their destinies.
I don’t know what you are going through right now. Likewise, you’re right to say I have no idea of the overwhelming ordeals you have, which now seem interminable with the current pandemic. Irrespective of what you have or what are your circumstances, do not hesitate to remember you are not forgotten. In a time like this, you will get to a point where you will think God is no longer there for you. At this point, pause to think about Ruth, Joseph, David and many people who had passed through periods of severe uncertainty, and came out stronger. Hence, you must not give up. Hang in there!
Are you finding it challenging to handle your children or yourself?
Can you get hold of your feelings, so they do not overrule you?
Do you get into tears so quickly these days?
Then you need God in the meantime. My previous post discussed the need to understanding Jehovah in all times irrespective of the circumstances. If life is all rosy, then why these troubles? Why the pandemic? Why the confinement? Why are other strenuous incidents in all corners of the world? Why do we need hospitals if we all are hale and healthy? Why do we need artificial oxygen if our bodies are functioning correctly?
Often, the bad dominates, but that does not entail it will overcome because, from time immemorial, it is anticipated that the good always triumphs in the end.
Hence, the need to put Jehovah in the now rather than shifting Him to the rosier days.
People are starting to talk about whether they have to pay their tithes this month after what they have been through in this critical moment. The question is, how do they view Jehovah in their lives? Is He the God of the right season?
Having a strong relationship with the Almighty requires a more profound, unshakable faith (See Hebrew 11:1). Life is a battle that consists of two sides: good and the bad. To follow God means to live with Him irrespective of the situation and not just decide alone for oneself.
Jehovah will see you through no matter the situation now or in the future.
Thank you for always hearing us. We are grateful for your ever-presence hope, love, and faith.
Daddy, we pray for mercy for our world. Mercy, Lord! We need your forgiveness in this trying time. Forgive us all where we are unconscious of our sins. Forgive us for our known sins and wrongdoings.
Father, you have shown us our fragility these past months, about how we cannot survive without our breath. Respirators are useless where you are. Help us all to never cease from acknowledging that you alone are the owner of our breath and that, without it, we are nothing.
We appreciate you, sir, and we say, thank you because you have heard us. In Jesus mighty name, we have prayed.
How do people get along in a crowded house without stepping on to one another’s feet? How do mothers keep calm when they are stuck with their little children in their home for days? What did spouses do to contain their anger?
Everyone has a right to get angry. However, no one has the power to hurt another person based on their anger. The worst part of confinement is when strangers have to live together. The same goes for folks in challenging relationships. There are two ways to this; either they all get to curtail their resentments and learn to live together, or they lash out their anger and cause irreversible damages.
Learn to be quiet when you are angry. If you cannot to walk out at that tempting moment because of the confinement, then find a spot you can move to where you can think of the situation. Any harsh words spoken in times of confrontation cannot be taken back. If you want to keep your relationship, then be careful with what you say and how you say it.
I grew up in a home where violence against women was justified. You are told your spouse needs to beat you to show he is in charge. If he did not, then it means something is wrong. Hence, every woman I knew as a child had endured mild or severe intimate partner violence.
From generation to generation, women have bored the brunt of abusive partners, whether indirect or not; psychological or physical abuse. In 2019 an estimated 135 women were brutally murdered by their spouses in France. These are the ones we heard of. How, then, about those other victims suffering in silence?
With the lockdown, many women found themselves trapped indoors with their perpetrators when tensions become double this, leading to an increase in abuse. These women have no control. Some of them do not have any supportive families or friends or colleagues nearby who can help them.
But the good news is they have neighbours. You may be one of them. Please, do not close your ears when you hear these women screaming for help. Call the police. Do whatever you can to get them out of the grips of their perpetrators—light a heart, not a cry.
There are two categories of residents in any country: (1) those with homes, and (2) those WITHOUT homes. We call them the “homeless”.
While we are worried about the length of days we are going to spend in confinement, do we ever take a second to think about these homeless people who have nowhere to go and confined themselves?
While many of us selfishly engaged in senseless panic buying, these homeless have no idea where their next meals will come. Those who used to give to them are now off the streets, and now, how do they survive? These people do barely or do not have any controls whatsoever. However, you have, and that is to find a way to give to those of them living near you. You can heed to any online campaigns about sowing financial seeds to help them. Do not abandon them.
We have ghost towns. Children tucked away from the world like sardines. The adults enrobed in their inner worlds of future uncertainty. No movement, no contacts, and even time seem at a standstill.
In all these are people in mourning, but no one is talking about them. They are those whose loved ones passed away from the Coronavirus. They did not have any power to prevent their losses. All of a sudden, their deceased beloveds have been stripped of their identities and instead tagged with numbers to count the amount of the diminishing population. The more they departed from us, the faster the decline in the global community of the oldest ones. They are the victims of injustice.
These defunct did not jump down from the heavens to the earth. They have families who care about them the same way you care about yours. Please, create a particular time to think about them. Send positive thoughts to them. Pray that Jehovah will comfort and give them His peace that surpasses all human understanding.
Jesus’ reaction to what James and John said was a perfect example of why revenge is a sin. On the other side of the spectrum were the two sons of Zebedee James and John who would take no nonsense from anyone. As a result of their brashness attitudes, they ended up earning from Jesus Christ the nickname: Sons of Thunder (Mark 3:17).
There are the likes of James and John in our days, and they are in confinement like us. You may be one of them. There are times in the past when one of your family members must have hurt you so bad that you have made up your mind to make them pay you back. This person could be one of your parents, brothers, sisters, cousins, uncles, or aunts. They could be your friend or even your children.
With them locked up in the same place as you, you are now planning your final revenge or you may have started acting out. I implore you to do a rethink. What do you gain from paybacks? Can you count how many atheists in this world insult Jehovah every day? Did he ever send fire from heaven to burn them alive? Besides, take our Lord Jesus Christ as another example. He was treated like trash on Calvary; still, He said, “Father, forgive them.”
David was a busy king. From a shepherd boy to a fugitive running to protect his life from King Saul, to his eventual days as King of Israel. There were lots of events (such as fighting wars outside of his kingdom and within his household) in his life that by the time he retired, he longed for peace.
Many of us, including myself, were like him. The past few years were full of tidal waves. I travelled across continents so frequently that I lost counts. I learned to keep souvenirs using my phone camera as much as I could. It was fun, but at the same time, my body was begging for quietness. The travelling effects began to take their tolls: mental fatigue, acne, mood swings and stress vertigo.
Many of you have been through this journey, and you recognise yourself in my descriptions above. Maybe you did not travel outside of your country, but you had a lot going for you that you ended up feeling like you were losing it.
Well, here is the perfect time to step back and take care of yourself. Squeeze your fingers, hug your body, as you look at this global lockdown as your time to rest. Create spaces to sleep more than you have never done in the past. The period is like preparing for a race because, by the time this confinement is over, there will be no time to play around. Think about the scenario where a shepherd opens the gate to let out his sheep; there, you will see his dog racing ahead of others. That’s how it will be when the pandemic is over, and that is very soon.
Therefore, prenez bien soin de vous – take care of yourself.
Thank Him for His goodness. Open your mouth and praise the Lord! The Alpha and Omega! Prince of Peace, Lord of lords, Lion of Judah, Emmanuel, El Shaddai-God Almighty. He is bigger than what people are saying. He is afraid of no one, and no one dares challenge His power. There is none like Him. He has been so good to us and always available anytime. Come on, praise Jehovah as if today is your last day on earth. Forget about your stress for now and instead tell God how grateful you are.
Jesus Christ first loved us when He wholeheartedly chose to push aside his comfort for our sake. He has everything but abandoned them when He put us ahead in the decision-making process of salvation. That is a love that cannot be bought in any supermarkets or sperm banks.
The same love of Christ is what Jehovah wants us to extend to others. The love that expects nothing in return. Let us continue to profess this love as we encourage others in this crucial time.
Already with increased globalisation, Individualism has overtaken collectivism. The more the availability of eased online social platforms, the more we see people locking up themselves, individually in their virtual world where they only control their existence.
Sadly, the current Coronavirus help create an intense aspect of the individualism, which is, Social Distancing (SD). I understand the aim of this is to curb the spread of the virus, but a more in-depth analysis of the true nature of SD reveal negative results.
What humans need is that spirit of concrete togetherness and not social distancing because it is through combined efforts that we can offer cares and excellent attention to the less fortunate among us.
Did you hear about the mass death of the older people in some Spanish deserted retirement homes? Do you have cases of spiral abandonment of the older ones during this time? Well, I have one to share with you. Last week, my 90-year-old neighbour’s sons came to move him out of his house into a retirement home. As a widower, he has spent at least the last four years living alone. Since last year the younger of his two sons had wanted to put him away, but the old one refused. I, too, wanted him to stay in his house until his last time on earth.
The ongoing Covid-19 seems to be the perfect idea for these men to convince their father to leave his house. The end of the story is, they prevailed. They came and took him away, and as son informed me, their father had no idea he is not returning home. They simply told him he would be safe at the retirement house during the pandemic.
For the past few days, we have been hearing news of the elderly dying one after the other in most of these retirement homes. That bothers me as I have no news of my neighbour’s whereabouts, and to avoid everyone panicking; I do not want to call his son. Besides, I never stopped wondering why none of them offers to keep their father in any of their respective homes rather than in a hospice.
People are running away from the most vulnerable people in their lives. Jesus Christ, himself was a victim of abandonment. Godly ethics of care demands we must stand by one another irrespective of the given situation. If those who were paid or not to look after these elderly ones in those Spanish homes chose to run away, where then is their heart of compassion?
Everyone is fleeing to save their lives. Jesus Christ did not. If only we can be like Jesus. He chose to stay and bore upon Him all our sins, pains, anxiety, troubles and dilemmas. Please, do not abandon your most vulnerable ones. It is a sin that God will not forgive. You can get away with it for a while, but it will always catch because God is watching. It is written, the Lord will visit the sins of the parents upon the children.