CHM Update 03-06-20

One thing is sure, that COVID-19 virus has a lot to answer for. It’s turned our lives upside down since it sneaked in.

The list of the devastation it’s left in its wake is almost endless affecting every aspect of our lives be it social, economic, educational and emotional.

From cancelled weddings (including a royal one), to cancelled holidays, cancelled exams, cancelled sporting events including the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Euro 2020 football tournament, Wimbledon grand slam tournament and oh yes our beloved premiership football (I know, don’t remind me Liverpool FC are still waiting to pick up their well-deserved league title). At least now you know where my football allegiance lies.

Pardon my informal jocular digression from a rather serious matter. Let’s refocus now on the emotional impact of the virus in tearing families and friends apart.

Mental health problems that were previously well controlled have resurfaced as the lockdown and loss of jobs have negatively impacted the vulnerable among us.

Those furloughed are wary of losing their jobs as there is no guarantee they’ll be returning to their jobs when we eventually emerge from lockdown. For them, the uncertainty is mentally devastating and crippling.

The full picture of the economic impact has not yet hit us but if the recent statement made by our suave Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak is anything to go by then we are in for a very rough ride when this pandemic is over.

He said and I quote, ‘We are likely to face a severe recession the likes of which we have never seen.’ As the cliche goes, ‘Be afraid, be very afraid.’

Now let’s turn our attention to the human impact. The loss of human lives I’m sure you’ll agree is the most devastating and the one that will have the most long term impact on families.

When the main income earner in a family is lost, then adjusting to life without them takes a long time to kick in. This excruciatingly painful experience will sadly, be the case for many affected families up and down our nation.

Personally I have lost at least four people close to my family to COVID-19. How does one begin to pick up the pieces after such a loss? God only knows and only His peace and strength can see one through.

To make matters worse, our loved ones are buried in haste and without the usual befitting send-off they deserve all in an effort to observe social distancing and discourage transmission of the infection. I believe the question on everyone’s mind at this juncture is where do we go from here?

The word of God is always a good recourse in situations like these.

Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”

When faced with overwhelming circumstances and when perturbed by prevailing hardship, seeking God’s counsel is always a source of encouragement (remember He is omniscient and omnipotent).

Because He knows all and can do all, when our understanding fails us, God is always there to direct our paths if we turn to Him. When disaster strikes and our very existence is threatened, it becomes very difficult to make sense of anything going on around us. In those situations, we may despair of life itself but the good book reassures us in Romans 8:37-39 NKJV,

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

I firmly believe God will use this tragedy to bless us and although the enemy means it for evil, The Lord will turn it into good. And I am persuaded too that the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7 paraphrased). Don’t forget He is in the storm with us and He will see us safely to the shore of peace.

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