In the midst of all the pandemonium caused by the now malignant Covid19 pandemic, and as we slow down, perhaps we may pause to reflect on our lives even as we watch to see how things pan out.
Let me share with you one of mine that is pointedly expressed by this excerpt from Bible In One Year (BIOY 16/4 2020) authored by Nicky Gumbel (Vicar of Holy Trinity Brompton) and his lovely wife, Pippa. It reads:
“If you love somebody, what you long for more than anything else is that person’s presence with you. Photos are a comfort. Telephone calls, emails, and texts are nice. Letters are good. Skype, Zoom, and FaceTime are great ways to communicate. Yet nothing can compare to actually spending time with them in person.”
Many have had to endure the unbearably painful experience of saying their final goodbyes to their loved ones via these media because of the risk of transmission of the coronavirus. The untold emotional turmoil they must be going through right now is unimaginable. Where is God in all these we may ask? The very simple answer to this is a rhetorical question, “where is God in our lives? Is He on the periphery or in the center of our lives? For those who have Him in the center of their lives, you may recall this verse in Isaiah 26:3 NKJV,
“You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You Because he trusts in You.”
Also speaking in the same vein is this reassuring popular hymn by Priscilla J. Owens 1882 which reads:
“We have an anchor that keeps the soul Steadfast and sure while the billows roll, Fastened to the Rock which cannot move, Grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love.”
These I believe are reassuring words that may provide comfort for those that are bereaved at this difficult time. The name of the Lord is for us a mighty tower as we run to it we are safe (Proverbs 18:10 paraphrased). So we rest, assured that The Lord is sovereign and He is in control keeping in mind
Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
For those who may realise they’ve inadvertently left God on the periphery of their lives, perhaps now is a good time to usher him in. This is not to mean that the suffering you’re going through right now is a result of your lack of relationship
with God but it provides a very good opportunity to straighten out your relationship with Him. We are created to be in relationship with Him. Start with a good daily devotional. There are many available online but the one I’ve found very useful is BIOY mentioned above. If you haven’t a place of worship, well this is the best time to join one right from the comfort of your home.
Now, how easy is that?! And if you had one before and haven’t been in a while, please rejoin fellowship online. May the good Lord bless you as you do and I have no doubt in my mind that as you do His peace that surpasses all understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus, Amen.
Now let’s go through our well-rehearsed Covid19 routine once again seeing we have another two weeks or so to go in lockdown mode. Tired are we? Sorry, me too but it’s all going to be worth it in the end. There are in fact encouraging reports across the UK that the rate of infection may be slowing so all we need now is a sustained reduction and we hopefully will be racing towards the end of this rather dark tunnel. Practical advice on prevention.
Practical advice on prevention of COVID-19 infection
1. Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitiser gel if soap is not available.
2. Avoid touching your face.
3. Always wash your hands when you get home or into work
4. If driving, wipe the door handles and steering wheel with a sanitising gel before and after driving.
5. For those working with patients, take your shoes off at the door before entering your house on returning from work and take off your clothes on entering. Wash them and take a shower. Leave your shoes preferably in a box in the hallway to prevent cross-contamination.
6. When you go shopping leave all your shopping in the bag on the floor and wipe all packaging if possible with a sanitiser. Wash all fresh produce with water before refrigeration. If possible take off the outer packaging of foods and re-bag them in sealable bags.
7. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze.
8. Put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterward.
9. Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
10. Avoid handshakes.
11. Maintain a safe distance from others when out and about (at least 2 meters).
12. Avoid large social gatherings – these are temporarily banned under the lockdown and social distancing rule anyway.
13. Stay at home unless you are going out to shop for food or you are an essential service worker or you have an emergency like visiting your doctor or going to the hospital.
14. All elderly people 70 years and above and those with chronic medical conditions are well-advised to stay at home and avoid social contacts as much as possible (referred to as shielding)
15. The use of face masks in public has been controversial. While some countries strongly advise it and many now do, others like the UK are keeping the situation under review, citing the lack of scientific proof of its effectiveness. If you feel safer wearing one please do but remember surgical masks if worn are disposable and should be discarded after a single-use. If you wish to make your own face mask, you can find guidance by watching this short video using this link: https://twitter.com/Surgeon_General/status/1246428235883298816
16. Lastly if you experience symptoms please seek medical advice early.
Above all, clap for our frontline heroes if you may but please stay at home.