Help is what we need right now. In times like this, it is easy to focus so much on the problem that we get overwhelmed with the size and complexity of it. We tend to forget that our God is more than able to help and guide us through these troubling times. The psalmist was facing great difficulty, but he knew where help would ultimately be found. Of course we should listen to the government and health officials and take note of best practices to ensure the safety of all. But ultimately, we need to lean on the God who is faithful and able to provide a help that goes beyond what the government and health agencies can do.  

James encourages those facing trials of various kinds to petition God for wisdom, i.e., the skill to negotiate the complexities of life so that all may flourish. In times like these, we are reminded that we are dependent beings who need  God and his grace to flourish. We have no need to panic, we can exercise our trust in God’s faithfulness, seek God’s wisdom and peace so that we can go out into the world and show God’s love.  We have a duty of care as social leaders. Let us pray for each other! Let us encourage one another that the worst is not upon us yet and through wise and diligent practice, we can curb the spread of this virus. Let us connect with people through phone calls, emails and digital communication.  

Will there be things we do not understand? Of course. Will there be moments of frustration and anxiety? Of course. However, we should direct our thinking with our faith. In a century of pandemic and death, Martin Luther gave guidelines for faith and practice in the midst of a horrific contagion of bubonic plague way back in the 1500s: 

“I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance inflict and pollute others and so cause their death as a result of my negligence …. If my neighbour needs me however I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely as stated above. See this is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God”. 

Think on these things and lean into your Father in heaven. He hears you, He cares for you and He loves you. 

Verses to reflect on:  

Psalm 121:1-2, “I lift up my eyes to the hills— from where will my help come? 2 My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” 

James 1:5, “If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you.”

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