A few days ago, I called an elderly gentleman who attends my local church to check on him and how he was coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. I was amazed at how relaxed and upbeat he sounded on the phone.
In the course of our telephone conversation, he recounted the numerous global upheavals and personal challenges he had experienced in his lifetime, including the Second World War, the 1939 earthquake in Ghana, his childhood education, adult working life and migration to the United Kingdom.
The striking theme in his narrative was God as his sole source of strength and guidance in overcoming all life’s challenges. Much as he was cautious and receptive to directives and general health advice, it was obvious that he was not perturbed.
His confidence was in the fact that the same God who saw him through his previous life challenges is alive and will see him through the reign of COVID-19.
This reminds me of Ellen White’s famous quotation in Life Sketches, page 196, “We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us and His teaching in our past history.”
It is definite that our world is in a turmoil, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The mood of most is gloom and fear. Stock markets are collapsing. Businesses are folding up every day. People are losing jobs.
Communities have been placed in lockdown, thereby separating families and friends. The natural human yearning of physical social interactions are fast disappearing and rather being replaced with haphephobia, that is, the fear of touching or being touched.
International and local governance systems, clinicians and business strategists appear to have exhausted ideas on how to arrest the situation. The afflictions and confusions have resulted in mental anguish with many people questioning, how long is this going to last? Will there ever be an end? How will the end look like? Will the world ever be the same?
There are both scriptural and scientific evidence that confirms the benefit of relying on lessons from previous experiences to overcome present fears. The Bible contains multiple admonitions to always remember the Lord’s past accomplishments in our lives.
Moses in his last sermon to the children of Israel advised them to always remember the Lord’s past blessings as a safeguard to preserving their lives (Deuteronomy 32: 45 -47). Joshua gave similar admonitions, when he took over the leadership mantle after the death of Moses (Joshua 1: 8-9).
The Psalms affirms the source of comfort in times of trouble to be, reflections on the Lord’s past accomplishments. Hebrew 13:6 also testifies that recognising the Lord as your helper drives away fears.
Similarly, psychologists believe that our past experiences contribute to our perceptions on the outcome of related present and future events. The theory suggests that as we go through regular life activities, our past exposures are stored in our minds in formats relating to the human senses of sight, taste, smell, touch and hearing. And it is this information that is recalled whenever we face a similar incident, to guide us in modelling the outcome of the present event to reflect the pattern of the previous occurrence.
It is, therefore, important that whenever we face challenging situations, such as, the ongoing COVID -19 pandemic, we pause and reflect on the lessons from previous similar experiences, especially how we overcame.
The Bible contains multiple assurances about God’s ability to protect His children from COVID-19, and also heal those who become infected. Third John 2 testifies that it is the desire of God that His children prosper and be in good health.
Exodus 15:26 affirms God as our healer, and that obeying His commandments relieves us from experiencing the diseases which befell the Egyptians.
James 5: 14 -16 encourages the sick in the church to approach the elders for prayers of faith for their healing.
The Bible also contain multiple assurances of the blessed hope of a second resurrection for those who even lose their lives to the pandemic.
Friend, are you worried about COVID- 19 and its impact on your finances, health and social relationships? Are you already experiencing the dreaded repercussions of being infected, or losing a loved one?
The political systems and world leading clinicians are trying their best to address the issue but there are still a lot of unknowns which makes it difficult for them to provide convincing assurance. The Biblical records and our own personal experiences of God’s past deliverance from challenging situations, however, provide strong reliance of comfort and assurance in these times.
Trusting God is still on His throne, we can all join Ellen White in proclaiming “We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history”.
The writer is a senior consultant at a London based construction practice and an Elder, London Ghana SDA Church.
E-mail: [email protected]
Source: Daily Graphic
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