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Alba Iulia
Friday, September 25, 2020

Don’t give up. Don’t give in. Awaken!

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If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.  2 Chronicles 7:14

COVID-19 has brought so much fear, uncertainty, economic upheaval to the world, turning our lives upside down, catching us unaware. Despite receiving so much newsfeed, its surprise attacks make us shudder.

Out of our sense of mercy and compassion, heroic acts abound. The acts of loving charity have eased the burden of many.

For some of us, creativity has opened doors to new ways of thinking, doing things and being motivated. Social media and the Internet have become connectivity platforms in an otherwise isolated and restrictive lifestyle. 

Others struggle with mental health issues with depression re-surfacing. High levels of anxiety pose a big challenge in communities. Families are under pressure and relationships are strained as the constant familiarity gets into one’s space. Those suffering from domestic violence, homelessness, poverty, and our seniors are more vulnerable. Death has come at the door of many unprepared souls. These paint a gloomy picture and many are tempted to give up hope or give in to despair.  

Meg Nyberg of Charles City teaches first grade at an American school in Quito, Ecuador has shared her thoughts of optimism:

“I hope that when this all passes, we appreciate how technology has allowed us to remain connected to loved ones, but we realize that it is no replacement for personal connection. I hope to see more people at restaurants without phones in front of them.

I hope we don’t forget the risks doctors and nurses have taken, the sacrifices they have made, and the crazy demand placed on those professions. I hope that we can show better appreciation for our teachers.  

I hope we recognize the critical role nature plays in our well-being and stop destroying mother nature. I hope to see more kids choosing to play outside over playing video games, and more people making time for walks outdoors.

I hope we remember the fear we felt about not having our basic needs met, and the desire to flee (despite laws and risks telling us not to), and stop persecuting refugees for making choices we would undoubtedly make as well.

I hope this pace of life allows us to slow down, find quiet, and find balance when we come out on the other side. May we all take from this time the importance of long conversations, meditation, time in the kitchen, the sound of birds outside, dancing to music, reading, writing, and making art (and enriching travels).

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I hope we carry with us the acts of kindness we have heard of and witnessed during this time. May we remember the resilience of the human spirit and try to emulate those who have been a light in dark times. I hope we remember that our actions really do matter. When this is all said and done, let’s cherish the beauty of “normal.” Stay hopeful, friends.”

In our prayer group, we have continued to meet via phone conference every Friday and we currently document our weekly spiritual gatherings in a journal/book, entitled “LEST WE FORGET” focusing on the Word of God  spoken at the night to remind us of our loving, sustaining, protecting, providing and faithful God.

Christians are not strangers to epidemics. How then do we respond to this crisis? We are reminded that very painful circumstances such as COVID-19 should drive us to pray and care more for our souls, remembering that this world is not our lasting home. A Wuhan pastor wrote that “we are also called to suffer with the world, and we have a responsibility to pray for those affected and are fearful, to bring them the peace of Christ.” 

At present, except for those called to serve actively, our only platform for helping is prayer and praying. I am sure many faith denominations are praying in their own ways. COVID-19 is a supernatural malady and needs persevering and united prayers. 

A clinical study is now underway considering the power of prayer to combat COVID-19. A researcher in Kansas City states: “No vaccine or effective treatment has yet been found for people suffering from COVID-19 and I am launching a scientific study to find out if prayer makes a difference.” It has to be a true supernatural intervention,” says Dr. Dhanunjaya Lakkireddy. 

He describes himself as “born into Hinduism”, but he says he attended a Catholic school and has spent time in synagogues, Buddhist monasteries, and mosques. “I believe in the power of all religions,” he says. “I think if we believe in the wonders of God and the universal good of any religion, then we’ve got to combine hands and join the forces of each of these faiths together for the single cause of saving humanity from this pandemic.” 

Some prophets and evangelists have called this time of our lives an awakening, or even a gateway to the end times – an opportunity for the Lord to transform us individually and globally, and shake us up from our spiritual slumber. 

We can either give up, or give in or awaken up to repentance and usher in a truly needed renewal. 

(For comments or feedback, email evamarie09@bigpond.com)

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