By Jenniffer Mann
For the first time in decades, the population in London has declined. No longer viewed as the hip place to live, the pandemic has changed perception on what the capital city actually has to offer. We have also seen this pattern unfold around the world in cities like Paris, Madrid, Milan, Berlin, New York, San Francisco, Toronto, Vancouver, Sydney and Nairobi, to name a few.
Much of this was no doubt helped by the frenzied media coverage of London being an infested Coronavirus hive of activity but also there seems to a growing sense of unease amongst non-Christians looking for an alternative to what they know. According to Murad Qureshi AM, Chair of the Housing Committee, “A significant proportion of Londoners want to move home generally, as the pandemic has made a lot of people re-evaluate their living situation and what they see as a priority.”
In the previous article, we considered the significant changes already underfoot and those on the horizon how as Christians, this ought to be causing us to seek answers beyond what we see on the surface. Whilst the pandemic has plunged the world into deeper turmoil, the one thing we should not be doing is panicking!
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”Psalm 46:1-3
“And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.”Romans 13:11
In order to prepare for what lies ahead, we ought to be looking at adopting a lifestyle that is not dependent on the state. This level of self-sufficiency or better described as God sufficiency, can only be attained by ridding ourselves of debt and looking into ways of sustaining daily life. Taking measures like growing our own food, accessing natural supplies of water, and having off-grid energy/fuel sources, can bring a type of freedom that being restricted by societal expectations does not afford! If you feel suffocated and bound by your present situation, take heart! As the hymnist writes:
My Father is rich in houses and lands,
He holdeth the wealth of the world in His hands!
Of rubies and diamonds, of silver and gold,
His coffers are full, He has riches untold.
I’m a child of the King,
A child of the King:
With Jesus my Saviour,
I’m a child of the King.
We also have a beautiful reminder in Psalm 50, “For every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird in the mountains, and the insects in the fields are mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it.”Therefore, no matter your current situation, claim the provision that God has already set aside for you! To do this does not mean we are giving up on witnessing to those who need us in city areas, the two are not mutually exclusive! We do not need to wait until the eleventh hour to take action!
What we know for sure is that each calamity will be more difficult to recover from as we see the world draw to its inevitable conclusion. Know that your belief in bible prophecy makes you a ‘conspiracy theorist’ in the eyes of men but we read in Matthew 10:22, “You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.”
Standing firm means that the time is coming when conforming to the rest of society will not be an option. It will be a simple matter of choosing God’s way (the narrow gate), or opting for a seemingly easier life (the broad way). Matthew 7:13 says, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.”
There has to be a parting of ways, are you prepared for that day? To paraphrase the author, Ellen G White, ‘character does not suddenly take shape in the calamity, it happens before’.
Father help us to fully recognise the times in which we live and move us to take life saving action now! Amen