By Julia Gervais
We’ve got to get this country moving again. This pandemic has really set us back. The government cannot maintain this furlough scheme indefinitely. The airline industry has suffered a crash landing, the performing arts sector has seen much better days. The Retail industry has taken a battering. The Department of Education has not been able to weather the Covid-19 storm. The food service industry has suffered a seemingly irrecoverable drought. No facet of life has been spared. The Bank of England’s governor Andrew Bailey has warned of the sharpest recession on record.
In order to stem the tide, we need to get back to work; but our minds are not at ease. “Is my workplace COVID-19 secure? I need to see the risk assessment before I return. There are vulnerable people in my home. I have a long journey and I use public transportation- my exposure is great.” These are all absolutely valid concerns, and for many of us the anxiety is a raging storm.
Have I become so comfortable working from home? No travel stress, no need to be concerned about work wear; I have even managed to deliver lessons in my onesie! It’s rather convenient that I can quickly pop out to run an errand in the middle of the day, without it affecting my work. Frankly my employers are getting far more work out of me, I rarely take my lunch break. I could do without going back out to work. I must admit that I’m very comfortable working from home. At this point I can hardly imagine attending church outside of my home and wearing anything but pyjamas.
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you; and I will make you a great nation…and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed… ”Now Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran (Genesis 12: 1-4).
Abram was comfortable in Haran, having lived there for 75 years. He had amassed great wealth-thousands of cattle, sheep, goats and many servants. Can you imagine moving house in those days? A nightmare at best! Abram had no plans to move, he had never ventured out of Haran. Yet God told him to pack up.
“Relocate, what? I’ve lived here all my life. My family and friends are here. I feel safe. Relocate, why? I’ve got so much stuff. Everything I’ll ever need is right here. Relocate, where to? Will there be space for us and enough water for the animals? Relocate, how? How on earth will we travel?” Talk about overweight! Abram asked none of those questions. His only concern was who asked him to move. Abram had developed full confidence in the One who had never forsaken him. Even amid the great upheaval, Abram’s faith in his God gave the assurance that all would be well.
Though the Holy Bible gives us no reason to believe Abram’s life was at risk, there are similarities between his situation back then and ours today. Many Uncertainties, no guarantees. The same God who took Abram out of his comfort zone and into the unknown, is available to us today. God is the same pre-lockdown, during lockdown and post-lockdown. Talk to Him about your concerns.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. (Philippians 4:6-7)
He has preserved us thus far through the COVID-19 ordeal and each of us has our own experience to share. It needs to be delivered face to face, video conferencing lacks the human touch. God has a job for each of us, and this time it’s easy. Throughout the lockdown, God kept us going while the coronavirus ravaged our homes, communities, country and the entire world.
We all have our own story. Nothing beats a personal testimony.
As we prepare to head back out to work, take the necessary precautions and follow the guidelines. Don’t only ask if the workplace is COVID-19 secure. Of greater significance is the question – am I GOD-secure? It is He who preserves.
You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You (Isaiah 26:3)
Dear God, thank you for all the experiences that remind me to depend on you. Help me to stop looking around and filling my mind with fear. Teach me to look to you and experience peace. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Our song of the week comes from Croydon SDA Gospel Choir and is entitled “It was God.”