With Christ during COVID
By Samuel Lim, Elder
There is no doubt many of us are going through a challenging time. COVID-19 pandemic has affected all of us one way or another. Besides the COVID-19 impact, many of us are also faced with life’s challenging circumstances. There are marital issues, relational heartbreaks, financial stresses, health difficulties, etc. We may understand and have heard it preached that there will be testing and trials in our lives. Nevertheless, there are moments when we ask how am I going to be able to go through this? The time(s) of tribulations we face feels like a tsunami or a never-ending storm.
In Matthew 8:23-27, the disciples of Jesus faced an actual huge and terrifying storm while out at sea with Jesus. The disciples were filled with fear as the storm set upon them, but Jesus was asleep. Out of desperation, they woke him up, crying for their lives. Jesus awoke and asked a question that was actually thought-provoking and revealing. “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?”
It was thought-provoking because it asked for the reason of the fear. Why are you afraid or why are you troubled? It was revealing because it directed to the reason as well as solution of our fears. The disciples had little faith. Yet, this begets a further question. Was the problem the amount of faith the disciples had in the sense of the levels or amount of faith? Could it be if the disciples just had higher levels of or more faith then they would not fear? I believe Jesus was not talking about the amount of faith the disciples had, but rather their little faith was they simply did not believe in who Jesus was. They did not have faith that Jesus the Christ was with them and that was enough. The storm need not be calmed. With Jesus, they could go through the storm.
In the current situation of lockdown and/or whatever tribulations that we are facing, are we crying to God and saying, “Don’t you care?”? Are we feeling the situation is just hopeless? Or can we instead proclaim that we trust that God is with us, Christ is in us and we can go through this storm with Him? Even in this lockdown, we can still praise God for He is worthy of worship. We can still be a blessing to others for He has blessed us in big and small ways. We can still pray and look ahead in anticipation for He has given us great promises from His Word. We are in a lockdown but we are not locked-in. There is much that we can still do in Christ. Consider the following:
- In this lockdown, continue to seek to be a disciple. Continue to read and study God’s Word. Would you consider as well to seek out to be discipled by someone? Contact your life group leader or the elders and we will organize to get you discipled.
- If you are not in a life group consider joining one. Though we cannot meet physically, we do so over zoom. It is and can still be a blessing when we see other fellow brothers and sisters in Christ over zoom. Not only can you be encouraged but seek to be an encourager.
- Would you consider availing yourself to walk along with someone else in church in reading and/or studying God’s word together? Let us know and we will gladly pair you up with someone.
- Husbands and wives, consider how you can grow to know each other more. Have what is termed “sofa time” and spend time talking and even praying with one another. Do not just seek to stay in a marriage but flourish in it.
- For parents, consider not only how your kids are going to spend their time in lockdown but more so how you can disciple your kids. Get to know them and get them to know you.
- Let us continue to pray and ask God for opportunity to share the gospel and point others to Christ. Consider writing a note to your neighbour(s) or even colleagues letting them know, for example, that you are praying for them or simply you just wanted to find out how they are doing. Pray for our missionaries. Even consider writing to the missionaries we support. We can definitely get you the contacts.
- In prayer we are never locked-down nor locked-in. We can always still pray. You can also still pray together in your family. In our church community, we can do so via zoom too. Do join us this Sunday and every last Sunday of the month at 5pm for corporate prayer. It is a time when we come together to submit ourselves as a church to God first before we place our needs and concerns before him. This a time when we come together to support one another in prayer.
Finally, Jesus tells us in John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” Truly, without Christ we can do nothing. Let us be with Christ and always remember that Christ is with us. God may not calm the storm or take us out of the storms of life. However, we can rest assured and have faith that He will be with us through the storm. With that in mind and with Christ in us, we can sing along:
With Christ in the vessel
I can smile at the storm,
smile at the storm,
smile at the storm,
with Christ in the vessel
I can smile at the storm,
as we go sailing home.