This morning I woke up feeling the trickle of hot tears streaming down my face after having a nightmare of a loved one passing away this coronavirus season. I took my Bible and made my way to the living room asking God to speak to me. “Why did You give me this dream? What does it mean? Why this person? Why now?” I had so many questions…
The passage I read in my devotional today was based on Psalm 38:10-11: “My heart races, my strength leaves me… My loved ones and friends stand back from my affliction.”
What can we do when frustration and challenges in life threaten to steal our joy? How should we handle calamities in light of God’s Word?
First of all, we need to know this: No Christian is exempted from tragedy or problems in life. Just like those in the world, we are also subjected to accidents, sickness and death. I remember that one of the first coronavirus victims was a Christian doctor from China (the one known as a whistleblower who alerted the Chinese authorities about the virus). We live in a fallen world. As human beings, these things that afflict the rest of the world can also afflict us. Yes, Christians die from accidents, from sudden tragedies and sicknesses. But as Christians, here is our hope in Jesus: we do NOT have to fear physical death. Because the Bible says clearly that when we are in Christ and when we allow Him to be Lord over our lives, we can face death boldly. Because when our life on earth is over, we are with Jesus forever. For ALL of eternity!! This is a promise assured to us as believers in Christ.
The second important thing is this, that as Christians we can turn whatever happens to us: justice or injustice, pain or pleasure, compliment or criticism, life or death into singing! Have you heard of the lyre pine? It is said that the top of the tree is shaped like a harp. It is said that when calamities like a lighting flash or storm strike the tree, it puts out a series of tops that are more or less horizontal and resemble a harp. As believers in Christ, we can turn every suffering, every pain, every heartache into singing. Why? Because we know that Jesus holds the keys to death. Because we know that God determines how long we must live and when we must go. Because we know that we must all leave this earth at some point in life.
So, we do NOT fear. We embrace calamities. We embrace sicknesses. We embrace death of loved ones. Even when it breaks our hearts. For we are assured of this blessed hope that God is with us THROUGH the times of trials and tribulations. Psalm 23:4 says,
“Even though I walk through the (sunless) valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil for You are with me; Your rod (to protect) and Your staff (to guide) they comfort and console me.”
Death should not intimidate us if we have given our lives to Jesus. If you are crippled by fear of dying or seeing your loved ones die, I pray you will take hold of Jesus, like I am doing today.
Ask Jesus to fill you with His Spirit of peace, joy, comfort and wisdom. Spend more time with God this season. Fill your hearts and minds by meditating on the truths given in the Bible. The more you fill up on God’s Word this season, the more you will be able to stay strong during this time of calamity. Know who you are in Christ. Known the hope of your calling. Know that God has power over everything. Know that nothing can touch you or your loved ones unless God allows it. Know that even if He allows it, He will walk with you through these difficult, dark days and will give you the strength, grace and wisdom to rise above the ashes. Teach your children to embrace faith and not give in to fear. Offer a listening ear to them as they too battle fear and loneliness during this very uncertain season. Let them see your faith in action. Let them not be paralyzed by fear. This is your time and opportunity to raise bold warriors!
Heavenly Father, I see that although sickness, calamities and death are inevitable as long as I live on this earth, I can draw strength from You and Your Word that none of these have power over my life and over the lives of my loved ones. Help me to stay close to You during this uncertain season, to draw strength from Your Word and to refresh and bring comfort into the lives of those I touch. Quieten my heart this season and give me wisdom to make the best use of the time I have now to draw closer to You. In Jesus’ Name, amen.