FINDING ENCOURAGEMENT IN THE FACE OF COVID-19
Chris Amulo (National Director, Navigators Kenya) asked me to share a word of Encouragement with you, fellow Kenya Navigator Family, in these Covid days. I am writing this from my home in Colorado Springs, where I have been holed up since mid-March?.Covid -19 is everywhere! It is in our minds, in our conversations, a constant in the media. What did I touch? Have I washed my hands?…and on and on. I am sorry this virus has now spread to many counties in Kenya and it is in many residential places in Nairobi. A staggering 40,000+ have lost their lives here in the US as I write.
I would like to share two main things:
1. Lets Come As We Are
Who doesn’t have a burden these days? A care, a worry, a fear? Is Covid -19 going to continue spreading in Kenya?? Or you are on the frontline –what if I get infected with this terrible virus? Or with the economic losses – might I lose my job at this rate? Might my business go under? Maybe you are on Nav Staff – how will the economic losses affect my donors’ giving? How will I cope if I end up (very) below budget? How will I do ministry all by technology? (Let’s update on news, but not every minute! That will sink us!). But let us not suppress any of our worries and concerns. The Psalmists are very real with God, very personal. They teach us to come just as we are and tell God what’s going on with us.
Ps 62:8. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.”
Just Pour it! And Trust!
A few weeks back, before I went to sleep, I was telling the Lord something I was finding difficulty with. It wasn’t directly to do with Covid. I don’t read the Verse for the Day on my Bible App. Nothing wrong with reading it, but I don’t. The next morning, for some reason, the very first thing I saw was the Verse for the Day! Ps 94:19. “When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.”
I was amazed! Like, Lord, you come to me exactly where I am! He knew ALL the cares in my heart! Even the Covid anxieties and fears?!
Let’s not suppress our cares, fears and burdens. Let’s not toughen up!
Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Pet 5:7. We cast and keep casting. Why? Because He cares for us! He knows, cares and anxieties are not good for our health!
Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you.Ps. 55:22a.
Come to Him as you are, not as you think you ought to be.
2. Let’s Come As His Beloved
Song of Songs 2:3b-4. I delight to sit in his shade …He has taken me to the banquet hall, and his banner over me is love.
The beloved finds delight to sit in the shade of the one who loves her. No hurry. Covid has given many opportunity to not rush to beat traffic! Nobody is calling out, “Darling, let’s go. We are going to be late!” We have time to tarry with the Lover of our souls. Where does He want to take you? What does He want to reveal to you about Himself? How long do you take to worship? Maybe take a Psalm or another passage of Scripture and meditate on what it says about God. Write it down. Then talk it back to the Lord in praise and thanksgiving. Maybe do it once a week with the whole family. Or what has The Holy Spirit been flagging to you, and you have been too busy to give it much thought? Maybe something in your relationship with God or an attitude or mindset. Let the Lover of your soul take you to the banquet hall. Feed on Him from His Word. Come with your thirst and drink deep! He is waiting for us! Is 12:2-6; Is 55:1-3; Jn 7:37-39.
And if you are on the Frontline or Essential Services, and very stretched, please find some creative way to come and drink. Maybe worship with music on your way to work or sing your own songs to Him as you meditate on Scripture on audio.
What kind of banner of love is this? Look at the Cross! That’s the kind of love! He took all our stuff! Our sins, diseases, carried our sorrows. “His appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind” that many were appalled at him! The Father crushed His Son, made “his life a guilt offering”(Is 52:14, 53:10). Turned His back. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34c).
Oh, my brothers and sisters, should you feel a little low in these challenging days -you are used to accomplishing this and that. You set goals and you meet them. Now what? Should you wonder regarding your value/self worth? What will happen to my business? My job? Look at the Cross! That’s how much you are worth!
He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Rom 8:32.
How? The Holy Spirit is asking us – How?
We have a blank cheque. Signed in the Name of Jesus. He is now seated at The Father’s right hand. All authority has been given to Him! Let’s by His grace face whatever lies ahead in the authority and victory of His Name! Fixing our eyes on Jesus. And let’s pray for one another.
His Name be praised!