Parking by the seafront, I debated having a stroll on the prom. Then the storm broke. Instantly rivulets of rain ruined my visibility- resting my camera on the steering wheel, I trusted the automatic setting and grabbed a couple of shots.
Distorted objects, obscured details, badly mis-shapen yet just recognisable.
We’ve seen a lot of this weather recently. Alongside the meteorological events, there have been other storms. Politics has been “interesting” in a combative sort of way. Economic policies have been in a spin. Climate controversies. Now the unexpected threat of a new virus, officially now a pandemic. Vulnerable people are at risk- and everybody seems to have a point of view ranging from ludicrous through scary with a few sensible voices speaking common sense. This storm is distorting the way we see the world. How can we weather the storm?
As a Christian, I can speak with hope. Jesus has a track record of stilling storms and of revealing Truth! Jesus IS the expression of God-with-us, and He will not abandon us.
I could get angry and say these troubles are a judgement from God on
all the people I disagree with those who have offended God and it serves them right. But I won’t.
As and when God allows judgement to fall, it will be an act of absolute justice- and the prelude to the New Creation. It is too easy, too convenient, to take any current event and make it fit our circumstances. I believe the New Testament view is that God is seeking to “reconcile all things to Himself” through Christ (Colossians 1 v19-20) and that a long period of time is moving toward a climax. There will be an End, and a Beginning.
The term the “Last Days” describes the period of history between the Birth of Jesus and the Triumphant Return of Christ.
All through these Last Days, there will be acts of mercy- and great troubles. Before “modern” Humanity became too self-important and hard-hearted, people often made a connection between disasters/plagues: and thought that God warns us by allowing crisis and the threat of death. (Theologians talk of the “permissive” Will of God.)
Now we tend to believe ourselves above such “superstitious” or primitive thinking.
We may well be wrong…
BUT- what do we do now to weather the storms? Kindness. Generosity of spirit and deed. A willingness to give ourselves for others, and to become the hands of Christ in the present woes. To serve, to love, and to hold up the Light.
We also encourage common sense, sharing the advice from the NHS and World Health Organisation: good hygiene, careful & thorough hand-washing, self-isolation if we are symptomatic… getting expert help via the NHS 111 helpline and the tests that can be done. Setting a positive example- like not being sucked into the frenzy of panic buying and stockpiling– and serving our community as need arises.
Above all we remember that whatever happens around us, we are surrounded and supported by Eternal Love. Almighty God is indeed Sovereign, and the covid-19 coronavirus has not been a complete surprise to the Trinity!
Do not fear– a frequent statement in the Bible! Focus instead on these verses-
John 14 v27: “I am leaving you with a gift— peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid…”
Romans 8 v38-39 “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow— not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below— indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”