One of the things I pray for regularly is that this Covid-19 might make people sit up and notice that their destiny, the nation’s destiny nor the world’s destiny lies in their hands but lies in God’s hands. That doesn’t mean governments or scientists and other medical researchers shouldn’t be busy trying to develop a vaccine to assist in eradicating the Covid-19 virus and any of its mutations. That is also part of God’s design and we can generally be thankful that God has gifted us with such dedicated, committed people.
Yet, how do we as Christians reach out to people who are struggling with this Covid-19 and its implications? Catching the virus and dealing with the illness is bad enough, but there are other implications. Isolation has been a problem for many of the elderly, the widows and widowers, and others who are single. Some people are living in fear! Some families are stressed for their children are home 24/7; they need to do their schooling remotely. Teachers are stressed for they are concerned about their students for they want them to do well. Unemployment and standing at Centre link is no joy either! Separation from loved ones is really stressful, especially for those in nursing homes and other care facilities.
So how can we be Christ-like as we deal with those struggling with Covid-19? In Phil 4:5, Paul makes the comment in his final exhortations, “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” I suggest showing our gentleness, would not only be a great way in dealing with people stressed about the Covid-19, it is also being Christ-like and showing the fruit of the Holy Spirit. So, perhaps a good way to start as a Christian is by asking a few basic questions such as, “How can my gentleness be evident to my neighbour today as they deal with this virus and its implications? How can I encourage my unbelieving neighbour with the same kind of love Christ has shown to me? How can I show my gentleness to all, reflecting the work of the Holy Spirit within me? How can I show kindness and other Christian virtues?
When gentleness, kindness and being Christ-like are at the forefront of our thinking, we wouldn’t minimise the impact this Covid-19 is having on people. We wouldn’t say this is God’s judgement on an evil society, for although it may be true, it is such a poor way to start a loving, gentle discussion with an unbelieving neighbour. We wouldn’t start the ‘blame’ game of who was initially responsible for the spread of the virus, for that would just cause more suspicion and anger in people’s hearts.
Instead, by being gentle, loving and showing kindness to people, we have every ‘chance’ that the Lord may open doors to so that our unbelieving friends can see that the Lord is near. JZ.