In the midst of the crisis, what lessons can we learn? None (or at least very few) of us are immune to the risk of infection, of course and, for Christians, perhaps the most basic need is to learn trust in God. But I would venture to go further. In this time of enforced isolation, which could easily have one climbing the walls with frustration and loneliness, perhaps there is also opportunity to draw closer to God, free from distraction.
I say this conscious of my own desire to go out and meet up with friends. Sadly, I am very prone to distraction even at the best of times. Which this isn’t. But there is real opportunity here to close one’s eyes to the traumas of the world, and focus instead on Christ, seeking to know him better. To hear his voice. And as one does that, the realities of existence, of which we are so often unaware, come more sharply into focus. To win God is to win all.
So there is blessing here. In this time of self-isolation there is a real chance to get to know God and ourselves much better. To discover strengths and gifts we perhaps didn’t know we had – to try out ‘projects’ that we’ve always wondered about, but for which up to now we haven’t had the time.
We are in the eye of a storm at the moment and there can be a real temptation to despair – to shout, ‘I can’t cope. I can’t bear this separation from loved ones.’ And especially is this true for those witnessing from afar the agonies of a loved fighting for their lives on a ventilator – knowing they can’t be with in their precious last moments. In that situation, hard as it seems, we really do have to trust God. But the underlying truth in all of this is that this current crisis will pass. There is hope. There will be light.
In suffering we are called to endure. Hard as it may seem, that is where the gold is tempered and refined. So let us encourage one another and endure, confident that at the last the Lord will bring forth something infinitely precious – in our own lives, and for humanity as a whole.
Be encouraged, and be strong – in trust that at the last we will see the glory of the Lord.