A few weeks ago many of us would have had hopes that the threat of COVID-19 was almost over. Maybe you thought, “The infection rate in HK is low. Things appear to be under control. The precautions will soon be lifted.” How circumstances have quickly changed. The virus now casts its shadow everywhere, pushing through borders, mocking the power of governments, elbowing its way into every corner of life. It has become very personal.
I’ve been bingeing on commentary from people who seem smart and whose data looks concerning. But then a numb resignation sets it: “How can anyone predict what will happen?” I’ll confess to feeling ample doses of uncertainty and frustration, and some anxiety.
How are you dealing with it? Maybe you’ve felt the pressure closing in on you more acutely. There’s been more than frustration. There’s been occasions of anger or panic. There’s even been a meltdown: the confrontation with the colleague; the argument with your spouse; the tearful exasperation with your kid (what is it, seven weeks of home-school?). Perseverance only takes you so far. You’re exhausted by the uncertainty, the precautions, the isolation, the concerns for your loved ones.
One thing, amongst many, that the virus has done is that it strips us of the illusion of control. Therefore, can I say with David, “The LORD is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1-2).
After her own meltdown, a friend’s wife shared this profound insight, “The virus is called a coronavirus because of the crown-like spikes on the surface of the cell. It’s wearing a crown. This virus is a wannabe king. It has the power to make people fear it, to have it rule over their lives. But we Christians have a far greater King. The only true God, who reigns over all the earth. Over every country, every person, every cell. I know these moments of emotion will come. I will cry again when I am overwhelmed. I will read the news headlines and feel my pulse rising. I will wake in the night and the fears will creep in. But I can take these feelings to the Lord who is King of all. This virus will not rule me, because I am ruled by my gracious saviour King who is with me through this and every storm this life may bring.”
So like David, we remind ourselves, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart, and wait for the Lord” (Psalm 27:14).