“For His mercy endures forever.” Psalm 136:1
“Are you under lockdown?” Yes. “Are you practicing social distancing?” Of course. “Are you wearing a mask in public?” (Irritated) Yes. “Are you sanitizing?” Are you joking? I certainly am.
Since mid-March, we have been bombarded with news of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some news was accurate, other news was not. Every single day, we hear about how the virus is propagated from animals to people only to have the news negated the next day. Then, we hear about medications that might work, only to discover that they are useless the next day. To wear a mask, or not to wear a mask? To wear gloves or not to wear gloves? A whirlwind of information accepted and refuted just a few hours later. One man, the WHO Director-General announced a pandemic; the whole world took him at his word. Why? Because he has the authority. The amazing thing is that we believed and acted according to what we heard. We do not know the guy; we have never met him and probably never will. But the whole world believed him. One third of the global population is on coronavirus lockdown. Almost everyone stayed home and practiced social distancing. People wore masks, gloves, disinfected their grocery bags and stocked up on toilet paper. The common theme here is fear. Fear infected many hearts, even Christians. The virus is 70–90 nanometers (to help put this into perspective, a human hair is around 75,000 nanometers in diameter). How could this unseen, minute virus cause such fear? We read in Luke, “And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do” – Luke 12:14 Why is it then, that when we hear the Word of God, we trust and obey some stuff while we disregard or question the rest? The question that has been lingering on my mind all through April was, how come I put my trust in finite people with whom I have no relationship, do not know and have never seen yet fail to trust the One who gave His life for me when I was yet a sinner? I always wondered why the Psalmist kept repeating the same sentence, “For His mercy endures forever” in Psalm 136. It is repeated 26 times in 26 verses. The Psalm starts off praising God for who He is, then for what He created, and lastly, for what He has done for us. The Psalmist had to repeat the sentence because we as humans tend to forget God’s goodness and His miracles. He knows we forget the price He paid and the provision He has given and continues to give. We forget our history with Him. He has never left or forsaken us at any point in time. NEVER. Thomas was a skeptic who refused to believe without direct personal experience. Modern-day taught us critical thinking, which we apply many times to our spiritual walk: we declare stories in the Bible as mythical, we say that events in Revelation will not really happen the way they are written. Why do we believe finite beings and not believe the God with whom we have so much history? My father used to say; it doesn’t matter what is said, but who said it. It was the one man in a place of authority who called this virus a pandemic and the whole world responded. It was also one Man who called us His own, how are we going to respond? In trust, obedience and faith or with mistrust and disbelief? Will we trust and obey the words that I AM declared, the One who was, and is and is to come, the One who has omnipotent authority! Let us hold on in total obedience and faith to God’s Word. Our world needs to see believing, obedient Christians. Only then will we be able to change the world. Maranatha.
Lockdown Prayer Lord, just like the battle against COVID-19 is against an unseen enemy, I declare that in my walk with You “I do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 Lord, I pray that I would be under lockdown from sin even if it costs me financially, impacts my career opportunities, or if I am mocked or shunned by my friends. I pray that I would social distance from sin, not six feet but six hundred feet. I pray that I will “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” 1 Thessalonians 5:22 I put on my spiritual mask that filters out all temptation and sin. I pray that I may not get infected with the ways of the world or the mindset of the world. I will not be “conformed to this world: but will be transformed by the renewing of my mind.” Romans 12:2 I will disinfect myself daily with the Blood of Jesus. Cleanse me from any worldly dirt that clings to my feet, my eyes, my ears, or my mind. Wash me clean because “the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7 I will take up the shield of faith to extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one. In Jesus Name, Amen Wahid and Laila Wahba