Written By Andrea Low, Malaysia
In this season of uncertainty and fear, the fact that there are so many things beyond our control makes me very anxious. After all, there are only so many times we can wash our hands, and only so many masks we can wear. . .
As I read the news daily and watched the case numbers climb, worry continually gnawed at me. But I knew I couldn’t let myself drown in my anxiety and fears, as it was starting to put me in a troubled and dismal state. So, I turned to God.
After I had prayed earnestly almost every night since the pandemic became a real concern, God opened my mind and heart to better understand what’s happening, and I was reminded of a few things:
1. Remember that God is in control
It is easy to let anxiety overwhelm us. After all, the virus is an invisible, uncontrollable enemy. But instead of indulging in our worries, let us focus on the assurance that God has everything under control. Let us look around ourselves and see just how much God is providing for us amid this season.
For me, I see God’s boundless provision in the sufficient amount of food that’s always on the table. I see God’s provision in my family home, where I do not need to worry about rent. I see God’s provision in that I have stable internet connection and electronic devices that allow me to connect with my university and attend online classes.
Knowing that God provides for me in such ways—even before I ask Him—goes to show that He cares so much for me. It tells me I need not be afraid and worry, for our Heavenly Father knows what we need (Matthew 6:32), and He will provide them for us (Matthew 6:33).
Even in the hardest times, if we have lost our job or a loved one, God sees us and hears us. He knows our pain. God knows what we need, and in His time, He will provide. He always does.
2. Entrust our questions to Him
As I read the news every day, the numbers scare me. They are constantly increasing. More and more people are dying. I often wonder when this is going to end. I am familiar with the saying, “It can only get worse before it gets better,” but how much worse must things get before we can finally see things getting better? When will this suffering end?
As we bombard God with all these questions, it is easy to feel frustrated when we don’t see the answers we’re looking for. But even then, we can place our faith in God—we know that His timing is perfect (Ecclesiastes 3:1), and even amidst this pandemic He is at work. We also know that God’s plans are for our own good (Romans 8:28), and therefore He will be with us every step of the journey, and will always watch over us and provide for us.
Even when we have burning questions about how long the pandemic will last—about the safety of our loved ones—we can put our trust in God. I try to bring my questions to Jesus instead of doubting His goodness and love. I search for answers in the Bible and pray. I surrender any doubts that I may have to Jesus, such as doubts that He will protect my loved ones from harm. And I ask Him to help me refocus on Him and His sovereignty. Even if I may not get immediate answers, I always end up feeling encouraged and renewed in my faith.
3. Know that you were born for such a time as this
After prayer and reflection, I realized that this pandemic is the perfect opportunity for us to work for the furtherance of God’s kingdom. When the Jews faced great dangers, Mordecai told Queen Esther, “And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14). Like Queen Esther, we too have a role to play—to have faith and use whatever opportunity or talent we have for God, because we have been born for such a time as this.
There are many things we all can do to reach out to others and to share His love to the world. As for me, I have always wanted to use my gift of writing to reach out and encourage people. I’ve put it off for a long time, but I finally sat myself down and wrote. And that’s how this article came about.
There’s always something every one of us can do. We can reach out to our relatives and friends and ask them how they’re doing. Just a few simple, sincere words can go a long way and touch hearts. We can use the talents God has blessed us with to share the gospel. We can encourage people with our words by writing thoughtful messages. We can donate to the needy if able. We can keep holding up everybody in prayer, because we’re all in this together. We aren’t helpless in this situation, and God values our efforts to further His kingdom, big or small.
Though we may be living in uncertain times right now, let’s not lose hope and faith. Let us turn our eyes and focus our hearts on Jesus, and He will walk with us as we weather this storm together. I am no longer filled with worry and fear, because “even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4). God is with us every step of the way.