COVID-19 has plunged the world into unprecedented chaos and affected each and every one of us profoundly. No one is spared the grief and disappointment wrought by this potent pathogen.
In difficult times like these, it’s so easy to wallow in despair and surrender to circumstances. After all, everything we’ve prided ourselves on and found comfort and security in have been stripped away.
It seems we can only watch as an invisible enemy takes away so much of what makes us human – health, relationships, financial security and social freedom.
With no way of stopping this downward spiral, many of us have never felt so helpless.
There’s really nothing on earth we can stake our hope on.
And so, in the senselessness of it all, might we not find ourselves echoing the lament of the wisest king in ancient Israel’s history, King Solomon?
“‘Meaningless! Meaningless!’ says the Teacher. ‘Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless!’ What do people gain from all their labours at which they toil under the sun?” (Ecclesiastes 1:2-3)
All our lives we have worked hard for our careers, families and assets. But in a matter of months, the global pandemic has threatened these gains. And no matter how much we try, we cannot completely protect our families from it.
As we see our treasures crumble before us, we cannot help but cry “meaningless” in utter helplessness.
If even the wisest king was disappointed by this life, how much more we ordinary folk? If our earthly belongings are so easily stripped away, then there’s really nothing on earth we can stake our hope on.
Indeed, the song “My Hope is Built on Nothing Less” rings so true in this time of despair.
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name
On Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand
Even the sweetest, most enchanting form of refuge cannot be trusted – only the name of the spotless lamb of God whose blood has bought our righteousness.
This means that Jesus has secured us a certain hope by dying for our sins. When we believe and trust in Him, we have a firm foundation, one that will never fail us.
Christ alone is our solid rock, and all others are but sinking sand; the ground of our possessions gives way when calamity strikes.
The words of Psalm 62 are a blessing in our present time of mess and melancholy.
“Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.” (Psalm 62:1-2)
Knowing that many enemies were hot on his heels as he wrote the psalm, David still professed to find peace and rest with God who is his “rock” and “salvation” on which he would “never be shaken”.
Such assurance is amazing even in his life-threatening situation! David’s trust was not shaken because it was not found in earthly things, but in the salvation that “comes from God”.
David had a shift in perspective. We, too, must lift our gaze to God who is our undying hope.
The bleak prospects of this unrelenting plague might make us impatient to return to life as it was.
We may find ourselves tempted to doubt and lose hope. We may start to question His goodness, wonder about His mercy and even assume He is absent in our suffering.
But David’s psalm reminds us that we are “but a breath”. We should not to set our heart on riches (Psalm 62:9-10), the earthly possessions we so easily put our hope and trust in.
David turns us back to God, the giver of hope, the one we are to trust in at all times, the one we are to pour our hearts to – our refuge (Psalm 62:8).
Amidst these turbulent times, may we come to recognise God as our rock and our salvation.
May we not panic over pandemics, but hold on to Christ as an anchor of hope. While we keep our distance, wash our hands and monitor our health, let’s remember that true salvation comes only from Jesus Christ.
He is the only one who holds when all things fail.
- Have you been quicker to panic or pray in the face of COVID-19?
- What is one way you can respond in faith the next time you are tempted to fear?
- Think of someone who might be affected by the COVID-19 situation. How can you encourage him or her this week?
Here are some prayer pointers for you to pray over Singapore as well!