We are living through something just now that is a new experience for many Brits. It has been a couple of generations for me since the government restricted movement of the general public.
I’ve never known a situation (other than light snowfall if you count those in my town) to cause panic buying of everyday staple items.
It is, quite frankly, a worrying time.
Reassurance or platitude?
How should we react in times like this? As readers of, and believers in, the Bible, we do have a sure and certain hope. It can be very reassuring to think that we know there are better times to come, we are certain that God’s plan for the world will come to fruition.
“And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”Philippians 4 v 7
However, this internal peace we have reigning in our hearts doesn’t translate very well. We are in danger of coming across as ‘we know best’. At worst, it can sound like we don’t think we need to react to world news because we know the end of the story.
I know this is not how the majority of my fellow believers feel, but it can certainly come across that way. What we need to try and do is let the peace of God guide our thoughts and intentions, guide the actions we put out into the world during times of crisis.
Love in Action
So, where is God in all this turmoil? Well, its quite simple really.
“And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased”Hebrews 13 v 16
God is in our helping of those who are more vulnerable. When we choose to help others, we show God to them in a very effective way. When we choose to not panic buy and only take what we need, we show God’s love to our fellow man.
“not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others”Philippians 2 v 4
We can also show love for others by following government and WHO guidelines.
Staying at home if we are showing symptoms. Not deciding that we know best and we are just going to nip to the supermarket or to a cafe for lunch. Look after others by limiting contact. Set up FaceTime calls with friends, family and church members in isolation. Arrange to cook or shop for those who are most vulnerable, our elderly and those who have underlying illnesses.
Matthew 25 verse 31 to the end is a parable Christ told of the things we will answer for when the Kingdom comes. It should be really easy, but our own self interest often wins out. We must fight against this every day to share what we have.
Actions, not just words
The current crisis has highlighted need that has not been faced by many of us before.
There is terror and uncertainty worldwide like has not been seen since 9/11, possibly even as far as the last world war.
We don’t like feeling restricted, we don’t like being told what to do.
Please, let’s turn that fear into hope by showing God’s love in action with everyday offers of help. It’s in our hands to share the light we have in a way that helps people and doesn’t belittle them.
“in the same way, let your light shine before others that they may see your good deeds and glorify your father in heaven.”Matthew 5 v 16