new (noun): discovered recently or now for the first time; not existing before
During the recent coronavirus pandemic that has gripped the world, I've seen and observed many people try to understand this new thing we're experiencing. I've seen and heard so many theories, ranging from the end of the world to... I don't even know...something else. In the UK, the lockdown was announced on Sunday 22nd March 2020 by Boris Johnson (Prime Minister). I don't remember the last time I'd actually sat down to watch the news (I normally keep updated on my Apple News App) but this time was different. I'd kept track of the WHO updates when the virus was first discovered and 'watched' as it made its way into the UK and spread through the rest of the world. The reaction on social media seemed very intense and everyone was in the same questioning state - what does lockdown mean? Up until the global pandemic started, the word lockdown had not been used widely (that I'm aware of) so it all seemed very alien.
Now, as someone who is happy to admit her extreme homebody-ness, I was still in a bubble of acceptance. I reached that point pretty quickly and moved to asking God all the questions that floated around. Very quickly, I knew this wasn't the end of the world and God confirmed this when I was led to read Jesus' explanation of the signs we would see in the end times (Luke 17:20 - 37). Having reassurance from God that I still had time to have a family, grow in my knowledge of Him and thereby grow my ministry, I continued to ask Him more questions - was there a lesson the whole world was supposed to learn, was there a lesson I was supposed to learn, why was this happening now? Those are just a few of the questions that swirled in my head as I moved to get on with life - working from home full-time, being on the phone 5 - 6 hours a day (no joke), not seeing my family and friends, etc. A few days into the lockdown, I read an article about the Spanish Flu in 1918 and the frightening similarities in the spread of the virus and the mortality rate.
A few days after that I received the word from Ecclesiastes 1:9 (AMP) -
That which has been is that which will be [again], and that which has been done is that which will be done again. So there is nothing new under the sun.
Now, generally speaking, this is a word I hold onto most days because it holds so very true. Solomon wrote the book of Ecclesiastes after wanting to experience the 'pleasures' of living in the world and treasuring what other men held precious. In the first chapter of this book, Solomon had already understood that there was nothing the world could offer him because it was all 'vanity'. As I reflected on what this global pandemic meant, I simply took comfort in knowing that God was, is and always will be in control and that this was not a surprise to him. That calmed my anxiety and helped me to remain focused on what I needed to focus on. This wasn't easy as I was bombarded with news of the virus deaths, job losses, etc. and everywhere I looked, I was met with more news of covid-19.
I continued to reflect on the word for a few more days and reminded myself of the purpose of trusting God. Whilst the situation is not new to God, how we experience this is new and God is the only One who can lead us safely through. Call out to Him, ask Him your questions tell Him your troubles and continue to put your trust in Him, regardless of what the situation around you looks like. I see the anxiety people around me have and the anxiety faced by countless others who don't yet have that reassurance. The word of God holds all the answers to the questions we are asking and through this pandemic, God wants to do something. He will be looking for His children who are still focused on Him and focused on their assignment; He will be giving instructions for how others can be helped, lives saved and testimonies shared!
Don't miss out on being a part of God's plan because that's what is in the midst of this pandemic. He is the God who turns what the devil meant for evil into good.