Scriptural Series: Life in the shadow of COVID-19
The past two years have been unique years for most of us. We were plunged into a global pandemic and probably the first pandemic that many people experienced, including me. The pandemic led to many changes, and some were tough indeed. The last two years were dark times for many people, but it was also a blessing.
However, the shadow of COVID-19 over our lives seems unrelenting. Different variants with different characteristics surfaced and are still here. That shadow is frightening for many of us, and it has caused anxiety within many of us as well.
Yesterday, while I was in church, I suddenly remembered Psalm 23, specifically the fourth verse that says:
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil; For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. — Psalms 23:4
And I realized we could replace “the shadow of death” with “the shadow of COVID-19”! And God would remain our shepherd!
Psalm 23 is a psalm about a loving shepherd (i.e., God) that cares for his sheep (i.e., us), and I would encourage you to read that chapter.
However, my focus is on the fourth verse. It is sad but understandable that we have lost sight of the shepherd after walking through the valley of the shadow of COVID-19 for so long. Who wouldn’t? It is a dark, disturbing, heartbreaking period, and we broke down!
But the shepherd is still with us, ever watchful, ever faithful. We are not alone despite the situation.
Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” — Deuteronomy 31:6
You may have lost so much during the last two years, and I probably won’t understand your pain, but my father, i.e., God, does, and He wants to carry that burden with you. He wants to comfort you. Will you let him?
King David wrote in Psalms 23:4 that “I will fear no evil.” He did not make that statement because he was invincible. He noted that out of complete trust of the shepherd who can protect him. Does that mean that David did not face life-threatening situations? Does that mean we will not meet life-threatening conditions?
Yesterday, I was at church, and the preacher told us of the burial of his close friend (the wife of another preacher) who died from COVID-19. He mentioned that many people testified to how the woman led them to Christ and taught them the Word of God during the service. Suddenly, a place of sorrow became a place of singing. Everyone began to sing. Now, you may wonder that “why didn’t the shepherd keep her safe?” Well, she is now safely with the shepherd who kept her all her life and used her to bring many other people home to Him. The burial service became a worship service because they hoped to (and know they will) meet her once again in Heaven.
So, yes, we will face life-threatening situations, and God will keep us safe however He chooses. The only way out is to trust in his love (which is more profound than we can fathom) even if the situation makes no sense. This statement leads us to the conclusion. We are not home yet. Even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of COVID-19, we are not home yet. And we cannot afford to lose sight of our way home, i.e., Jesus.
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” — John 14: 1–3