After losing all our savings last year because of a setback, I have, ever since, learned how to wait on God’s will for our lives. It doesn’t literally mean we stop making plans of our own. Actually, 2020 is full of life-changing plans for us. The kids and I were supposed to fly this month to the UK to visit my sister who was diagnosed late last year with stage IV lung cancer. Mike and I also wanted to move to Singapore before Miguel turns 6 (which is in a few weeks). We also planned on spending this year’s Christmas with our family in the US. But as we already know, none of this shall happen soon.
Then I remembered how I asked God many times why He allowed us to experience failures last year. Why He allowed Mike to be relocated for work. I realized God has been giving me answers in an installment basis. Every now and then He would whisper to me His reasons. He does not let me forget who He is and why such things happened.
John Piper, in his devotional, Coronavirus and Christ, said that God does not only decide whether we live or die but He is also involved in what happens between life and death. He said, “Not just whether you live or die, you will be with God, but also, God will decide if you live or die—now. And not just live or die. He’s even more involved than that. ‘If the Lord wills, we will . . . do this or that.’ Nothing is excluded from ‘this or that.’ He is totally involved. Totally. This health, or that sickness. This economic collapse, or that recovery. This breath, or not.”
“‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.'” (James 4:13–15)
As I was processing this devotion, His message was clear to me: He allowed us to be broken because He was preparing us for today, for the Coronavirus and all the other events this pandemic has brought and will further bring. He was building our character. And because we have learned to fully surrender after last year’s challenges, we are able to handle bigger disappointments.
There is peace despite the uncertainties. And no, I don’t want to sound selfish and insensitive but it is possible to feel happy and sad, harmonious and frightened at the same time. I am happy and calm because my family and I are safe, my husband was able to come home to be with us and still remains employed. However, I am also sad for the many people who lost their jobs, who are hurting, who are sick because of the Coronavirus. I am frightened because no one really knows how long this pandemic will last, how many more people will die, if we will be spared and since economies are starting to crash, it can eventually affect my husband’s job.
First important fact: being joyful does not take away the reality that many are suffering. Second: our sufferings must not take away the joy in our hearts because again, God is the one who is really in control. As it is written in 2 Corinthians 6:10 “as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing yet possessing all things.” Piper explained later on that the secret of “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” is by “knowing that the same sovereignty that could stop the coronavirus, yet doesn’t, is the very sovereignty that sustains the soul in it.”
So is it hard to feel peace during this time? Of course! As they say it is supernatural to feel happy despite our current circumstances. But is it impossible? No, it is not.
Upon realizing that I am nothing but a mist that could instantly vanish, I tried my best not to mope around since all our plans were postponed. (I use postponed not cancelled because again, only God knows what will happen tomorrow.) This is possible because I understood God’s character—- He is almighty!
During the first few days of the quarantine I asked Mike if I’m a bad person for not feeling anything. That I am okay with this set up because honestly since I am a homemaker and we’re homeschooling, our entire life, for the most part, is almost like being quarantined. I could not understand my emotions that time. It was only now that I was able to think things through. It was not numbness, it was peace. The kind of peace that only through Jesus can be felt. I am assured that whatever happens to our family, I know God decided for it a long time go and “with hope that God’s purposes are kind, even in death— for those who trust Him.”
And that is enough blessing.
How are you today? Perhaps you are feeling down and worried about the uncertainties this pandemic has brought us. Would you like to experience the same peace I have just shared? If yes, pray this with me:
Heavenly Father I know you are mighty, just and holy but you are also kind, loving and merciful. It is only through your son Jesus that we can experience true peace. Lord, I want to surrender my life and all my burdens to you today because I understood that you are my creator and that I am nothing without you. Please take away my worries, take away my pain and turn them into joy so I may bring glory and honor to your kingdom. Protect me as I go about my day and remember us, your people. Please heal the world. This we pray in sweet name of your son, Jesus. Amen.