How has COVID-19 transformed your life? How has it changed your way of thinking? For all of us, the occurrence of this pandemic may have a significant effect to the way we live and how we view life. We are suddenly grappling with the harsh realities of life. Some have lashed out to the government for a lousy job of battling the pandemic. Some have gone depressed in loss of loved ones and their jobs. Others have become restless in anxiety and worry. Others still are trying their best to keep the good fight for the sake of their family and for the sake of surviving. Rage. Sadness. Loss. Confusion. Worry. All these are bleak scenes of the time at hand. We get to think, this pandemic has ushered us into the “survival of the fittest” age.
As Christians, how do we cope with this pandemic? As individuals who have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, as Savior and God, how do we live a life in this difficult time of uncertainty and distress?
God said, ““Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”” – Psalm 46:10. Like a strict teacher zooming in on you for recitation in your most hated Calculus subject, you cringe and inwardly murmur with panic, “why me?!”. Yet, when you heard your name called out by that so familiar voice you want to avoid, you know you cannot do anything. You just have to stand and face the shame. The pandemic sometimes feels like it has singled out planet earth to be the place of destruction and we just like to blow up in anger and frustration because we cannot do anything about it. We ask God, “Lord, why?” We just cannot be still! We murmur, we complain, we grumble, we cry, and we move because we know, stillness may cost our life! Oh, how difficult it is to be still in the normal times, what more during this awful time! And, yet, God tells us to be still.
Be still in your voice. Silence. This is one of the characteristics of stillness. There is quietness. When we refrain from speaking out and voicing out what we like to complain, we take the time to listen and reflect. We could not hear the voice of God unless we become still in our own voice. Many times, our own voices, even in our heads, drown out the voice of God in our life. There are just too many things to think about. There are too many things that demand our attention. We talk about them, we complain about them, we pray about them, and we go on day to day with our heads full of them. The voice within and the voice that speak out are so full of these cares that we are eventually so wearied of them. A time to be still, is a time to be quiet in the voices in our head and the voice of our mouth. The COVID-19 pandemic is the best time to be still in our voice. Let us listen to the voice of God through His Word, the Bible. Be still and listen.
Be still in your emotions. Unruly emotions won’t keep us still. Always worrying and always fearing do not reflect a still emotion. It also does not mean to say that a child of God never fears, never doubts, and never worries. It is just not true, we know that. Even the most prayerful persons worry, they get angry, they become jealous, they also become impatient, and they also feel afraid. Because that is what we are. That is how humans are. But to be in the Lord, worries, fears, and doubts do not overcome and bring us so low that we forget how great and able our God is. They assault us from time to time, but never do they consume us. When our mind is stayed on God, we have peace. “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” – Isaiah 26:3. It is this peace from God that enables us to be still even in this time of pandemic.
Be still in your works. For the majority of the population in every part of the world, we are sent home to work from home. Pandemic teaches us to be still from the busy world of work. While being at home means working from home, there are major things that have changed. Gone are the on-the-spot due dates. Pressures from the bosses became minimal. Time became more manageable. We can accomplish our job in the time frame we choose and at the convenience and comfort of our home. There is a time to rest. There is more time to think. There is more time to pray. There is more time to read the Bible. There is more time to spend with God. Be still in your works and go to God.
Why is stillness important? We cannot know who God is if we will not be still. Quietness and calmness, without a movement or sound, is that stillness that God requires. Stop what we do and let God take the lead. Let us stop manning our own life and bossing our own decisions. Let Him take center stage in this life of pandemic. Then we will see that He is God. He is in control.
Learning to be still, is not being stoic, calloused, or lazy. Rather, it is speaking in stillness, feeling in stillness, and doing things in stillness. We can let out a sound yet with the voice of God in us and not with complaints, bitterness, or resentment. We have the freedom to feel yet with soberness and self-control and not with anger and frustration. We work and become busy yet with God’s strength in us and His wisdom upon us and not with self-dependence or arrogance.
Learning to be still is to depend on God on His sovereignty. Trust that He is God and there is no other god like Him. He is the creator of the heavens and the earth; He is in control. God said, “I am the Lord, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me, that people may know, from the rising of the sun” and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the Lord, and there is no other.” – Isaiah 45:5-6.