Navigating COVID-19

by Sarah Lye, Contributed by Damansara Utama Methodist Church

Amidst the uncertainties posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, there is a great need for us to connect with God and abide in His grace, hope, and peace.  

Everyone can testify to the same – the highlight for 2020 will be the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic which has affected not only our health, our emotions, our physical being and mental health but also the way we do things and/or see things! All that we had planned at the beginning of the year vacations, dreams, desires – have all been thrown out of our lives. We feel sad, disappointed, angry and frustrated because all our plans have been dashed! Some of us may even feel dejected, tired and exhausted as we go through the cycles of controlled movement again.

The pandemic has also caused negative consequences on the economy. Many companies and small businesses and entrepreneurs have closed down or are on the verge of closing down. They are trying to stay afloat amidst the uncertainty of COVID-19. Sentiments of frustration, hopelessness and lamentation are widely seen in or expressed by many people. Those who have lost their jobs (and maybe their sanity!) are trying their best to survive.  They are not able to have food on the table or a roof over their heads. People all across the board are going through some kind of depression and making huge adjustments as they try to cope with the challenges and the uncertainties of COVID-19.

Our basic being is that we need the personal touch. With COVID-19 looming over us, we have been robbed of social interaction as we are not able to meet in person with our friends, family members or relatives.  In the past, we loved to spend time talking and chatting with our friends over a meal.  However, now most of the time, we only connect digitally via Whatsapp or Zoom, Google Meet, Skype or Wechat and other digital avenues. Even office meetings are being conducted online! We do not get to eat with our colleagues or talk to them face-to-face in person. We lose the human touch although we are created to have fellowship with people around us. Because of the pandemic and restricted movement, we have to work from home, and we limit our movement in order not to contract the deadly virus. This is all affecting our thoughts, our minds – psychologically and socially!

How then do we overcome these negative emotions that we may be facing or feeling? How do we navigate through this situation? How can we as children of God with a great destiny respond to these challenges? First and foremost, we must turn our eyes to Jesus and not look at the storm around us. We have to be intentional to fix our eyes on God alone as God alone is our hope and security. Psalm 121: 1,2 says: “I lift up my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth”

Proverbs 18:10 says: “The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run to it and are safe”. When we put our trust in God alone and not on the situation around us or our finances or job, God will help us overcome our challenges. It may not be easy but by God’s grace and strength, we can pull through because of His love and grace over us.

One thing that we can thank God for is that the pandemic has taught us how vulnerable and fragile life is. As such, we are to make space and make time to connect with God even more. We need to make time to listen to Him more and reflect. We need to slow down and listen to what He is saying to us. We need to slow down and reflect. We need to breathe in His life and depend on His grace and love each day. John 15:5 says: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

We need God every moment of our lives. We need His grace even more than before during this challenging time. His grace is sufficient for us as we battle through our negative emotions. His ever-sufficient grace will help carry us through. We are to rely on His grace and not depend on our strength or our intellect.  

There is also a great need for us to connect to God in prayer. Besides praying for protection for ourselves, we also commit to the Lord the medical front-liners who have been working day and night for the past eight to ten months. We also pray for healing and recovery for those who are being treated for the disease. We also pray that people will continue to be vigilant in obeying the SOPs that have been set up by the authorities. We need to ask for God’s intervention to handle the pandemic. We ask for God’s mercy to heal the economic situation of our country. Only God can turn the situation around as He alone is sovereign.

We need God’s supernatural peace as we face the pandemic storm. The Bible in Philippians 4: 6,7 says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” We need God’s peace around us, taking care of all our concerns and worries. And we are to focus on what is right, true, and excellent. Philippians 4:8,9 says: Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

Hence, to move forward despite whatever the wave of COVID-19 brings, we must place our hope and trust in God alone. We must not be fearful and give room to fear. It is natural to be fearful of the unknown. Isaiah 43:1 says: “But now, this is what the Lord says, he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel, ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name, you are mine.”

God is our Firm Foundation and our Security. The future is so uncertain but we have this only hope in Jesus! And Christ is more than enough! God holds our future in His loving hands. Jeremiah 29:11 says: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.

Isaiah 26:3,4 says “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.” Those who trust in the Lord will be saved. Lean on God’s peace.

How assuring is the Lord’s promise that when we put our trust in Him, no matter how difficult the challenges may be, we can experience His peace and sense a glimpse of hope. We hold on to the promises of God in the Bible and God will never leave us nor forsake us. We can trust in God’s faithfulness and His Word! Proverbs 29:25 says “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever who trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” So, let us not be faint-hearted or fearful of the future because God holds our future in His loving hands. Let His supernatural peace saturate us to be overcomers! Let us be courageous as children of God and ride above the storm of COVID-19 with God’s grace and strength.

About Damansara Utama Methodist Church

Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC) is widely respected as a church for all generations—an exciting community of families, senior citizens, young adults, teenagers, and young children, doing life together. Its primary purpose is to build passionate disciples of Jesus Christ, summed up in their tagline ‘Love God, Serve People, Make Disciples’. To find out more about them, visit their website at http://dumc.my/