What feelings have the outbreak of the novel coronavirus evoked in you? Do you feel cautious, worried, or fearful—or even panicky, like the many people who rushed to stock up on groceries and other supplies at the supermarkets recently?
And what if you knew of a loved one or friend who may have contracted the COVID-19 coronavirus? How would you respond?
The crisis became more personal for me after I found out that my sister-in-law and her daughter are attending a church that has been identified as a possible transmission cluster. Several visitors and members there have been diagnosed with the coronavirus.
This has been a rather distressing time for them. My sister-in-law has been scheduled for an important surgery, but it has been postponed because of the coronavirus crisis. This delay has caused her and her family much anxiety.
To make matters worse, my niece has been feeling unwell. Both mother and daughter, together with the rest of the family, may need to be screened because of possible contact in their church.
My family shares in their distress, especially as my sister-in-law’s health has not been well. It is difficult not to be fearful and worried for her. We have been sending texts of encouragement and prayers to them, and my sister-in-law and her daughter are now part of my daily prayer.
In such a time, what has helped me greatly are the words of Psalm 121:1–2:
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.
As the psalmist asked the question, “Where does my help come from?”, he saw the resounding answer: “My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”
Perhaps you too are facing afflictions in your life, be it fears about the coronavirus outbreak, personal health issues, or tragic news affecting a loved one or a dear friend.
Psalm 121:1–2 remind us that we can keep looking to the Lord for help. He understands our fears and worries, and is in control. As believers, we can wake up each day to God’s assuring word in Lamentations 3:22-23 (NLT):
The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness
his mercies begin afresh each morning.
May we begin each day remembering and rejoicing that God’s mercy is given anew to us. —C. H. Tan
Father, You know my fears and afflictions.
Thank You for Your promise of new mercies every morning,
that I can keep looking to You, the Maker of heaven and earth,
for help, comfort, and assurance.