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Coronavirus is real, now what?

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It’s a global health pandemic. 

But it seems that the fear that accompanies is it is just as real, just as fierce, just as deadly. 

It’s natural to have questions, of course.

What are we meant to do?

Why is this happening? 

Where should I turn to?

Who is responsible?

How can I save myself?

Natural questions, sure, but all based on fear. All seeking to understand, control, self protect. And the truth is that there are some things, in fact, many things in this life that we simply cannot understand, cannot control, cannot hide from. COVID-19 is one of them. 

The thing is, that even if we had answers to the what, why, where, who and how it doesn’t actually remove us from the situation. It doesn’t make COVID-19 disappear. It doesn’t make us immune. And perhaps that is why the fear is so real because deep down we know this to be true. We know, as the bible tells us, that we can’t add a single moment to our lives by worry, by fear. And so we feel powerless. Perhaps that is the root to the fear we feel, the sense of pervading powerlessness. 

And so the question remains – what can be done? Where, or to whom must I turn to? Whilst the world waits, albeit trembling, for some sort of vaccine or answer, what can we do about the fear that remains? 

The beautiful truth is that whilst we may be powerless to answer the coronavirus related questions, there is one who can override our fear – if we choose it. If we choose him. Jesus, the perfect love that drives out all fear. 

Jesus said ‘come to me, all who are weary and heavily burdened and I will give you rest”. Rest. Peace. Before Him, we can shrug off the burden of fear and find rest for our souls. He didn’t say he’d make the baggage disappear, like magic, or that there would never be burdens again, but he did say come. Come and find rest for your souls. 

When Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples, walked on water he didn’t walk on still calm waters. He walked out into the storm. He left the shelter of the boat he was in because he understood that to be near Jesus was actually the safest place to be. The storm was raging, the waves must have been choppy and scary, but Peter fixed his eyes on Jesus and he walked to him. 

Whilst we may not be in a boat, we are in a storm. Whilst we may not be able to leave our houses (if you’re on lockdown) the storm of fear is very much raging within. 

Now is the time to fix your eyes on Jesus, to walk into the storm knowing that only with Him can we find peace. Only with Him can we lay our burdens down and find rest for our souls. 

Whilst the world waits for an answer to COVID-19, we already have the answer to the shadow of fear that follows – Jesus. 

Wishing you a perfectly peaceful Christmas

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What does the perfect Christmas look like to you? A beautiful tree surrounded by longed for gifts? A houseful of loved ones? A meal fit for a king? Everyone has a different idea of what Christmas should be. Depending on where you’re from and how your family choose to celebrate the season there are many ways to set Christmas Day apart from the other 364. Regardless of the traditions and rituals you observe there is one thing that can be universal – pressure. Trying to create the perfect day for everyone can be both exhausting and stressful.

Bigger and better

I’m all for the tree and the trimmings. I love the festivities and glitter but the spirit in which frivolities happen has to be kept in check. It’s possible to go completely overboard, push yourself, and everyone else to the limit, and in the process lose your peace. In an attempt to make everything perfect you may well end up ruining it for everyone.

Where is your peace?

It’s often believed that peace is the absence of conflict. You can get along with all your family and friends, have dealt with any disagreements or offences but still find that you are not experiencing peace. While we live in a place of striving for more, constantly looking to be better, more perfect and discontent with our reality we can never be at peace. Our inadequacies and insecurities rob us of the chance to live at peace and be at rest.

Rest for the restless

Our hearts are restless, until they can find rest in you – Augustine

The whole point of Christmas is Jesus. Without Him there is no special day, no need for a tree, gifts, carols or celebration meals. If we miss this fact, Christmas loses its purpose. Jesus came so that we could live at peace. Not just with one another, nation to nation, but also at peace with God and our own reality. Without Jesus we are lacking, restless and unable to live in a relationship with God. On our own we will never be good enough to stand before our Creator. Jesus changes that. He makes it possible for us to stop trying to be good enough, when we know Him and accept the gift of who He is, all the striving can stop. Jesus is the Prince of Peace and His gift to you this Christmas is a peace that can’t be found anywhere else.

If you would like to know more, please leave a comment below or click on the link.

Who are you trusting in?

Waking up this morning (as one does in the mornings), I found myself staring blankly into the mirror stressing about all of my financial responsibilities.

My wife and I have just bought our first home. It’s a small, three bedroom home and we love it and feel very blessed to have been able to get it.

We have two sons aged six and ten, and are also currently in the process of adopting a baby girl.

To add to the mix, we also have two dogs and two rats. This is my zoo and I love it.

The thing with life is that with all these blessings comes great responsibility. Very often with great responsibility comes stress, and stress can cause all sorts of health issues that can kill you dead – or worse, keep you living like a crazed lunatic!

While in that moment of anxiety-filled numbness, my mind drifted to the less fortunate people of the world and I wondered how they cope with even less. How do some people continue to smile and stay happy in the midst of a very hard life where they have nothing and struggle for even the basics like food and water? Is having less actually the key to happiness, or is it an issue of trust?

A wise man once said: “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Those were the words of Jesus recorded in the Bible (in Matthew 6:34).

I began to wonder how Jesus could tell me not to worry, when He is not the one who has to feed my family or pay my bills and get us through each month. How insensitive, right?

Well, the more I thought about it the more I started to realise that Jesus probably wasn’t being insensitive; rather, those were very wise words. I mean, worrying about something does not fix the problem or change the circumstance, right? Does worrying change anything? And isn’t it even more pointless to worry about things that haven’t even happened yet?

I believe what Jesus was actually trying to tell us is that it’s pointless to stress out about tomorrow, and that we should instead focus on today; that we should live in the moment and get through each problem as it arises.

Now you may not believe in what the Bible says, but the fact is that these are wise words and if heeded would help a lot of people calm down to at least a mild panic so they can begin thinking clearly in whatever situation they find themselves. Worry is the fruit of lack of trust.

Jesus also had the following to say: “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

If you are a believer in Jesus, you can put your trust in him fully and take him at his word. Then you’re able to do what the  Bible says: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything” (Philippians 4:6).

But if you have been living life trusting in your own ability, and things just never seem to get any better no matter how hard you try, then maybe it is time for you to start considering putting your trust in God.

Put your faith in Him and let His peace fill your heart, knowing that He is God and that with God all things are possible. Click below if you want Jesus to give you peace and rest for your soul.

– By Chilli Stephenson

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