Invite Jesus into your home, your family and your heart. As the famous old Sunday School song goes “With Jesus in the boat he will calm every storm.” The challenge for us is to stop looking at the storm. I find I now have to limit the time watching the news or going on social media for the latest news. The more we keep looking at the storm the more our fears will grow and become bigger. Limit the time looking at the news and instead look to Jesus and pray. When we do this, fear decreases and faith increases. Stay prayerful for our leaders, medical staff and all who are making decisions. Pray for your family, friends and the vulnerable. Stay prayerful.
Use common sense. Wash hands and keep hands away from the face. Avoid close contact. Self-isolate if needed. One thing I have found helpful is instead of singing ‘Happy Birthday’ for 20 seconds when washing my hands, I say the Lord’s Prayer instead which takes the same amount of time and is much more practical and powerful. Staying wise means following directives from leaders and those in authority. Stay wise.
Don’t stockpile. Stockpiling food and loo rolls is so unkind and greedy and the elderly and vulnerable will suffer in the end. Try to look out for who you can help and offer kindness to. Making a shopping trip for someone. Checking in on an elderly friend or relative. Stay kind.
Disunity and fighting is so damaging to everyone. As someone once said, “Don’t waste a crisis.” Seek to serve others and stay united.
It is important to isolate if you’re vulnerable but don’t isolate your soul. It is wonderful that we have so much access to things like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and mobile phones. We can all stay connected. There are many churches around NZ and the world who will operate with online Sunday Services. Stay connected.
When big storms hit we humans realise quite quickly that we are not in control. We think we are in control of everything, but actually we’re not. And when we realise that we don’t have control, then that’s when fear takes over. In these difficult times Christians know that ultimately God is in control of everything. When the disciples who were in the boat when the storm hit, they knew that they were out of control. They went to Jesus, cried out to him and then he took control of the situation. Instead of panic Jesus brought them peace. Instead of fear Jesus brought them faith. Stay confident in Christ.
This storm will pass. Invite Jesus into your boat. Remember Jesus loves you and wants to help you and give you peace in the storm. In just a few weeks millions of Christians will look to the cross on which Jesus suffered and died, entering our world of suffering and taking all our pains, our sins and our fears. Jesus understands and knows all that we’re going through. And then on Easter Sunday we will celebrate how Jesus conquered death, rose again and is alive today, with us, near us and for us, inviting you into a relationship with him, a relationship of perfect, powerful, peaceful eternal love that will drive out every fear. Choose faith over fear.
Rev. Warren Watson