Covid-19 Birthday thoughts: one year on – fear and hope, greed and love

Time for my usual birthday brain like meanderings. I’ve got into this over the last few years 🙂

And I obviously can’t steer far away from Covid-19!

Hand out to the sun
Hand out to the sun

A year ago, who knew the world was gonna be quite as it is.

Global panic about economics.

Christian genocide in Nigeria (can’t find anything in mainstream news about this).

Persecution of Christians in N Korea and China (not new news but the world still stands idly by ignoring it).

The UK and the world have experienced lock downs the likes of which have not been seen for many generations.

Governments have used the excuse of Covid-19 to grab liberties from frightened peoples, and brought in some shocking stuff that has been missed by most of us while we were busy trying to get in with getting on; fighting off depression, boredom, anxiety and Covid-blues

And I’m a year older.

The world marched on and we saw greed and opportunity driven individuals milking the vulnerable like never before…web cams and toilet roll became must have items that became a global shortage (although the toilet roll wasn’t really in short supply…just more greed at work).

So much fear and darkness. Anxiety. Stress, depression grew.

And now we’re all having to wear masks when we go shopping and we’re told this could be for many, many months yet!

And yet, there was much good in the world too.

Samwise Gamgee was bang on (or rather J R R Tolkien was):

“It’s like the great stories, Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger They were, and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end because how could the end be happy?

How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad has happened?

But in the end, it’s only a passing thing this shadow, even darkness must pass.

A new day will come, and when the sun shines, it’ll shine out the clearer. I know now folks in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going because they were holding on to something.

That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.”

Samwise, as ever, was right!

When the UK government asked for a quarter of a million volunteers to aid the NHS, they ended up with more than 3 times that number as people stepped up.

We finally started to see the true value in the real key workers of our nation – nursery workers, supermarket staff, truck drivers, bin men.

Truckers are obviously awesome people (OK, I’m biased here after 15 years ‘on the road’ ) – but I’ll hope that society, in general, will treat all those folks with far greater respect – they kept us alive, after all, during the toughest parts of quarantine!

And life goes on.

Many people tragically lost their lives. But many more recovered too and were given second chances at living.

Which is where my thoughts turn today.

Covid-19 has brought us death. But it has brought us life too.

It has made every single one of us face mortality.

Hospitals, around the world, have seen revivals as many meet Christian patients, literally struggling for their next breath. And not finding it, yet having peace of their future.

Much like those Christians in Nigeria – slaughtered for believing in Jesus, and not swaying their beliefs under the most extremes of pressure.

Because when you know Jesus, death is no longer scary.

Christianity is the only ‘religion’ where religion is not needed…much like the man on the cross next to Jesus, who never got to church, was never baptised, never read a bible, never prayed the ‘sinners prayer’, never took communion, never did anything religious, and yet still went to heaven – because of what Jesus went on to do; dying, and coming back to life – defeating death, and giving every single one of us an opportunity to be with Him in heaven when we die.

Jesus paid the price we could not.

His death meant life for others.

When Muslim terrorists were torturing Christian children in Iraq, they came to faith because through the terror they were inflicting, they saw Jesus in the people they would go on to kill. It isn’t new. Paul, on the Road to Damascus, experienced a similar reality! It changed him and gave us the bulk of the New Testament.

Those writings are amazing!

I’m a year older and I’ve seen a global change no one could have predicted.

Except, I know God already had.

Some churches panicked when Covid hit.

Others saw opportunities to show Jesus in ever new ways.

Many people lost their jobs as employment became ever more stressful for employers and employees alike. We were one of those statistics too.

In the darkness we had hope.

Because the darkness holds no fear for those of us who know Jesus.

Sure. Our feelings can cloud that knowledge. Christians aren’t immune to worry, doubt, anxiety and worse. As a man who went through, a number of years ago now, more than 15 months of the most intense CBT PTSD for traumas I hadn’t yet faced, I can attest to being a Christian and struggling with the darkest of thoughts.

But I came through it.

And the world will come through Covid.

It won’t look the same, no more than my hair – which is becoming thinner and greyer (wiser!!).

With Jesus, as a family, we’ve come through this so far, and come through well.

We’ve faced homelessness in previous times, and relied on a food bank to feed our family. There are many like us!

We know hardships!

But, through it all, we have known Jesus.

In real ways.

He’s comforted us and given us hope that shouldn’t, humanly speaking, be there.

A certainty that we’ll be ok. Because, in the end, there’s a hope which has been battered and beaten. But stands ever the stronger.

And that hope is exceedingly real. Because that hope is in Jesus Christ.

The son of God who came to earth and died for you and for me.

His death and being alive again is a historic fact.

Since that is not at question, we have only one more question we all have to face.

Three Crosses on a Hill, Black & White
Three Crosses on a Hill, Black & White

Will we choose to believe what we already know to be true?

Will you choose to believe that Jesus died for you like He did for me?

He loves me.

He loves you too!

No need for hopelessness.

You just need to ask Him to help you. You can do it your own – Jesus is there waiting to fill you with His hope and love, and a peace that is beyond our human understanding.

One year on and I’ve learned that there is greed and selfishness in this world.

But there is more of Jesus. Always.

He never runs out of what we truly need.

Hope and peace.

I choose Jesus again today.

Will you?

Andy B


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