Covid and The Golden Ticket

Take your mind back, and you might remember seeing the first signs that Covid-19 could well be a real issue, heading our way, like a freight train running along the tracks towards the edge of a cliff!

Scroll on a couple of years, and it is still making the lives of tens of millions of people difficult, at best. It has taken many loved ones from their family, way ahead of time, and it has created an abundance of fear.

We’ve seen governments, the media – and especially social media – capitalising on the fear of covid, to spread more fear for their own ends: as one doctor recently asked, where are the international campaigns, outrage and outcry about the dangers of eating too much sugar, or drinking too much alcohol: covid is indeed terrible, but there are other serious health issues out there too, which seem to have been forgotten about.

Democratic Governments have, almost as the ‘norm’, forgotten that they lead by the consent of the people they serve, and have overstepped their power far too many times, and in the most terrible of ways.

With Austria forgetting it’s history, and holocaust survivors reminding the world how much in common the Jews and the unvaccinated currently have in common, we are clearly very far from an end to the misery of covid on our world.

Gibraltar is reported to have seen a huge spike in covid cases, despite having managed, we are told, to get nearly it’s entire population fully vaccinated.

At the same time, however, we must understand that covid is not something to simply shrug off as ‘not important’, or as just some ‘weird conspiracy theory’. Although, it most certainly has been weaponised, sadly – and not at all unpredictably – it is a very real virus, and it is an especially nasty one! A good friend described it as “entirely evil” and I think she sums it up well.

My own family managed to avoid it, for nearly 2 years, then we all caught it within days of each other – something of a double-edged sword, for sure. But we know what it is like to have to deal with covid, first hand.

My own experience ended up with a trip to A and E (ER for my non-British friends), when my heart got upset at the infection that had developed in my lungs, coupled with Covid, tiredness and coughing.

Mercifully, my heart corrected itself; I was given some antibiotics, and was sent back home the same day that Jo, my wife, took me in. And, it must be said that, despite the best efforts of the media to frighten us, A & E was brilliant. It was very quiet. I was seen quickly, and processed efficiently, by plenty of very caring staff.

With all of that said, the thing that has really struck me is how the vaccine was so desperately wanted, and needed, being touted as the ‘war to end all wars’; ‘memories of the ‘Golden Ticket’ in Willy Wonka came strikingly to mind whenever I saw, or read, articles on the progress of the vaccine. It was hailed as the saviour to the world’s struggles, as Covid-19 gripped memories, lives and our social media feeds.

We were told that once we had the vaccine, life could get back to normal. But, at best – and as good as the vaccine is – one dose was never going to be enough.

One dose to save the world became two doses, plus a booster that will need repeating regularly. The vaccine can’t stop the spread of the virus, and it can’t eradicate it. That was expecting more than the scientists working on the vaccine could have, and did, achieve.

And while polio is something we can control very well with a vaccine, covid can’t be dealt with in the same way. The same can be said for whooping cough, and various other illnesses. A virus, however, is something entirely different.

Success

When the British said they’d developed the first vaccine, there was much joy, and hope was tentatively restored around the world that the golden ticket had finally been created. We had a vaccine, and ‘we’ll soon be back to normal’.

It was an amazing effort to create the vaccine, so very quickly. But, it is not a cure for what is attacking us. And everyone wants a cure, don’t they? We want something absolute, that will guarantee our safety and our well-being.

Covid hits home

When I first found out I had covid, I was quite nervous at how it might work out for my family and I.

We were very grateful for many messages from friends and family who steered us through what we were struggling against – and prepared us for what was probably coming, and how to best prepare ourselves. And their constant, precious prayers for us, were super uplifting and comforting – to know there were people praying for us through the night was a wondrous thing.

But the important thing for me is that, as worried as it might have made me feel, I never lost my peace! That NEVER faded or disappeared. Because I already had my very own Golden Ticket, and it’s a sure thing!

It doesn’t fade; it works 100% every time; it doesn’t need boosting.

Death and life are inter-connected

You and I, we were both born terminally ill. The one certainty of life is that, once we are born, we are going to die. Because life always leads to death.

But that isn’t depressing if you have a Golden Ticket that secures your future, and can not fail to deliver.

Now I have had covid, and I had a minor complication. I’m still recovering. But I knew that, ultimately, I couldn’t rely on medicine to save me. Medicine might help you and me, and I took my share – helping keep my temperature under control, reduce pain, and eventually to beat the infection in my lungs. But it will never have the power to save us.

It is finished

In our fallen world, with social media, and mainstream media, trying to terrify us into agreeing with their politically correct whim of the day, there is only one Saviour that I am interested in, and He has a name.

And His name is Jesus!

He has already done what the covid vaccine will never be able to do – He has already permanently, totally, and absolutely defeated death, and pain, and suffering.

“It is finished!” He told us. And He was right. It was.

When Jesus died and rose again on the cross, He went to hell and defeated His enemy; our enemy – the devil.

And Jesus did so completely and permanently. No backsies, no appeals, no refunds, no returns. It was past the point of no return and then some.

And that is the Golden Ticket we all truly chase – something that protects us from future pain and misery. Something that can guarantee us a life free of fear, and a life abundant with peace. Something that can help us live a normal life.

And that particular Golden Ticket is called, simply, salvation – which just means that we have the ticket needed to get into heaven.

You can’t do anything to earn it, or buy it, or secure it.

That Golden Ticket – to a life in heaven, with God – is not something we can acquire by our own means. It is beyond our reach. Like, WAY beyond our reach. So far beyond our reach it isn’t even a dot to us.

And yet it is also already right there, if we choose to take it, well within easy reach of our hands – if we choose to take a hold of it. It sounds like a contradiction, or a paradox, but really is not. Not when you stop to consider it! It’s just that we can’t do anything to get hold of it. But we can easily receive it.

But, there is a cost. Because we must surrender the misery and difficulty of our struggles to God, who will happily take them, like a tree takes carbon dioxide and provides much needed, life perpetuating oxygen in return.

God does that with all the rubbish and hurt and pain that we carry around on our shoulders, because we think we can’t put it down. But, He is more than happy to take that burden from us – if we give it to Him.

The Golden Ticket

There is a Golden Ticket with your name on it. It never spoils, fades, rips or loses it’s colour.

Do you want it?

Do you want peace in this life, and to know where you will go when you die?

This is a choice that must be made. If you choose not to make a choice, then you’ve already chosen.

Not choosing, is not an option.

Death will decide it for you in the end, so choose well; be informed and make a decision. Your life, literally, depends upon it.

You can choose to accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, or you can choose not to.

Staring at my own death

I’ve stared my own death down more than once. It is always scary. But I was always peaceful, too.

Once, my heart was trying to leave my body, and I can tell you that there is a back door at the hospital where you don’t have to wait, and where you’re greeted by a team of doctors, with lots of shiny equipment. That makes you question what might happen if you don’t leave that room, when you see the concern on their faces as they look at you and the numbers flashing on various screens around you.

And I’ve faced that, with peace. Yes, I was afraid. I cried when a doctor opened my mouth to see if she could get a tube down my throat if necessary. But I still had peace, and that peace is more than worth having, especially because it is made freely available to every single one of us. And that peace was there because I knew where I would go if I didn’t make it.

I long for you, whoever you are – reading this – to know that same peace too, that I have felt, when my own mortality stared right back at me.

If you want to know that peace, will you pray this prayer with me?

Dear God, I know that there is a barrier between you and me, and I want to feel that love and warmth – that I know you want me to feel – by becoming a follower of Jesus Christ, by becoming a Christian.

I want to know the ‘peace that goes beyond any human understanding’.

I want to feel whole, and I accept that You are the only way I can do that!

I’m afraid by my life now, and I’m afraid of what may happen through the rest of my life in the future, and I don’t want anybody to see how afraid I truly am, deep, deep inside.

But you are God, and you know everything about me, and you already love me, just as I am. But, you also love me so much you don’t want me to stay as I am, but to become the very best version of me that I can ever be, and become more like Your son Jesus Christ, who died on a wooden cross, for me.

I ask that would You forgive me for all those times when I have cursed You, used Your name in anger; when I have done things that I know have hurt both You and me – things that I knew were, and are, wrong.

Please forgive me my God!

I choose, on this day, to accept You as my Lord and Saviour and to accept the forgiveness You desire for me to know and feel, so that I can live life to the full, free of fear and worry.

I choose, from this point, not to let fear drive me and guide me anymore, but to trust in Your perfect plan for my life, knowing that You made me deliberately, and on purpose, and that You love me – because “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” and because You ‘deliberately hand made me in my mother’s womb, on purpose’.

Amen

If you said that prayer, will you please go find a Christian church and let them know that you’ve prayed this prayer. You can let us know you’ve prayed it, too.

Or, even better, go and check out http://www.the4points.com or https://www.ucb.co.uk/yes for more information on what you can do next.

Andy B


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7 Comments

  1. Totally excellent testimony Andy! I have shared this on the Devotional Treasures Twitter page.

  2. Thanks so much Alan. I put a lot more effort into this one than usual. About 6 drafts, and 4 editors!

  3. Great post Andy. Hope you are feeling better. Blessings to you all.

    1. Thanks so much for the encouragement.

      This post was very much a labour of love, on an issue we’ve allowed to polarise friends and brothers and sisters. And my only post, across an entire month!!!

      It’s slow progress, recovering – much slower than we thought it’d be. Jo is mostly well (and was back at work last week), and the boys got better even faster.

      Me? I’m getting there, but it often feels like two steps forward, ond step back as I continue to recover from the lung infection I got. It’s not a linear recovery, which I find frustrating.

      Still, while my sleep patterns are currently shot, I’m making the most of not going to sleep at a helpful time, and getting my prayer on ! 🙂

      Looking fory to getting my voice back so I can back to filming again!!

      Andy B

      1. Loving the positive you are finding in those difficult times and especially your prayer time. I’m sure you’ll have some great posts flowing out of this time with the Lord. Praying you recover full strength soon. Bless you all.

        1. Thanks. It’s been nearly a month, but we’re getting there

  4. Pingback: The Lord’s Day Re-post – Covid and The Golden Ticket – Devotional Treasures

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