Amidst this Pandemic, Do Not Despair

Fellow Citizens:

In the language of aviation, as a nation and people, we are at a point such as one at which the Pilot tells everyone on board: “Tighten your safety belts. We’re reaching a turbulent zone!” This is where we are, my fellow Ugandans!

The rate of infection is going higher. Space for admissions in hospitals is shrinking. Oxygen supply is decreasing. Funeral service providers are getting overwhelmed with demand for coffins and body bags, and the loss of our beloved is mounting! Then the lockdown! Worship places are closed. Schools are shut. Businesses and travels are at their lowest.

Nonetheless, take heart! This is not a time to despair or give up the fight. We should not lose hope and slide into frustration. No! We still and always have a lot to thank God for. See, we are still on the side of what is manageable. There are times when pandemics did much worse to humanity. The worst so far is the black death, a bubonic pandemic that occurred in Afro-Eurasia from 1346-1353. Records show that it destroyed up to 200 million lives! In the whole of North Africa and the entire Europe, 1 out of 3 persons died!

Of course we shouldn’t take anything for granted, but we are no where any closer to such a degree of destruction, and that’s why we should take heed. We thank God for the cloud of safety that He has graciously suspended over a number of nations. Some are almost back to safety again. Thank you, dear Lord!

Take heart, God will not consume us. He once did, but vowed never to do it again (Gen. 9:13-17). He will save us from this danger. We shall go through it. This shall pass! In many aspects of life, certain situations get worse before they’re over.

However, as human beings that God created in His image, we should keep together in unison and fight as one. We now have knowledge of what we are fighting, and the tools we should use to win the battle. That’s why God created us rational.

What is our obligation amidst this danger?

  1. Be obedient and exercise discipline

The government has put directives that are informed by facts. Let us cooperate. It is neither right nor safe to exercise defiance in situations like this. With a pandemic, none is safe until all are safe.

For solid safety, therefore, sticking to SOPs is not optional. God blesses our efforts. Let us play our part as we wait upon the Lord to accomplish His will.

At this critical time, you are the best source of your own protection. Prevention is possible, and it saves and protects us from a lot that can even lead to death.

  1. Do not Panic

Do not fear. Fear is an emotion, and even though it is meant to alert us, unless we tame and restrain it, it has capacity to affect reasoning and cause us harm. When emotions flare reasoing declines. That’s why Satan uses fear as a tool to disorganize us. Worrying creates a number of problems but solves none. Instead of worrying, be concerned, and care to act in a way that exercises informed restraint.

For instance now, out of fear, some are attempting to treat themselves by taking any and every form of medicine, with less or no medical advice. That can be detrimental to our health. It is good to tell someone what you think is a remedy to covid, and there are many that have been applied and proved to be effective, but be sure of the evidence by which its effectiveness and safety can be substantiated.

  1. Pray

Pray for God’s intervention in this whole situation. Are you aware that God is aware and able to handle? Do you know that there’s nothing about COVID-19 that’s outside His knowledge and will? May this situation bring us all closer to our God! We’ve put our backs to Him and He wants us back to Him.

There’s a will, His own, that this situation shall accomplish first, before He brings it to a close. Remember that He is sovereign and all-powerful. This is His world, and all is under His rule. There’s no remedy that scientists or leaders will come to expect that which He’ll have permitted.

Pray for calm, for wisdom, and against confusion due to many calls and versions of self-help that are flooding our homes and communities through print and social media. Pray for His protection, but above all, for the true remedy and cure of COVID-19. The Lord hears and promises to deliver us (Ps. 50:15).

In 2 Chr. 7:14, God promises: “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” God promises to hear, forgive, and heal our land. Note, however, the condition and order of prerequisites: belonging, humility, seeking prayer, and turning from wickedness.

  1. Repent

Humanity, repent! Each of us should turn from evil and seek righteousness. Shepherds and the flock alike, leaders and the led, the young and the old, every tribe and color. Let us repent, turn and return.

Return to your God – you know how far you’ve moved from Him. Return to the truth and to obeying His word. Return to upholding His moral ethic. Return to respecting the sanctity of life. Return to honouring and obeying your parents. Return and turn from sinfulness. Humanity repent!

It is now time to offer ourselves to Him as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to Him (Rom. 12:1-2). This is a time for us to know that obeying Him is the best sacrifice we can offer to Him (1 Sam. 15:22). It is time for us to cry to Him in repentance, because a repentant and contrite heart He will not despise (Ps. 51:17).

God has something against us as humanity and a people. Think of the extent to which humanity has gone with shading of innocent blood, corruption, lies and hypocrisy, sexual promiscuity, abuse of human dignity and sanctity of life, and all forms of evil. These are vices God will not let go unpunished. They are together an abomination before His holy throne. God loves us, but He can not tolerate sin. As humanity, we must wake up to this truth: God is holy. In Leviticus 19:2 God commands “Be holy, because I, the Lord your God, am holy.”

You see He has challenged the so called power of the ‘mighty’, even of the religious. Why? Some have abused the authority he entrusted unto them. They call themselves His, yet they lie, cheat, abuse and in so doing put His name in disrepute. This time He will challenge many, who have for long claimed to be ‘movers of mountains’ but are false and fake! He is simply saying, “Be still and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10). Let us listen when He says, “I am the Lord your God…worship no other gods but me (Exod. 20:2-6). Let the nations know that He is mighty, and He reigns (Ps. 99).

  1. Remember the love and mercy of God!

God is love. This is as good and true as it is comforting. In punishing admonishing He doesn’t forget mercy. He doesn’t delight in the death of a sinner. What He wants is repentance. He forgives when we turn and teturn to Him. If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves. But when we confess and turn to Him, He is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:8-9).

Beloved, amidst these challenging days, let us remain vigilant. Our able and capable Captain, the PIC (Pilot in Command), Jesus Christ, is in the cockpit and taking full charge. May it please him to take us safely to the shore!

There we shall worship and praise him. Yes, we shall come together again in his sanctuaries to express our gratitude to him. He will still be our God and Redeemer, and we shall still be his people and flock.

To Him be the glory and majesty and honour, world without end! Amen.

Stay safe!

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