About three weeks ago I heard quite a young lad talking on the radio. At one point he said – "I never realised that I loved school so much!" He said that if he got stuck when doing a piece of work at school, he would be able to ask the teacher a quick question and he would receive an immediate answer. However, now was different - all his schoolwork took place at home. If he had a query, he had to email it to the teacher who may at that moment be unavailable, so he would have to be patient. However maybe one of his siblings also needed the computer for schoolwork, so tensions could rise dramatically!
Isn‘t that like so many of us? We can take so much for granted in our every day lives. In fact our way of life can be an important part of our identity, and we only realise how much we value this when it is denied us for any reason. For most of us it has been family and friends that we have missed. Zoom get togethers are a reasonable option, but recently being allowed to meet again suitably distanced, is much more satisfying.
The desperate sadness of course is for those people in this country and throughout the world, who have lost loved ones to the corona virus. Not being allowed to be with your suffering or dying family member must be an agony almost impossible to bear now, and quite possibly may have repercussions in the future. May the Lord who Himself understands suffering, give all the strength and courage needed in every desperately sad situation.
When I was a child, we lived in a little cottage surrounded by fields. Sometimes on a clear night my dad would take me out to look at the moon and stars. He showed me how to spot Orion by finding its clear 3 starred straight belt. It is only recently that I learnt that Alnitak the left hand star is 736 light years from the earth, the middle star Ainilam is 1340 light years away and Mintaka is 915 light years away. To the naked eye they look to be in a perfect straight line, but our perspective from earth is completely different from the reality in the heavens. It then made me wonder how we get a true perspective on the corona virus which has made such a massive impact on so many people the world over, whether on health, or finances, or jobs, or on the education of our young people. We can make all sort of predictions and give many opinions as to what has taken place and what we believe will happen in the future. There is a lot of fear, anger and alarm around. Sometimes if I have felt overwhelmed by something, I have gone out at night and just sat and gazed for a good while up at the night sky – away from light pollution when possible, and this Psalm has come to mind.
When I consider your heavens
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him
the son of man that you care for him? (Ps 8:3,4)
The vastness and beauty of the heavens can give such a sense of wonder and peace, but also a sense that we are so miniscule within this infinite universe. Yet we know that He who created the splendour of the heavens and the earth, also walked this earth along with ordinary people. He knows exactly what is going on within each one of us. Nothing is hidden from His sight or understanding. When we become over anxious therefore, is it because we have lost the correct perspective? We maybe think that there is no hope, so how do we get things into that right perspective? If we will only turn to Him and recognize Him for who He is - the Creator of the whole universe, and yet the One who loves us so completely and utterly, that He was willing to pay the ultimate penalty of death in our place and for our sins. Jesus took our place. Utterly amazing! He has risen from the dead – death has been forever defeated. This is truly the better perspective. We may indeed find that things can still be really tough and painful in our everyday lives, however, He is more than able and willing to walk through it with us, guiding and strengthening us all along the way.