Maturing Through Crisis28 March, 2020
This Covid-19 pandemic is like a huge reset button that ‘rudely and forcefully’ interrupted our routined lives; without ample warning and without our consent. It’s heavily featured on every country’s news headlines and dashboards. Suddenly, things that once mattered to us don’t really matter anymore.
Every day, we’re forced to evaluate and decide on what are the truly important priorities in life. Our values & convictions are constantly challenged against this backdrop. And just when you think one wave has subsided, another wave sweeps in. Our National Development Minister Lawrence Wong just said on 25 March 2020 that Singapore is only at the “beginning of a very long fight” against Covid-19.
The fight against Covid-19 is not just a collective battle, but an individual and a personal one. Perhaps the greatest revelation during this crisis – one that has eternal value – is not the medical breakthrough for the vaccines, but it’s about you.
Someone once said, “A crisis doesn’t make you. It simply reveals you”. It’s in times of crisis that the true character of a person is revealed. That’s when people will see if you’re ‘walking the talk’. During this Covid-19 crisis, we’ve seen many things – leaders who don’t lead and non-leaders leading the charge; different thoughts and views being expressed; those who live in irrational fear and those who confuse social irresponsibility as ‘faith’.
This is an unprecedented time where almost every activity across the world comes to a standstill. It’s also an opportune time to take stock, slow down and inspect your spiritual foundation and make it right. It’s the mercy of God that He reveals to you what you’re made of on the inside and have built your life upon thus far – on Christ the solid rock or on sinking sand? How much or how little of God is in you? Some of us read and discuss the ‘daily news’ more than the ‘Good News’!
When the church resumes our services and activities, will we come back spiritually stronger? Or will we end up depleted and defeated?
With church services going online, will you backslide because now you’ve no church to go to? Or will you become the church wherever you are? Billy Graham said, “Christians must never forget the little word, ‘Go’.” It’s two-thirds of the word ‘God’, one third of the word ‘Gospel’ and half the word ‘good’. Simply put, it means ‘do something with what’s already been entrusted to you’. If you’ve been hiding in the comforts of the church all these while, it’s time you step up and lead worship at home, and be the ‘pastor’ that preaches with fire and minister to your family and community.
The virus may divide us physically (social distancing), but the Holy Spirit will unite us spiritually. So let us ‘keep in step’ with Him. (Galatians 5:25, TPT). I believe the Lord is taking each of us aside to fine-tune us, to prune and purify us; to set His Church in order before the next wave of revival comes.
When Britain was left alone to face Hitler’s Germany, Winston Churchill gave one of his finest speeches at his country’s moment of greatest need (18 June 1940), just over a month after he took over as Prime Minister. His final paragraph summarised what Britain and the world faced, “The Battle of France is over: the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilisation. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war.
“If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be freed and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including all that we’ve known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duty and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say: This was their finest hour.”
If not for Churchill, we’d probably be speaking German instead of English today.
I’m reminded in this personal journey of faith, that we’re surrounded by ‘so great a cloud of witnesses”’ (Hebrews 12:1-2). What are these witnesses saying to us? I believe they’re saying this, “You’ve read our life stories which were recorded for your learning – the good, the bad and the ugly. Don’t repeat the mistakes. Out-run and out-do us; take it higher, further and deeper!” Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in Me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.” (John 14:12, NLT)
Eventually, the Covid-19 crisis will be over, but would we have learnt what the Lord is showing us; the areas to repent of, to recalibrate and realign? What kind of testimony and legacy will we leave behind? DL Moody said, “Out of 100 men, one will read the Bible, the other 99 will read the Christian.”
Let us resolve in our hearts, to take this time of crisis to mature in the areas that matter most to God, in faith and in wisdom, that when future generations talk about us, they’ll say likewise, “This was their finest hour!
Ps. Kevin Koh