Wednesday 25 March 2020
~ Cathy Evans
Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labour of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls-
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The Lord God is my strength;
He will make my feet like deer’s feet,
And He will make me walk on my high hills.
Habakkuk 3 vs 17-19
The above passage of scripture was one of many that I held onto during the Foot & Mouth outbreak where I was isolated and on my own. Faced with the uncertainty of losing my flock as well closing down the holiday cottages, allowing no one onto the farm, I was yet able to draw onto God’s strength, His presence. These verses gave me strength and hope knowing that whatever happens, I still have God and He is my strength, my guidance, my portion. I can hope in Him and I can trust in Him, no matter what happens around me, He will never leave or forsake me. In the face of such uncertainty I can still rejoice in Him.
Once again I’m faced with a period of isolation and keeping a distance away from people, but still I have to keep holding onto God during this coronavirus crisis.
We as Christians need to set an example to those around us. We need to speak words of encouragement, showing faith, hope and love to each other and those around us. Do not give into a spirit of fear but instead of encouragement. For greater is He who dwells in you than he who is of this world (1 John 4v4). Our God is mighty, you only have to look at His creation to acknowledge His awesome power and allow the peace of God to soak into you.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Phil 4 vs 6-7
Let us encourage each other with verses, we have so many that we can pick out to use. One of the practical things that gave me comfort during Foot & Mouth was to write down some verses on a sheet of paper and put it in my pocket. Whenever I was in need of a ‘pick-me-up’, feeling discouraged or lonely, I was able to rebuke such thoughts by opening up the paper and reading out the words of hope. These days now, we have mobile phones and emails that we can use to reach out to each other, use it to encourage and share. Don’t be ashamed if you feel discouraged and low, reach out to your brothers and sisters in Christ. Reach out to those you know that will lift and encourage you.
We are here to support and build each other up. Think of your brothers and sisters in Christ, in particular those on their own and self-isolating as they are in need of encouragement. Reach out to those who have yet to know God personally. Let them see the hope we have in Him, let His light, joy and the peace we have shine out, that they will ask us for the reason. Consider those around you – your neighbours. How can we help them? Let us ask God for strength He has provided. Dig deep into the word of God to help you to get through.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go
Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.
God is with us no matter what happens, that is a fact worth hanging onto!