It seems like a few months ago when the New Year began; and the reason to hope again was plainly palpable. Yet looking back on the last few months, it is difficult to imagine the state of the coronavirus pandemic and it’s increasing surge across the world, especially in countries such as Brazil, the United States, and currently, in the nation of India.
Trend or tragedy
As much as it seemed as the pandemic had met its match, with the introduction of a viable vaccine, rapid testing and isolation care in health wards of hospitals across the country, nations with burgeoning populations such as India were short-handed to handle the pandemic from the onset of the virus and the influx of the mutating strains of COVID-19.
Since the beginning of what many call ‘the third wave’, it has become apparent that the effects of the pandemic are being felt more acutely by the masses at alarming rates. Headlines across the world heralded the saddening reality that surging cases have caused almost one coronavirus-related death every five minutes. As striking as these statistics may seem, many health professionals have mentioned that the highest peak of cases has yet to have been surpassed.
For many, the added burdens beyond the physical after-effects of COVID-19 have added insult to injury.
Having family, relatives and many close friends in India, I have learned of several loved ones on both sides of my family who have contracted COVID-19, others who have died as a result, and still others admitted in hospital and fighting for their survival. With several countries, including Australia, imposing stringent international travel bans, and many states across India issuing curfews and continuing lockdowns, it seems that the healthcare system is on the verge of collapse.
Considering the mental, emotional and even spiritual impact that the pandemic has had on many, not just those affected physically by the outbreak, it has seemed like the normality of life is simply a foregone conclusion.
Faith over fear
My wife and I recently were browsing at a nearby Christian bookstore when we saw a mask emblazoned with the words, “faith over fear”. Despite being somewhat of a spiritual cliche, it had me thinking of our state of mind when faced with challenges.
Despite our best efforts, it is human nature to feel helpless in times of tragedy. But Scripture reminds us that in such times, it is actually unnatural to feel surprised by such a turn of the tide.
When undergoing what the Apostle Peter self-described as a painful situation, he added,
“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you...so then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.” - 1st Peter 4:12; 19 (NIV)
In other words, the challenge of life is a constant struggle that has yet to fade; yet, in the midst of the struggle, there is a way to overcome by surrendering to the Creator of life itself.
Perhaps in the midst of such a situation as we see today, we can trust the God of our tomorrows.
Joseph Kolapudi's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/joseph-kolapudi.html