Welcome to 2022. 2020 saw the advent of COVID and 2021 saw its rebound.
As I stay in isolation here I watch the Lord of the Rings. Towards the end of the second of the trilogy movies Sam Gamgee gives a speech which I find can be applied to our times:
I know it’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here, but we are.
COVID is all wrong and things could have been different if we had contained things. All through the past two-plus years, various government decisions could have been made that saw things play out differently.
Now I’m not here to cast judgement and to say our various governments didn’t do the right thing. But one way of the other, we are where we are.
It’s like in the great stories Mr Frodo. The ones that really mattered.
How much more does our story count. And who are the people that COVID has reminded us that matter? Family, friends. Our story and journey of faith with God is what really counts.
Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy?.
COVID has brought a lot of uncertainty. In many ways we’re still not out of the woods yet, even though the prolonged lock-downs of the last two years are currently over. The Omicron variant runs rampant now, taking over Delta but even now we have wind that the next variant is coming. When will this all end?
How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad happened?
And how can we go back to a pre-COVID world when COVID has already changed so much?
Cities and events that gather mass crowds together all have had to adjust. People have had to increase and improve their hygiene standards, and adjust to vaccination requirements. Working from home and more flexibility for some careers.
But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer.
As bad as COVID is, it will pass. All bad things will pass in the sovereignty of our Lord. Every new day that comes can be a day of the Lord. And he makes the sun to shine, a constant reminder of the beauty of his creation, all that is good in this world.
Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something. Even if you were too small to understand why.
It can be hard to understand and comprehend what and why God is doing, but everything has a place and purpose according to his will. Understanding God’s master plan is for him and we can only play our tiny part in the bigger scheme of the world.
But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back only they didn’t.
In our daily lives, we have countless opportunities to change course. Here in Melbourne, we have endured two prolonged lockdowns. And yes – they and all the restrictions were not necessarily popular, but we endured.
Because they were holding on to something.
And, similarly, we continue to hold on and hope.
We hold on to our hope eternal that God will deliver us, not just from COVID, but from the Evil One and all his temptations.
That there’s some good in this world, Mr Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.
In the world of Middle Earth their cause that they are fighting for is freedom against the tyranny of the Dark Lord Sauron and his evil forces.
In this way, we could easily apply Sam’s speech to our own situation in the battle against COVID in this new year of 2022.
Much of the condition we find ourselves in is similar to that of 2021. Realistically, can we expect 2022 to be an improvement on the last year? Daily COVID case numbers are setting records at the moment, and with our healthcare system under stress, things are considerably worse than before.
While we live in unprecedented times, our God is so much greater, and he gives us hope for a way out of COVID.
And even with COVID, God is still working.
He has been doing a wonderful work all throughout the past two years. So as churches all around have had to adapt, the Gospel of Jesus has continued like never before - being preached and shared in new ways, invariably online and with COVID safe conditions.
So, when we consider God has also given us the Holy Spirit to be an ever-present guide, we have hope eternal. Our God has already won the victory, so as we champion the cause of Christ, let us allow his light to shine ever brighter during these times. In Jesus we have no higher cause worth fighting for.
Let us commence 2022 and seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness. In this way, all will be given to us; all that we need from God will be our daily provision.
Dear God, as we begin 2022, help us to seek your kingdom first and align our priorities with yours. Give us strength to face the challenges that COVID brings. Remind us of your joy which sustains. Help us to see the world around us through your eyes, so that we can spread the Gospel news as you commanded us.
In Jesus name!
Nic Lee works by day as a Business Analyst Consultant whilst, outside of business hours, maintains an IT support & website services business. He volunteers with 89.9 LightFM (Christian Community Radio). Nic has served for over twenty years in his local church, in worship, technology consulting, life group leading and event management.