二○二○年四月十八日／四月十九日 Click here for English version
過去兩個多月，新冠肺炎的疫情如海嘯般湧過來，世界各國的確診患者已有大約200萬。在被分散及隔離的措施下，不但我們的日常生活及人際關係遭受影響，甚至學業考試、家庭財務、工作機會、公共衛生及醫療防疫等事情，也陷入「失衡無序、焦慮乏力」的困境。今天，我們這群在亂世中跟隨基督的人，該作甚麼才能享有主所賜的平安？怎樣靠著基督裡的新造之恩，在疫情中勝過害怕死亡的權勢，展現復活生命的盼望？（約十六 33；林後五 17；林前十五 56-58）
God is Our Refuge in Isolation
Rev Samuel Tam
For more than two months, the pandemic caused by COVID-19 is like a tsunami. Nearly two million are confirmed to have been infected globally. Lives and relationships are disrupted by distancing measures and stay-home orders; studies, examination schedules, family finances and job opportunities are hard hit. Public hygiene and disease prevention and control are tilted off balance and is filled with anxiety and powerlessness. In turbulent times like these, what should Christ followers do in order to have peace from the Lord? How can the new creation in Christ win over the threat of death? How can we live out the hope of resurrection? (John 16:33, 2 Corinthians 5:17, 1 Corinthians 15: 56-58)
Moses, who led the Israelites out of Egypt, once asked God what he should tell the Israelites about Him. God answered, "I AM WHO I AM…This is my name forever…I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt" (Exodus 3:13-16).
The fact that God is the "I Am" reminds us to rely totally on God’s act with a humble, honest heart so we can look fear, struggles and helplessness in the eye. In the early days when the disciples in a boat were tossed in high winds and waves, they cried out in fear. Jesus then walked on the water to where they were. That proves once again that God is our rescuer. Today, God still says to us, "Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid" (Matthew 14:24-33). Because of that, we should confess our faith once again. When God says to us, ‘I AM’ or ‘It is I,’ we should reply, "Lord, I need You!" It is only in the shelter of the Most High, the omnipotent God that we can escape from the bewilderment, fear, confusion and pain brought by the deadly virus (Psalm 91:1-3).
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Illness, hardship, danger or sword? In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us. The love of God is in Christ Jesus our Lord, who is still our refuge (Romans 8:35-39). Dear brothers and sisters, even though we do not know when the pandemic will end, we should never seek a way out by our own strength. If we do that, we will only wear out and will not have peace. The Bible encourages us that Christ is powerful among us. He is in us. Therefore, stand firm in faith and endure the test (2 Corinthians 13:3-5). At this time, let us bow down before God and learn the abandonment prayer. With an honest heart, let us tell God all that is within us, all our bewilderment and trepidation in the pandemic. Let us leave them all with God, look unto Him and experience more deeply the faithfulness and lovingkindness of the I Am. We can then testify and proclaim to the world: "God is our refuge in isolation."