This year is very special, and countless people would like to start the year all over again.
As of today, official media has reported that the number of deaths in the United States due to the pandemic has exceeded 100,000, and there are also a lot of people in other countries that have been affected. Numerous families have been destroyed, and economies have encountered varying degrees of shock. Countless people have been unemployed. This year has been very difficult, and has left a deep impression.
I have experienced this pandemic, but I am still alive. It seems to be an ordinary thing for those who are alive, but this is not the case for those who have passed away. At least I can breathe the fresh air and experience historical changes.
During my life I have experienced SARS and the Wenchuan earthquake. I used to think that these were very large disasters, however, now we have the COVID-19 pandemic. Compared with these natural disasters, my life is extremely small. I am lucky to survive.
I remember that during Spring Festival, looking at the news reports and the constantly updated number of patients, I was frightened. On New Year's Eve, a brother called me and asked: "Did the pastor we invited to preach come from Hubei?" We invited a pastor from there to come to our church before Spring Festival, so everyone panicked as soon as the news was announced.
Currently the pandemic in China has been controlled, but it is still spreading abroad. Our scars are gradually healing, but those in other places are still bleeding. How can we not be sad with them?
This year I have learned to cherish things. I gradually learned to cherish the people in front of me, to call my parents frequently, to watch the scenery on the roadside, and to take a deep breath of fresh air. I do this because I understand the fragility of life.
I also cherished the suffering I experienced, since this shows that I am still alive, and I have the opportunity to grow.
Having hope in God is the best source of strength. Most reasons for suffering are unreached goals and standards. We are always ambitious and desire peace and well-being in the world. But the Bible tells us that heaven and earth will pass away, and the Book of Revelation also shows us the future. The worst thing is to put out hope in something that is outside of Christ.
For the rest of life, I will not rely on idols, and only hope and wait for the kingdom of God. Maybe the way will not be safe and smooth, but I know that God has everything already planned.
The fear of disaster might haunt our hearts, and the fear of the future might not be receding, but dear brothers and sisters, don’t be afraid, God will be with us for the rest of our lives. Just like David said: " Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil.” And the wise man also said: " Have no fear of sudden disaster.” What brings us peace is not the absence of wind and waves, but the truth that God is always with us. Just as the disciples met the storm on the sea, and their hearts were filled with fear, restlessness, and despair, but when Jesus was with them, everything was no longer a problem.
Walking with God is the source of our strength, for all the guarantees of life are in him, and He is in charge of life. The Bible says: " Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. "
I have long been afraid of death because of the resurrected Jesus. I know the destination of my life.
How not to panic or to hesitate? How not to be timid or discouraged? To see the power of God's resurrection and the ability to transcend death. The reason why people feel anxious is that when they face the world they feel that they cannot solve their problems. But when people turn to God and rely on Him firmly, people are able to regain strength. As the Bible says: "But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength."
This year, I became one of many survivors during the pandemic and I have written down my own thoughts. Even though the pandemic is still raging on the earth, and I don’t know what will happen in the future, I have always believed that God is sovereign.
- Translated by Elaina Wu