The news of the lockdown extension in South Africa really got to me. I expected it to happen but hearing the official announcement made it really sink in that this situation is not going to get back to normal any time soon. 2020 is completely different from anything I have ever known or experienced. I don’t know how you are all doing, but I am currently not coping as well as I should.
I immediately took to my bed after the President of South Africa addressed the nation at 8pm this evening. He announced a two-week extension to the 21-day lockdown that was announced two weeks ago. I don’t understand my reaction, but I can definitely say that I was deep in my feelings. I thought that we had one week to go to at least get a chance to move around freely, but I guess that was wishful thinking. This virus is not going to be contained in a matter of days, see how many weeks Wuhan, the epicentre of the COVID-19 virus needed to get back to a semblance of normalcy. And this is in a country with a determined response and tools to fight against the spread of coronavirus, what more African nations who are struggling with even testing and screening potential infections? South Africa is doing better than most in that regard if the news sources can be trusted. I cannot say the same for the teapot-shaped country from which I come from.
Hearing that I am going to be indoors for the whole of April made me feel a sense of despair. I felt tired and I could not think anymore. All the plans I had for this year have either been cancelled or postponed and it is enough to drive anyone crazy.
A couple of minutes into my despair I took my phone and went onto Youtube. I had no clear idea of what I was looking for, but I found a sermon posted by Pastor Stephen Furtick today titled “It is what it is but it’s not what it seems”. If you need some spiritual motivation right now, you can find this sermon HERE. Although this message was recorded in 2016, it is a very timely message even now. I am here right now, able to write this post because that sermon injected new energy and faith into my soul that I did not have a few minutes ago. God works in mysterious ways because now I see the light…
A few key messages from the sermon:
- Face the situation. It is what it is. Denial is not going to make it go away any sooner. As hard as it may be, it is what it is.
- You may be waiting for deliverance in a situation that requires discipline. I am still processing this one, but I think that what the current situation is calling for is for us to stay at home and stay safe. I understand the need for that, but many of us are fast losing the discipline and patience to wait it out. It’s probably because we don’t really know what the outcome will be, so it is difficult to have blind faith. We might not have a choice this time.
- There is potential to grow in this season. It might not look like or feel like it right now, but there is dormant potential that is waiting to be unleashed. If only we could believe in ourselves and our capabilities more. I did not know, before this season that I had it in me to write a book, but I am trying my hand at it. What potential can you unleash in this season? Pastor Furtick said that it is time to start planting seeds of purpose. Let me encourage you right now to dig deep inside of you, find out what talents you have hidden there and begin using them. God will give you the grace to do it.
- It may be time for us to put aside our plans and wait for God’s plan. Right now our plans are not making much sense. Our futures are tied to something we cannot control or see. Maybe this is the time to fully trust in His plan for our future. Maybe this is the time to plant the seed in the soil of our faith and wait for God’s plan.
- Faith is not defined by what you do in your weak moments. We may not be in control of our feelings, we are prone to despair because the world around us seems to be crashing. Thank God our faith does not have to be defined by what we do when we are scared or weak. We will have weak moments, we will be disappointed, we will face loss. God expects us to come to Him in those moments because His strength is made perfect in our weakness~ 2 Corinthians 12: 8-10.
I hope you are finding strength in these times. I hope you’re not facing this alone. My heart goes out to those who have no one right now, may God’s peace be with you now and always. To everyone who has no idea how they are going to get through this season, please hang in there. This too shall pass!