The London Institute for Contemporary Christianity

£0.00 0 View Basket

What would you like to explore today?

Donate
Back

Discover something new this Thursday

Never miss a thing!

16.10.2020

The Second Wave Breaks

As the days get darker and shorter, people are finding the prospect of more restrictions for months to come even harder than when we first went into lockdown.

In the first pandemic wave many experienced loss in all sorts of ways. Now, after an emotionally draining six months, the second wave is here. Apart from the medical impact, we have more job losses, more uncertainty, a very real lack of fun, and the disappointing reality that this is going to go on for a long time. We are running out of steam. As Psalm 42 says, ‘all your waves and breakers have swept over me’. We need hope.

There is a strong parallel in all this with the ancient book of Job and his experience of loss and pain. Like Job we are discovering that we are not always entitled to health, wealth, and happiness; and like Job our suffering inexplicably goes on and on. Like the irritating moralising of Job’s comforters, the constant critique of the media only seems to make things worse. And, like Job, our minds are incapable of totally grasping the meaning of all this suffering. We need hope.

Job was deprived of everything, yet even in his despair he never lost his belief that God was there. Occasionally an indestructible hope burst forth like a ray of light in the darkness of his pain. ‘I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God’ (Job 19:26). But the truly transformative moment for Job came when, instead of seeing his situation in front of God, he finally saw God in front of his situation. Then, even in the intensity of his suffering, the greatness of the Almighty eclipsed the problem. That is the revelation we need.

In this sad and weary time lament is therapeutic, and we can be completely real with our Father in Heaven. Yet in our lament, the path to rekindling true hope lies in the possibility of focusing on the character and immensity of God. Greater is he that is in us than the pandemic that is in the world.  Join in with the ancient words of Psalm 42: ‘Why are you downcast O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God.’

Paul Valler
Chair of the LICC Board

Author

Paul Valler

Comments

  1. Thanks Paul – needed that encouragement this morning. Helpful for a perspective shfit … seeing God in front of the situation. Blessings as you navigate lockdown, again …

    By Dave Benson - 16th October 2020
  2. Good thoughts, words and insight. Apposite. Thank you. I am sure for many these words will be relevant and I hope & pray they become a source of perspective and encouragement

    By Brian Smith - 16th October 2020
  3. Thank you for these word. I needed to hear this!

    By Martina - 16th October 2020
  4. Paul, thank you for your encouraging message. I had only said to my husband yesterday how I was feeling my brain was in a kind of malaise. I seem to have gone into my self.
    I just needed to see and feel the Holy Spirit in my life standing against my depressing thoughts.

    By Gillian Hambleton - 16th October 2020
  5. Amen. Thank you I needed to hear this Truth this morning. I will likely wrestle it over the coming days/weeks/ months/ ???

    By Carole - 16th October 2020
  6. Thanks Paul, a great message of hope. Remember too the final Chapter Job declares “After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before”. Covid-19 has brought great devastation and tragedy, especially to our most deprived communities, but through prayer and action it offers an opportunity for Leaders to rise up, press the ‘Reset Button’ and deliver lasting change to society. In that way the Kingdom of God will continue to grow as “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” progresses towards its ultimate fulfillment.

    By Peter Riley - 16th October 2020
  7. Thank you Paul for these uplifting words

    By Simon Rogers - 16th October 2020
  8. Thank you, Paul, for such helpful and true thoughts. I echo your concern about the “constant critique of the media” being unhelpful… it may be endlessly informative but not, in a helpful way!
    I long for your hopeful, encouraging message, and others in similar vein, to be broadcast to the nation at large and not just Christian believers… people so need what God offers.

    By Jeremy Clare - 16th October 2020
  9. Excellent, insightful perspective Paul! This is exactly the kind of encouraging message of hope from God’s word that needs to be ringing out at this time. Thank you for your leadership.

    By Ian Greig - 16th October 2020
  10. Grateful thanks, Paul, for your thoughts on seeing God in front of our situation. As clinically vulnerable, we continue shielding, with all its lost opportunities. It’s been a week where we felt especially low but your words really gave us a boost!

    By John Ball - 17th October 2020

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *