It has been really encouraging to see Covid infection rates begin to decline around the country. In London, for example, the reduction has been marked with numbers of infections per 100,000 people down over 15%. Maybe our third lockdown is beginning to work! Time will tell. Certainly, distanced conversation with neighbours on Sunday involved discussing vaccinations and their prospects of getting one soon. The sun was also out, and days are getting longer. The low mood I think many of us faced at the beginning of last week has given way to something more upbeat, hopeful even.
I’m not suggesting therefore, that we have Covid-19 beat. London remains a Covid hotspot and I fear for the long-term impact on those who have had to weather this storm on their own, without the care of others or hope that their situation will improve. We still have a long way to go.
For me, as someone who likes numbers and analysis, I’m often more troubled than not by information offered by government and national institutions. Whenever introduced to a so-called ‘expert’ on radio or television, I’m cautious not to simply accept their opinions, looking instead for evidence and facts to corroborate their views. So often we have heard expectations of improvement, but then to have our hopes dashed when the reality proves much more complex and difficult. Our politicians and medical advisors have a difficult job, but I think we are sufficiently capable and mature to hear our leaders saying that they ‘just don’t know’ and that certainty (in this situation) is just not possible. Politics mostly gets in the way of open, honest communication, but I can’t help but wonder how refreshing it might be to hear the truth!
What I’m referring to, is the population’s ability to nut things out for themselves. It is about hearing the truth (even if it’s bad news) and then doing whatever is necessary to stay safe and to help others. We have proved this countless times in the past. Having struggled through this pandemic, for getting on for a year now, it still astounds me that the British population withstood 6 years of fear (and worse) during WWII. I simply can’t imagine how they kept going and remained positive. But they did.
I’m sure we have not lost that indomitable spirit of past generations, however I do think we are less self-reliant and look too quickly for someone else to blame.
I think those of us with a Christian faith have an advantage here (well, not just here!). As I was writing this, Proverbs 3: 5-6 kept coming to mind.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
This is straightforward and honest. It is something to hold onto, however we are feeling. We are to depend on God for everything. As such, we must trust in the Lord with all our hearts (with everything we are). We must believe that he is able to do what he must do, wise to do what is best, and good, according to his promise, to do what is right for us, if we love and serve him. Through prayer we must ask him to show us which way to go, to seek his will and direction. We must look to him for our survival and success. What we find as encouragement to do this is, is the promise that the direction the Lord takes us in will be the right one, bringing us to safety in the end.
With this in mind, it is right that we should remain hopeful and positive for our future. God’s plan for us is good. Our job is to pray and trust with all our being. Just imagine if we were all to focus on this, reliant on God and certain of his leading.