“Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”” James 4:13-15
If you have been to church a few times in your life, then you have probably heard either this verse verbatim or at least the principle behind it. The lesson is that we can plan for our future but ultimately we don’t control it. Another verse you have probably heard is that there will be a day when Jesus returns and the world is changed in an instant. Your pastor might have even challenged you to get right with God so that when that day comes you are ready to face your Creator and assured you will spend eternity with Him in heaven. We have all heard this type of talk, but if we are honest, most of us really haven’t internalised these truths because it sounds so farfetched that the world would ever come to an end or that life as we know it would ever change. Looking back over the pages of history, there have been some hiccups, but life always returns to normal and it is usually only a select few countries that are involved in the calamity anyway. If a war comes, we could always flee to a safer country. If an earthquake or tsunami hits, we can escape to a stable country. If a dictator rules with an iron fist, we can move to another country as a refugee. Honestly, most of us feel if disaster hits, we can make a plan. We have control over our lives. The idea of a global change that affects all humanity seems more suited for the pages of a science fiction novel than the pages of the Bible. Until Corona…
I live in Africa. My parents live in America. My friends live in China, Europe, India, etc. Literally, across planet earth we are in unprecedented times. It seems overnight the world has been turned upside down. The narrative is the same no matter where you live. Schools have closed. Conferences and events postponed. Sporting events called off. Borders are locked to contain people and minimise cross contamination between countries. Even churches are cancelled. I can’t even begin to understand how the world will heal from this catastrophe – and I am not just talking about the disease but also the global economic recession that is sure to follow such a planet wide shut down.
I read a heart wrenching story on Facebook of a man who had saved for years to buy a bus. He had done his homework and convinced the bank that his plans were secure. Yes, the bus was exorbitantly expensive but people will always travel and he knew he could pay the large loan back monthly and still make a profit. Until Corona… when no one wants to be in a confined space
As I write this, I realise I am faced with two options: Panic or Rest in the knowledge that God still sits on His throne and no matter what happens, my eternity is secure and He remains my loving Father who I can run to in good and bad times. An old hymn keeps running through my mind, which goes something like this: “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow. Because He lives, all fear is gone. Because I know He holds the future. Life is worth the living, just because He lives. But greater still the calm assurance. This child can face uncertain day, because He lives.”
As a Christian, I am not immune to what may come in the days to follow. My family might get sick. We might lose lots of money in business deals that can no longer happen. If those things happen, I will weep. I will feel incredible discouragement that I probably can’t begin to imagine right now. However, deep in my soul, I have a peace that no matter what happens, my God will never leave me nor forsake me. Depressing thoughts are removed with the calm assurance that my life is in His hands and nothing can separate me from His love. Ultimately, I realise that all of our days are numbered and really are but a mist anyway, and I take great comfort in knowing that I will spend eternity in a place where there is no more pain or suffering. Might I gently and lovingly encourage you today to get right with your Saviour and the King of this Universe and leave the scary tomorrow in His hands? (Please meditate on Matthew 6:19-33).
On an unrelated note, I hope you will watch our show, Talking with the Thabas, this coming Sunday night at 7:30 on BTV. The topic is the effect of children on marriage, so we invited our children and allowed the audience to ask them any question about our family. It is an episode that will have you dying LAUGHING as our kids share all our family secrets. You will also get loads of practical tips on how to keep your marriage thriving even when kids exhaust you and leave you with little energy for your spouse. You don’t want to miss this one!
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or Facebook page: Talking with the Thabas
Ashley Thaba is a popular motivational speaker and life coach. She is the author of the well-known books, Conquering the Giants and Dive In, which can be bought at Exclusive Books. She also facilitates corporate team building and wellness activities. You can view some of her work on her YouTube channel: Ashley Thaba.