Posted: May 17, 2021; from Mennonite World Conference
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During times of uncertainty, it is normal to be filled with doubt, fear, and panic.
Remember when Jesus called Peter out onto the water: Peter took a few steps, but as soon as he looked at his circumstances, he was filled with doubt, fear, and panic. (Matthew 14:22-33).
In this global pandemic, our routines have been disrupted and our future is uncertain.
In the midst of COVID-19, we have hope: knowing that our eternal home is heaven, we fix our eyes on Jesus, the author, and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2); and preach the gospel with urgency.
Secondly, our hope lies in God our protector. God will cover us with his feathers, and under his wings, we will find refuge (Psalm 91).
There are many lessons to be drawn from this pandemic. Here are five I have taken to heart:
We never know what tomorrow brings, yet we live each day with hope for the next. Remember that one day, each of us will breathe our last. Cherish those around you and make the most of the moments you share with them. This gift we call life should be valued.
This is not easy to do. Trusting God with all your heart means surrendering to his will and believing that he has the best plans for your life (Proverbs 3:5-6). It means trusting God even in the fire, knowing that he will rescue you (Daniel 3:7). It means trusting God even when your plans don’t succeed, knowing that he has greater ones (Jeremiah 29:11).
During these times, we may be filled with questions as to why bad things are happening. Instead, I encourage you to shift your perspective from asking ‘why’ to trusting God to sustain you through challenges. Allow God to uphold you with his righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10), and comfort you as you grieve.
Many of us felt financially secure; but some lost jobs and sources of income through the pandemic. We need to come before the altar of repentance for the times we believed in the lie of self-reliance. Reflecting on God’s divine provision, ask how we have believed that we could do it all on our own. Remind yourself that God will never leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6).
It is easy to feel isolated during this time. Most of us have not been able to see our families or friends for a very long time. Reflect on the importance of human connection and interaction. Think of ways in which you can nurture these relationships despite the distance.
YABs Fellowship Week is a time for young people to connect and interact, despite barriers of distance and time zones. It is a time for us to testify of God’s love for us and celebrate the diversity of the body of Christ.
I encourage young people from all Anabaptist-related churches to participate. Get together in your churches – this could be virtually or in a socially distanced setting – and join other young people in different parts of the world as we celebrate YABs Fellowship Week.
May the peace of Christ be with you.
—Makadunyiswe Doublejoy Ngulube is the Africa representative on the YABs Committee. A member of Mount Pleasant Brethren in Christ Church in Zimbabwe, she is currently in Canada, studying environmental science.