One of the things I miss most because of the restrictions on daily life due to the Coronavirus is the closure of our church buildings on Lee Road. Although we continue to meet as a church via Zoom it is not the same as seeing each other in person and enjoying a time of fellowship together.
The virus has affected all of us in so many different ways, some finding it more difficult to cope with than others depending on the individual’s personal circumstances. Within this country we appear to have two extreme points of view. At one end of the scale there are those who regard the regulations made on us to minimise the risk of infection unnecessary, and some believe it to be all a hoax. At the other end of the scale we have those who are frightened to step outside their homes for fear of contracting the virus due to underlying health problems, old age and infirmity, but many people are understandably fearful. The vast majority of us are somewhere in the middle of the two extremes, abide by the rules and regulations and look forward to the time when everything can return to normal.
I am sure that most people are familiar with the Bible story of David and Goliath. David was a young shepherd boy, thought to be about 15-16 years of age, whilst Goliath was a giant standing at over 9 feet tall, with bulging muscles and amazing physical strength. He wore armour from head to toe which probably weighed about 175lbs. His belt size was 55 inches and the tip of his spear weighed over 15lbs. David was an Israelite, Goliath a Philistine. There was a long history of Israelites and Philistines being enemies. The challenge was for a man from the army of Israel to face Goliath in one-to-one combat. The outcome would decide which side would be the victor of the battle. The Israelite army was fearful of the Philistine army, particularly when they saw Goliath bearing down on them and, because he was aware of this, Goliath mocked them and was disrespectful to God. When David heard about the challenge he volunteered to face Goliath, putting his faith and trust in God, believing that he would be able to defeat the enemy. Armed with only his sling and five smooth stones from the river, he ran towards Goliath, found a weakness in Goliath’s head armour, took aim and hit the target, resulting in the death of Goliath.
We all have, from time to time, giants to deal with in our lives, not the 9 feet tall Goliath type, but events that cause us distress and worry. When we are faced with our own personal giants we can become troubled and scared. We wonder how we are going to cope, what effect it will have on us, how we are going to resolve the problem.
At the moment we are all facing a common giant in our lives today, the Coronavirus giant. This giant has caused numerous difficulties and problems for all aspects of the way we live and the freedom we all once enjoyed. In these unprecedented and strange times full of uncertainty, whatever your views or situation, it is so easy to feel downcast, anxious and fearful. This can lead on to more serious mental health issues.
However, despite all the negative aspects of the Coronavirus there is a way for all of us to look forward in a positive way. Like David we must put our faith and trust in God. The Bible is full of accounts of men and women who, against all the odds, overcame major problems and difficulties in their lives, because they put their trust and faith in God, who helped them defeat the giant they were facing. So, like David, we need to put our trust and faith in God to get us through this difficult time and beat this giant we are all facing today.
First published in Lyn Valley News February 2021