Strange times. In less than a month, day-to-day life for many of us has changed beyond recognition. Just a few short weeks ago, how many of us could have imagined a world in which we couldn’t catch up with friends over lunch, or pop into town for a pint? Or a time when you would do all you could to avoid bumping into your friends in the street, even if you saw them coming and really wanted to stop and chat. It’s a world in which going to work is becoming a distant memory for so many people, and in which some people may sadly not have jobs to go back to when all this is over.
Just the other day I was at our church building, giving blood and thinking back to the last time I’d been in that room, three Sundays ago, in very different circumstances at Charlotte’s dedication service. It’s strange to think that that’s the last service held there to date, and that, for a lot of people, it might have been the last time for a quite a while when they could sit at a table and share a meal and a social chat with friends.
It is understandably a daunting time for people. There are concerns about catching Covid-19, particularly for those with underlying health concerns, or of passing it on. There are money worries for those who find themselves unexpectedly off work. There are concerns about the psychological impact of the necessary restrictions that have been placed on our lives and liberty. The list could go on.
It is understandable that people might worry about how things are going to pan out from one day or week to the next, particularly when it comes to things like how bills will be paid in the coming weeks. But it is also a time when, for many, perspectives are being changed. It’s a time that brings into sharp focus what’s really important in our lives, as well as the things that aren’t so important that maybe we’ve wasted valuable time on. It’s a time when the things we have – whether resources or liberties – really show their value. Nothing makes you appreciate having the Lake District on your doorstep and being able to go for regular walks there than the reality that, for the time being, all exercise is to be taken within walking distance of home, and for as short a time as possible.
We can worry about so much. About how easily we will be able to get hold of food and other essentials. About whether our income will be affected by all the changes going on and, if so, how we’ll cope. About whether we’ll be ill, whether we’ll lose people we know. But the Bible is clear that we don’t need to worry about these things. If our trust is in God, we can rely on Him to provide for our needs. In Matthew chapter 6, verses 26-27, it says: “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
It can be a challenge not to worry, especially if you’re a naturally anxious person, but, as the verses highlight, we gain nothing by worrying and gain everything by trusting in God.
Sarah Moore is the author of For the Love of Lentil, A journey of longing, loss and abundant grace, which tells the story of her experience of pregnancy and miscarriage. Copies of the book, along with baby loss awareness badges which are sold in aid of Baby Lifeline, are available here.